/blog/Blog_1.4.18_planning-marketing-calendar.jpg

Successful marketing requires strategy and planning. To maximize holidays and other special treatment and retail promotions, you’ll want to plan ahead to ensure you achieve your goals. This is where a marketing calendar can be extremely helpful to make sure that you maximize each opportunity with the right messages and activities targeted to the right clients and prospects.

A calendar also helps you budget ahead, which is especially important if you are planning to run any ads or have an event, and determine responsibilities for each team member involved in the various activities.  You may be planning a huge Valentine’s Day sale of special at-home gifts for him and her. You’ll need staff to make sure that you have sufficient stock on hand, set up the displays to convey the theme you want, create signage throughout your spa or massage practice to drive clients to your retail section and be on hand to answer questions.

A calendar also will help you plan for email campaigns and social media post to support promotions. You can decide if you need a blog post and determine how many Facebook posts and Tweets you’ll want to create before, during and after the activity. You may even want to develop a short video in addition to uploading photos that visually convey your messages, and that will take some planning and time.  Also if you need to make any changes to your website or mobile app, if you have one, you need to factor in how much time you’ll need and if you need outside resources.

Your calendar also should include any public relations activities you have in mind.  Around the various holidays, local news media generally write about special activities to support the day. If you are planning something unique at your spa or massage practice or have some tips about spa or massage treatments that are popular and tie into the holiday, drop an email to the local editor of your community paper. Offer to do an interview or write up a short article they could run online.

Getting started

Use a large blank-12 month calendar or create a spreadsheet.  You also can find marketing calendar templates find online; some of them are free.  As you start filling in your calendar, first note the activities you are planning. After that you go back and create a campaign for each one, selecting from the action items noted above and any other activities you have in mind. For example, you may want to consider co-promotions with retailers or businesses that have complementary service offerings.

Get input from your team in planning your calendar. This is especially important when it comes to crafting messages since your staff deals with clients and prospects and so should have valuable input. They also can help you brainstorm events.

As you develop your calendar, also consider client interests. This will be particularly important in planning the content to support your activities. You want to be sure that the content resonates with clients, engaging them and addressing their questions and concerns.

Developing your marketing calendar will take some time up front but will save you time in the long run, since you’ll have your campaigns mapped out. Review the calendar periodically to make any adjustments because of changes in your business or the market landscape.