How to Create an Effective Marketing Planner

How to engage with customersA marketing planner is a vital tool for your business as it provides an overview of how and when you plan to support your brand over the coming year.  Retailers are always keen to understand how you plan to market your brand and producing a marketing planner is an excellent visual way of demonstrating your plans.  It will keep you focused throughout the year on what your key objectives are, the activities you plan to conduct to help achieve these objectives and enable you to spend your marketing monies effectively.

Getting started 

What are your objectives?
Firstly, you need to identify what your objectives are for the year.  Are you wanting to target a new type of consumer? Raise awareness of a new line?  Sell more?  Engage with consumers more?  Each piece of marketing activity you consider needs to meet your objective.  If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be doing it.

What’s your budget?
It’s easier to set aside a certain amount of money at the beginning of the year and have this earmarked for your marketing budget.  You can then build in the cost of your marketing budget to your overall P&L for the year, giving you a much clearer projection of your net profit at the end of the year.  Also, by having a budget in mind, you are less likely to overspend as you can track your marketing spend each month.  Another way of doing it is allocating a percentage of each unit sold as your marketing budget.

Creating the marketing planner
This can be a simple one page spreadsheet – that you use on a daily/weekly basis to keep you on track with your marketing activities. You need to split it by areas, months and have a column tracking expenditure too. The areas to include are:

  • Consumer Advertising
  • Trade Advertising
  • Promotions
  • Competitions
  • PR
  • Shows/Events
  • Awards
  • Email marketing
  • Blogs
  • Social Media
  • Website

You may well not have the time or the budget to do all of these activities and depending on your objectives, money and time you may choose to focus on 3 or 4 main areas.   Many of them rely on you creating good content to showcase your products (blogs/social media/email marketing) and these can all be linked together to save time and to ensure your messages all tie together.

You can also  track on this planner what you have booked/confirmed, activity you are planning to do against your marketing budget – then  you’ll always know at a glance how much budget you have remaining for marketing investment.

 If you need more advice on creating your marketing planner, then just get in touch at [email protected] or call me on 07723 351884