Your Marketing Schedule
You should only begin to develop your marketing schedule after you’ve completed your research and analysis for your market area. At that point, you should know who your customers are, where they are located, who your competition is, and what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) are. Now you can begin to incorporate all the information you gathered into a strategic plan to promote your business.
To help get your started, I’ve created a simple to use Marketing Schedule Form that will help you keep your marketing deadlines organized. Keep up-to-date with upcoming marketing efforts so you can stay on track for success.
Right-click here to download your FREE Marketing Schedule Form PDF file.
I’ve also included a Marketing Piece Form that you can use to record your marketing messages and track your successful pieces. As you get ideas – great headlines, offers, magnet or gift ideas, write them down on a separate form even if you don’t know when you will use them. A great idea is a great idea! Hold on to them. They may be additions for your promotions next year. It doesn’t hurt to plan ahead.
Right-click here to download your FREE Marketing Piece Form PDF file.
You could get a three-ring binder to keep all your marketing ideas and schedule in one place. Put the schedule in front, and the messages you are using in order behind. Then as each of your promotional pieces is printed, include a copy behind the corresponding form in the binder as well. Any ideas that are not used can be organized in the back of the binder possibly by season, holiday, or type of message.
Things to Consider for Your Marketing Schedule
Your Marketing Budget
Your marketing will depend heavily on your
The amount of money you can invest in your promotional materials often is the deciding factor for how often you reach out to your customers.
Frequency of Contact
The outcome of your marketing plan should be to develop consistency in how frequently you contact your potential customers.
This is more of a concern than “what” you deliver. You must have on your marketing schedule direct contact with your potential customers a minimum of once per month. That is the bare minimum and not necessarily ideal. If you can afford to do more than begin your efforts with 2-3 per month for the first 3-6 months, then you can cut back your contact to not less than once per month.
Your Marketing Message
Here is where defining an appropriate marketing message gets tough because it all depends on to whom you are marketing. Hopefully, through your research you know who your potential customers are. Are they a niche market? Renters? Widget Collectors? Or, are they your Sphere of Influence list? Friends and family? Past associates? Or, are you farming a community? Each will have specific approaches to contact and you must decide the best of these approaches.
What matters here, is the message. If you are attempting to convince a renter that they can buy, sending a postcard with a message designed for a homeowner will yield little result. They will not relate to the message because they are not homeowners. So the message is crucial.
What do your customers want? Ask this question for every marketing piece message you develop. Since you only have one to two seconds for a potential customer to look at your marketing piece to decide if they see value in continuing to read it, make the message matter by offering your customers what they want. Your message needs to be clear and easily understood because if you don’t get their attention, you get no results.
A small black and white postcard program sent consistently can be more effective than large, full color postcards. How? The messages. Beautifully done, full color pieces with inappropriate messages are garbage to the recipient. The message matters most. Say that five times fast. Hehehe!
Marketing Piece Guidelines
Attention Grabbing Headline -- 5-9 words - engage your customer -you have something they want – make it entertaining
Offer/Message -- Only one offer/message per piece – BE REAL! -- avoid a sales pitch – stress the benefits of your offer – get to the point -- instill a sense of urgency – give something of value – make it a keeper
Call to Action -- Tell your customers what you want them to do (visit website today, call now, refer a friend)
Marketing Piece ID -- Add a unique identification code to each marketing piece for tracking your success. When you get a call, ask how they got your name. Record this information because if you don’t know what is working, you can’t repeat it.
The Marketing Mix
The idiom, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” applies well here. It is important to develop into your marketing schedule a variety of different ways to contact your potential customers. Limiting your contact to one approach or another can cost you sales. For example, if your marketing approach is just door-knocking, you may miss an opportunity to reach a potential customer who simply will not answer the door, but does read all his mail. Or the customer that prefers face-to-face contact over reading mail advertisements. The list goes on and on.
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