How to develop a robust marketing communications calendar

 

Marketing communications calendars focus your strategic messaging, manage tactical messaging and help you define your campaign and content marketing plans by channel and target audience.

 
 
 When Homer gave up beer he was aided by a Duff Beer calendar to mark the days he didn’t drink.

When Homer gave up beer he was aided by a Duff Beer calendar to mark the days he didn’t drink.

 
 

“Without a marketing communications calendar you are running blind through the forest and being highly reactive... the chances of survival are slim if you're not strategic”


What is a marketing communications calendar?

A marketing communications calendar is a calendar (or series of calendars) that takes into consideration an organisations overall marketing strategy and tactics as defined by your marketing plan. It clearly defines the messaging over a period of time (normally 12 months).

Its purpose is to create a brand (or campaign) messaging focus that will be applied to all marketing communications, across all channels (e.g. social media, advertising, website, email marketing, trade marketing, print etc).


What should be considered when creating a robust marketing communications calendar?

The following areas are only suggestions and are not imperative.

Large businesses have the resources to develop a comprehensive marketing calendar, however, sometimes as a small business it is more important to just get something done, so in this instance we recommend developing a simple marketing communications calendar. Either way, a marketing calendar should always be developed.

To be robust, following trusted processes will always win and help with future efficiencies!

Here are a few considerations for your marketing communications calendar:

  • A marketing plan helps keep you focussed on your overall marketing objectives and is a good foundation for your calendar.

  • Developing a communications and creative strategy approach will guide your marketing calendar

  • Messaging focus can be by brand and/or by product and service areas.

  • Your brand focus is your overarching message

  • Your product/service messaging is a sub-message to your brand messaging.

  • Try to define as many calendars as possible to highlight the focus and plan for all of your channels.

  • Messages around brand values, tactical promotions, company news, product updates, company culture, product/service benefits all have a place in your calendar.

  • Common channels are social media, website (content, banners and blog), advertising, search marketing, PR, direct marketing, TV etc. This is a comprehensive list of channels.

  • If you can break down which target markets are the focus for different communication types, then that is the icing on the cake!

This site provides some great free marketing calendar templates to get you started.

Do you need help creating your marketing communications calendar? The Mind Methods team are always here to help you win!

 

Article by Simon TokicSimon has a few passions including basketball, music and surfing, however, most of his time is spent as a self proclaimed marketing geek applying fundamental marketing principles in strategic and creative ways. Prior to running Sydney marketing agency Mind Methods, Simon worked on leading brands including Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Glad, Chux, Armor All, Clorox, Barbeques Galore, Anglicare and more.