Updated March 2020.
What should the team work on today?
It’s a simple question that often leads to the confounding answer: It depends, what needs to get done?
Whether your team is in-house or scattered throughout the globe, you can stay on the same page, and know what everyone is working on by using a central marketing calendar.
By using a centralized calendar, you can keep tabs on current or upcoming campaigns, track the right goals, and prioritize work to meet the right deadlines.
Then every morning after you open up your business, you’ll know what tasks need to be crossed off your list first, and what everyone else on the team is crossing off theirs.
What Is a Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar gives your entire team a view of what’s happening and when, just like a schedule.
The goal of using a centralized calendar is to keep track of how and when your business interacts with customers and what messaging is being used. A marketing calendar can record when new email marketing campaigns launch, a new banner ad is released, or a new product is unveiled to customers.
It also works to track changes that can affect your business, like if you’ve had to close your physical location and move everything online.
But remember, a central calendar only works when your entire organization can see it.
If everyone knows what’s happening, from your front-of-store cashiers to your warehouse staff, your business benefits. Ideas come from anywhere, and even little increases in efficiency, like a cashier preparing for a rush after the launch of a new product, can make your business better.
Cloud-based Marketing Calendars Work for Remote Teams.
Are you in need of a cloud-based calendar to help your team work efficiently and effectively, from anywhere?
While there are many options out there, we recommend using the calendaring tools provided in G Suite or Microsoft Office 365 — both are wonderful business solutions.
G Suite offers tools you likely know and use already — a professional email address, online document creation and sharing, and more. If you use Gmail, you know how user-friendly Google’s products are, and their calendar feature is no exception.
Microsoft Office 365 is an incredibly well-trusted name in business, and for good reason. Office 365 offers all of the familiar, reliable tools you know and trust (like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint) that you can access and use with your team online. Their calendar tool is sure to help you stay on track and get more done.
Now that you know what tools to use, let’s figure out how to make the most of your marketing calendar.
List All of Your Team’s Current Tasks.
The first step to creating your central marketing calendar is for you, and your employees, to list all current and upcoming projects.
Knowing what everyone is working on helps to keep your team from duplicating their efforts. This insight also increases collaboration, as one team member that finishes early can pitch in to help another complete their project.
Nobody wants to repeat work, but seeing that a team member is currently blocked helps the rest of your organization come together and work on other important issues.
Make sure your team lists any roadblocks when noting their current projects. For example, if one team member is waiting for the release of a new product before designing an email, you can see that on the calendar and then provide mock ups of the product to help them succeed.
Line Up Your Marketing Deadlines.
Once you have all of your tasks listed, it’s time to prioritize. You can’t work on a year’s worth of projects at the same time, so a calendar helps put it all into perspective. You might be able to track projects and campaigns in your head if they’re simple, but for multiple deadlines a calendar is a must.
Set a deadline for every campaign or task, and then align your deadlines on the calendar for the whole team to see. Better yet, create and track your S.M.A.R.T. goals on your calendar.
As an example, if you’re about to release a new project, you’ll want to create a series of emails that go out a week before the release, a few days before the release, and again the day the product is released. That means your team needs to hit their email design deadline at least a week ahead of the launch date.
If you have everything properly recorded and tracked in your calendar, those deadlines should be easier for everyone to meet.
Team of One? You Still Need a Marketing Calendar.
When you’re the only one responsible for your marketing, without a team to back you up or worry about, you need a calendar even more.
Without carefully keeping track of your tasks, you could open up your business on the morning of a new product launch never having emailed a single customer about it. Talk about a lackluster product kick-off.
Instead, hold yourself accountable just as you would hold your team accountable, tracking your current campaigns, tasks, and deadlines on a single calendar. This also lets you visually keep tabs on what is happening when, so you can manage your time more effectively and stay ahead with your marketing. Time management is vital, so you still have time for the day-to-day operation of your business.
Using a Shared Calendar Promotes Working Together.
What needs to get done to help your team succeed and your business grow?
With a central marketing calendar, the answer is easy to find. No matter if your team is in-house, remote, or currently a team of one, tracking your current marketing campaigns, tasks, and goals helps to get things done.
Build a calendar, foster collaboration, and carry your business to success.
We’ve got the tools that can help.