- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
December… year-end wrap-up… and planning for next year. Have you started on your 2016 marketing & sales plan yet?
Whether your firm invests in a full-blown plan with well-thought-out strategies and detailed tactical steps… or if your plan is more of a one-page outline, there is one thing that every marketer must employ to effectively manage their growth plan…
… a Marketing & Sales Calendar.
Yeah, I know, everyone right now is saying, “Well, duh…” And my response is, “Well, maybe…”
I’ve seen too many marketing & sales plans in our industry without a good calendar to go by. Because of that, I want to use this article to make two recommendations… one is about the best kind of calendar to use and the other is about the best way to use it.
The Best Type of Marketing Calendar
Regardless of the tool you use to create your calendar, for it to be most effective, it must be “visual.” It must be easy for anyone to glance at it and quickly and easily understand what’s being communicated.
Those of you without a dedicated marketing person or staff – and that’s the vast majority of market research firms – have an employee who allocates some of their time to marketing. Which means that the majority of their time is spent doing something else. Which means that when they get busy (with their real job), it’s easy for marketing details to fall through the cracks.
That’s why a visual calendar is so important. Print it out and post it to your wall… so that every time you walk by it, you’ll be reminded of what needs to be done… and by when. And it must be in an easy-to-understand format so that your colleagues, supervisors and even your marketing vendors will quickly grasp it.
There are scores of software platforms that can be used to create visual calendars:
- Microsoft Excel (a great place to start)
- Project Bubble
- And many, many more…
How to Use Your Marketing Calendar
Even for those firms with some sort of marketing calendar, they often aren’t using it properly, resulting in missed deadlines. Why? They’re not breaking their tactics down into manageable pieces. Consider the following simple example of creating an advertisement to put in Quirk’s magazine.
Your calendar might have on it, “Ad sent to Quirk’s by March 1st.” And while that’s certainly not wrong, it’s missing all of the steps leading up to it…
- Get the media kit from Quirk’s
- Decide on ad size/cost
- Commit ad placement to Quirk’s; sign agreement
- Share the specs of the ad with your designer
- Discuss the ad concept with your designer
- Designer creates first draft of the ad
- First draft of ad reviewed/edited by your team
- Designer creates second draft of the ad
- Second draft of ad approved by your team
- Ad put into magazine-ready format by designer
- Ad sent to Quirk’s by March 1st
Here’s what those steps might look like in a visual Excel spreadsheet…
Clearly, it’s much more than just one deadline! And that’s just one ad. Imagine all of the steps for the creation and promotion of an eBook… or exhibiting at a large conference… let alone all of the tactics happening simultaneously as part of your full marketing & sales program.
Bottom line: Most marketers don’t take the time to consider all of the individual steps and then account for the time to complete each step… which means that they’re often rushing to meet deadlines and, in doing so, cranking out some pretty mediocre marketing. Sad… but true.
So, as you start planning for 2016, now is the time to start thinking through all of the steps of all of the tactics you’ve chosen to implement and putting them on your marketing calendar.
Do that… and you’re well on your way to becoming a truly efficient “marketing machine.”