It’s that time of year—time to dust off the 2021 marketing calendar and give it a facelift for 2022. Have you ever noticed that marketing calendars seem to get bigger and more complex, rarely the opposite? Has your list of marketing tactics to complete in 2022 has become unwieldy? If so, we think this marketing checklist can help. Use it to evaluate each tactic in the calendar. Are there are some weaker tactics you can remove? Doing this will free up your time and creativity to focus on the stronger tactics that better achieve your goals.
I’ll use the term sales goal below, but there are likely sections of your marketing calendar that aren’t concerned with sales. Maybe you’re seeking to boost employee engagement. Or perhaps you want to generate goodwill from a community. Or you might want to increase referrals from a network. Since your audience groups still move through a funnel from awareness to consideration, to decision, and retention, the recommendations in the checklist still applies.
❒ This tactic has a valuable, well-defined audience.
Your target audience information or persona should guide the selection of media, messaging, and creative for every tactic. Sometimes legacy tactics are carried over for sentimental reasons, without targeting an audience that’s relevant to the company today. If this is the case, find a different way to honour the past and remove that legacy tactic from the new marketing calendar.
❒ This tactic moves customers through the sales funnel.
Every marketing tactic should help move a prospect from one junction of the sales funnel to the next. As such, pay close attention to any sponsorships on the calendar. Pieces like these often need an activation (such as a contest, media release, digital campaign, or side event) before they can directly support your sales funnel.
❒ This tactic has a realistic budget assigned to it.
Assign a budget to every tactic on the marketing calendar. A good rule of thumb is to allocate half of that tactic’s budget for asset creation and half for promotion or distribution. But be careful not to spread your marketing budget too thin—it’s better to do a few tactics exceptionally well than many tactics poorly. This means that a few well-executed tactics will likely generate better results. Results that can create the organizational buy-in needed to invest more in marketing.
❒ This tactic has the necessary buy-in to get done.
Thinking of running some new, unconventional, edgy, or out-there campaigns in the coming year? Get buy-in now. Build a strong concept and rationale for the tactic and ground it in examples of how other organizations have had success with similar campaigns. Then bring your proposal to the necessary stakeholders to get everyone on board.
❒ This tactic is inclusive and accessible.
We’ve been writing on the role marketers play in bringing greater inclusivity and accessibility to advertising, media, and communications. It’s much easier to incorporate these best practices at the beginning of a project than attempting to retrofit it at the end. If you feel unsure on where to start, focus on doing a few things well—such as ensuring all videos have proper subtitles or selecting accessible venues for events.
❒ This tactic shows our brand values in action.
Make sure to brag about your organization once in a while. A lot of multi-generational, privately held, family-owned businesses make huge contributions to their communities. Unfortunately, they never tell their audiences about it. They give because they can, not because they expect anything in return. But think of it this way: there might be a customer out there who wants to work with an organization as philanthropic as yours. If you never clue them in, you’re both missing out.
We hope this checklist helps you tighten up or refocus your marketing calendar for the year. And if you’d like a second set of eyes on your plan, we’re always here to help.