52-Week Marketing Activities Calendar
A 52-Week Marketing Schedule for Overworked CEOs
If business owners have one thing in common it is the discipline of a regular and thorough review of operating performance, with one possible exception-marketing. Marketing is often taken for granted and reviewed more for its tactics than for the disciplines that make it effective. For example, a large scale emailing will be analyzed for the number of calls it generates, yet opportunities for A/B testing or optimization of landing pages linked to the email may be ignored.
Small business CEOs can get an effective handle on their marketing activities-and improve the ROI of their marketing investment-by applying the same thoroughness used in other critical business areas. Here's a way to start the marketing activities calendar.
Organization of the Calendar
This calendar is based on the 4-4-5 week quarterly calendar. This results in 3 sets of 4 weeks plus an additional week every quarter. Each set of 4 weeks has an identical weekly discipline. Here is that discipline; the extra 13th week of each quarter will be discussed later.
The 4-Week Marketing Calendar
- Focus on the big picture.
- Review the marketing calendar and familiarize yourself with those upcoming events that require special planning and communication.
- Review the ROI of the most recent marketing event, and pay special attention to traditional marketing activities such as print and direct mail.
- Analyze marketing performance versus budget, year-ago, trend, competition, and prior test results (if any).
- Focus on online, inbound (non-traditional) marketing.
- Evaluate keyword performance and current relevance.
- Review how your website is attracting visitors, promoting your services or products, and converting leads. Optimize and analyze.
- Review the creation, use, and re-purposing of content.
- Focus on problems and opportunities, primarily through the testing of new solutions and customer offerings.
- Identify test alternatives, and rely on competitive intelligence.
- Decide on the test design and expectations.
- (Tests may be conducted on virtually anything that warrants an improvement, ranging from alternative ads to new products.)
- Focus on listening to your customer.
- Listen online to what is being said about your company and your competitors.
- Visit your customers and vendors.
- Listen to your employees.
The 13th Week
There are 4 weeks that we call 13th weeks. Assume that they fall at the end of your business quarter. Here's how you can incorporate them into your 52-Week Marketing Activities Calendar.
- First 13th Week: Simply get out of your office. Make visits to rarely visited customers, attend an off-site seminar, or visit a place (library, museum, retail store, etc.) that can stimulate your mind to think differently.
- Second 13th Week: Repeat the first 13th week activity.
- Third 13th Week: Prepare for your annual marketing review.
- Fourth 13th Week: Conduct your annual marketing review.
Getting the most out of your marketing investment involves the regular disciplines described above. Modify this schedule to fit your particular business needs.
For more ideas, see Business Strategy.Mission: To help small and mid-size businesses acquire customers by re-thinking their business and marketing strategies.