Every organization has marketing needs, and (whether you have ample resources or limited) those can easily get out of hand as the year goes on. It’s a lot to keep up with!
Has your association ever taken the time to put together a year-long marketing calendar? Here’s why we think it’s the perfect way to kickstart 2019:
Keep track of everything in one place. Between your different audiences (members, prospects, your industry, your community), initiatives, and means of communication it’s easy to see where things may fall through the cracks. Putting everything on a calendar will keep you organized so you can plan ahead, identify gaps, and watch out for too much overlap.
Allows you to be flexible. How often does it feel like everything is on track when suddenly a new initiative comes up? Oh, and it has a quick turnaround? Without a clear view of what’s ahead, it can be easy for panic to set in. But by using your calendar, you can quickly see what resources are available, or what can be moved to accommodate the new task ahead.
Organizational transparency. Each department has its own unique needs. Creating your marketing calendar will keep you on track, but perhaps more importantly sharing it with the entire organization will allow all teams to work together.
Now that you’re convinced of the importance of a marketing calendar, where do you begin?
Brainstorm a list. What initiatives occur annually? What have you been wanting to tackle for a while? Start by listing everything you know is ahead of you this year.
Fill in the details. Which audience(s) is each initiative aimed at? What channels do you intend to use? How much lead time do you need to prepare? Who needs to be involved? Flesh out the basic details for each initiative, knowing that it’s not set in stone! (Remember, be flexible!)
Find a format that works for you. Experiment with a couple of different ways of looking at your calendar to see what you like best. The goal here is to be able to see as much information as once so you can keep a firm grasp of what’s ahead, and what your team needs to be working on.
Your marketing calendar should be a living, breathing document. As initiatives change and come up, you’ll use it to pivot and adjust your approach!
Need more tips on the nitty-gritty of association marketing? Check out our free guide!