One of the core aspects of running a business is keeping things organized. Having a marketing calendar means knowing exactly which days you have to prepare for and acting accordingly.
One of the core aspects of running a business is keeping things organized. It would help if you had a solid plan, with clear and actionable goals, set deadlines, and an idea of what tasks need to be executed to achieve said goals. Having a marketing calendar is a vital step in this process.
Simply put, a marketing calendar is a list of holidays during (or near) which you can expect an increase in sales, conversions, and traffic.
Marketing Calendars - Preparation and Purpose
It's all about preparation. First, you need to prepare your website, company, catalog, and stock of items for the intense holidays. Having a marketing calendar means knowing exactly which days you have to prepare for and acting accordingly.
Here's the thing - during holidays like Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), people go out. They save for weeks or months and then storm online and brick-and-mortar stores for deals and discounts. So while not all of the holidays are as intense as those, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Your eCommerce store can simply put get into trouble. For example, your servers might overload thanks to too many payments being processed at once. Or, maybe your website won't load correctly because of too much traffic.
In practice, this would mean speeding up your eCommerce platform transition if you already planned it. Or, if you're already using something you're happy with, like Magento, it means getting some extra Magento website development just to be sure. Finally, it's all about keeping your online store stable, ready to handle anything that comes its the way.
On the other hand, maybe you really need to stock up on popular items so that you can maximize your profits. Or, you might invest more into your marketing strategies in the weeks preceding a holiday, helping you stick out more when the time comes.
Truly Maximizing Marketing Calendars
It's probably second nature. So prepare for holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Of course, you don't have to think about them, they always loom over you. However, it's the smaller, lesser-known holidays that can help you get that extra edge.
So, here's an example - May the 4th (get it, get it?) is Star Wars Day. More passionate Star Wars fans (the type that would be willing to spend money on SW merch) are aware of this date. So, why not prepare? Order some Star Wars Themed products for your catalog. Prepare and advertise that date in advance, and see what happens.
Or, remember that between the 1st and the 30th of June is Pride Month. So, show some solidarity, celebrate it, have an article or two about it on your store's blog.
Essentially, take some time and study a list of these days and brainstorm. You can get special products and items for hobby and fandom-oriented days. Get some extra traffic by showing solidarity during right's-oriented periods, and prepare thoroughly for traffic and sales-intense holidays.
In a way, a marketing calendar can serve as a guide to your marketing efforts. It can give your ideas, themes, and a particular goal for your advertising team every few weeks.
Analytics and Homework
There is an important caveat that you need to keep in mind. Namely, you have to do your homework.
There is an art to preparing properly for things like these. Stocking up too early means you're wasting money, too late, and you're losing potential profits. Furthermore, you have to figure out how early people will be buying stuff from your store.
For example, you can expect that people will only go crazy on Cyber Monday since that is when people post discounts and sales. However, for Valentine's day, people will actually be placing orders earlier, days, even weeks, so they can already have a gift ready for February the 14th. The same goes for Christmas.
You need to analyze your competition and what they do (and have done) surrounding specific dates on the homework front. This can help you get a better idea of where you can start.
Some Extra Ideas and Useful To Know Dates
We already gave some quick examples above, but we've taken the liberty of providing some extra ideas below. Furthermore, these can illustrate our point and help you get some ideas for other dates you can utilize for your marketing purposes.
Good old Valentine's day. Coming in on February the 14th, it's all about love and lovers. Here you can expect people to get something romantic or unique for their romantic partners. Depending on your niche, you should stock up on love-themed gifts.
Starting on March the 17th, St Paddy's day is known for fun, beer, parades, and the color green. However, consumers also spent $5.14 billion on this specific date. Getting even a sliver of that chunk will do wonders for your store.
Here you can have fun and have your designers integrate a gold and green theme in your store. Furthermore, since the color green is such a big deal for this holiday, you should stock up and promote green decorations, clothing, maybe green food coloring, whatever fits your specific store.
April Fool's Day
Let's have some fun. Starting on April the 1st, you want to promote jokes, gags, and pranks. So have a funny or confusing blog post advertised today, maybe stock up on toys like Whoopi cushions.
Note that this is also an excellent example of how a marketing calendar can, or cannot, fit your brand. For example, if you're shooting for something exquisite and luxurious, like high-class timepieces, then promoting anything on this day might hinder the style you want to promote—just something to consider.
And there you have it, folks, a couple of ways having an online store marketing calendar is helpful. Furthermore, we have also taken the liberty of giving you some ideas on maximizing your efforts through the calendar mentioned above and some ideas for potential dates.