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How to Create Your Annual Marketing Calendar, Part 2 — Creating and Taking Action on Your Plan

How to Create Your Annual Marketing Calendar, Part 2 -- Creating and Taking Action on Your PlanOnce you have taken stock and gotten your foundation in place for your annual marketing calendar, then you will begin to put the plan into action.

Here is my 7-step process to complete the action plan for my annual marketing calendar:

1. Ongoing Marketing: Based on what you inventoried during the foundational process (your regular marketing activities, holidays and celebratory points, Rest Days and Business Development Days), begin to fill in the days/times on a year-long mindmap, divided into months.  Also make room for any ideas you have that might include plans for:

  • publicity (spread the word about your business through media)
  • promotion (sales, contents, events, or awards)
  • joint ventures (things you do with other businesses to promote both businesses)
  • referral marketing (thank current customers for referrals, like affiliate program)
  • Internet marketing (your online visibility plan and content syndication plan)
  • advertising (where, when, and budget)
  • customer marketing (how you’ll keep in touch with current customers and any special offers you’ll make)

You’ll want to note what person from your team is responsible for each of these activities.

2. Opportunities: Take the list of current and future opportunities as well as those opportunities in the Idea Vault and list each one as a project. Once you have created your list, evaluate each item in terms of its ability to get you where you want to be in the upcoming year.  Prioritize your list of top 5 projects. Put the remainder in the idea vault for later in the year.

3.  Projects:  Now that you have your list of prioritized projects, you need to create a marketing plan for each of these projects.  For each project, you’ll want to determine the project’s goals, including what’s in it for you, how much time the project will take per month, and your income goal in 90 days and 1 year.  Some of your ongoing marketing activities may need to be their own project. Then determine your project’s audience, benefits/results to customer, curriculum (content of project), the timeline, or what needs to be done to complete the project, and then determine who does what, or which people on your team will be completing the specific tasks.

4.  Strategies:  As you contemplate the steps needed to complete the projects, you will need to include the marketing strategies you will be using to get the word out about the project.  These strategies could include things like:

  • social media marketing
  • radio/television/print advertising
  • direct mail
  • press releases
  • networking events
  • cold-calling
  • Internet marketing
  • trade shows
  • speaking engagements
  • webinars

Determine the 3 tops strategies for getting the word out about your project and add those to your timeline.

5.  Action Steps:  This is where you commit the action steps to a timetable and plan out the next four weeks of activities.  Add one action step per day to be the most effective. Then, copy these to your year-long mindmap and evaluate it.  Do the items make sense in the way you have planned them?

6.  Project Management:  If it helps you to see each project in an actual calendar with to-do lists for each project, I highly recommend Dooster for this task.  You can export the tasks out of the mindmap and have your assistant input them into Dooster, along with due dates and who’s responsible for the task.

7.  Track Results: Track the results of your program, whether that’s by sales, opt-ins, or whatever makes sense to determine if you have reached your project’s goals.

A great plan doesn’t happen overnight.  Take a few hours each day to formulate a marketing plan that works well for your business.  The first one is the hardest, but once you have the procedure in place, the process becomes easier each year as your formulate your annual marketing calendar.

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About the Author Donna Gunter

Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.

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