Insight #11 - Create a Marketing Calendar

All too often, even well conceived marketing plans fall apart or are poorly executed because of insufficient lead time for quality preparation and execution. Properly utilized, your marketing calendar is a relatively simple, but invaluable tool that will help keep your marketing plans on track, and keep your staff and suppliers synchronized all year long.

Once your marketing plan is complete, take all of the actionable items and transfer them into a spreadsheet or Gantt chart for simplified visual tracking and reminder purposes. The ideal document will identify line item tasks with specific dates, deadlines and work details on the left vertical scale, with a day-by-day calendar across the horizontal scale.

Additional column fields can also be used to identify responsibilities and operational notes that will ensure that everyone knows what their individual, departmental and supplier tasks are. Regular review of the calendar will ensure that all critical deadlines are met with sufficient lead time to allow for the best qualitative execution, and best results.

Tip #11: Develop a detailed marketing calendar in a spreadsheet or project management software that combines a visual representation of the marketing year with a line item task list. Be sure to share the calendar with all individuals, partners and suppliers that are affected in any way by the details of the activities.

Choose one team lead to keep the calendar up-to-date. Ensure that the person in charge of the calendar has a complete understanding of all of the details and their respective time frames for accomplishment. Strive to complete as many details well in advance of deadlines as possible to save time and money, while creating superior results.