A new year is upon us, and with it comes the need to make sure our plans are in place to make it the best year possible. An important tool for making this happen is a functional marketing campaign calendar.
For years, I’ve kept mine in a word processing document with monthly headers and activities chronologically listed for each month. There are two problems with this approach:
1. Activities that span multiple days require entry on each of those days manually.
2. This list approach doesn’t give me a very good vision of how activities correspond.
I found a great, free template for Excel that takes care of the problem. The file covers the whole year, with each month being on its own sheet. I can enter an activity once, then stretch it to cover multiple days if necessary. Perhaps best of all, I can assign preparatory tasks, execution activities, and follow up efforts in different colors so I can quickly differentiate them.
Since I’m color blind, I use orange for tasks that need to be accomplished in preparation for upcoming campaigns, green for activities that relate to campaigns being executed, and blue for efforts tied to follow-up on prior campaigns. These are three colors that stand apart well for me. Now, whether we’re talking about a campaign, event, or other marketing activity, I can quickly and clearly see what’s on my plate for any given month. I love it!
The template is available at no cost at cnet (download.com), a highly trusted resource: Cnet Download Page
I hope you find this template and my comments helpful in planning and executing your marketing this year.
If you have ways you plan, track, and execute your marketing that may be helpful to others, we’d love to hear them! Just comment below.
Here’s to your 2011 marketing success!
Bryan Waldon Pope