YOUR BEST MARKETING TOOL IS $3
Sure as spring follows winter, your business has seasons, holidays and cycles– if for no other reason than your customers and suppliers do. How to best get in synch with your business’ seasons to drive sales?
A marketing calendar. A 52-week calendar that cues you when to adjust your marketing campaign actics, themes and promotions to be in alignment with the one person that matters most – your customer.
Not sure where to begin? Put together a short list of two or three of your most logical print or online publications for advertising (whether or not you advertise). These may be “verticals” or broader publications that reach into your target demographics. If your business is B2B, these are trade or industry pubs.
Go online or call their advertising departments and ask for their “editorial calendar.” This lists the weekly or monthly themes that it highlights because they are proven the most actionable to their readership (your customers) and is the primary basis for their advertising sales. Copy it into your starter marketing calendar.
Next, review your past year’s sales data by product and volume. Write down why those sales varied and weave that into your marketing plan so you can boost sales ahead of a cyclical low point (a Facebook promo/special sale, etc.), or increase profit margins going into a high season (‘limited availability’). As always, monitor your largest competitors with bigger budgets for researching and tracking these cycles and trends. Get on their email lists.
As you develop it, this calendar becomes your marketing compass each day, and it will grow more robust each year and begin to automate your marketing – with a collective intelligence — for far greater effectiveness and results.