Marketing Calendars: How To Make Your Predictions Become A Reality

By Jenny Sagström, CEO and Founder, Sköna

2021 marketing predictions are two a penny.  As an alternative, I suggest you create a calendar for what you want to achieve, then do it.  This method has a few advantages over those pesky to-do lists with items that can dwell on the page for what seems like an eternity, needlessly frustrating you and your team’s morale at the same time.

A calendar encourages focus allowing you to prioritize better, react faster and most importantly execute.  So, let’s get to it.

January – Build brave brands

We’ve seen a ubiquitous shift to digital in the face of the pandemic, meaning the clutter we used to complain about has only intensified. The only way to stand out from the incessant noise is to rise above it with a strong brand that can be heard amongst it all. Companies will need to shift investments to establish their basics. They will need to infuse their automated marketing activities with a brave brand standpoint in order to get noticed.

February – If you haven’t already, start softening your messaging!

There is and will continue to be plenty of harsh languages banded around the world.  No need to add to it.   I think we’re all tired of not only politics but the overall combative tone.  If you haven’t done so yet, let’s start the year by softening our vernacular.  Be mindful you’re contributing to any conversation – both as individuals and organizations’ representatives – in a positive manner.

March – Invest more in Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

We’ll continue to use all the great technologies out there like RollWorks, but we’ll also spend more time and effort upleveling the content we use. We’ll create more custom videos and corresponding assets, producing more immersive cohesive ABM experiences.

April – It’s time to be a little less scared!

For years now, we’ve talked about marketeers and other professionals worrying about buying certain technologies and then fretting about losing their jobs through investing in the wrong kind of technology.  In 2021 we will have reached a point where we’re a little less scared.  Instead, think about what will be best for the companies we work for.  In the long-run, this will benefit our personal careers too.

May – Define your movement

Traditional movement marketing has looked to cultural and societal events and found something to align their brands with. In the B2B space today, the trend will continue where we won’t just look to cultural movements, our brands will be the movements!

June – Create an intimate digital experience

At this point in the calendar,  we’ll all have been working from our homes for over a year. Rather than another large scale virtual event, invite your top prospects and clients to smaller, more intimate digital gatherings.  (Don’t conveniently forget to include your most senior executive:)

July – Strengthen your swag game

If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to look over your swag library, how you’re distributing it and to whom.  One of the great things to come out of the pandemic has been the great swag portals and the upgrade from the bog-standard T-shirt.

August –  Is customer appreciation month

Send them a thank you card! Feature them in a video, press release or even campaign.

Our customers are our biggest asset so make sure they feel our love.  More than ever, the pandemic has once again reinforced the truth that it’s cheaper and easier to retain your existing client base than go after others.

September – Time to gear up for the second half of the year with repeatability

At this point in the game, you should be looking at the campaigns you ran in the spring in order to determine which ones you could rerun now with a few minor tweaks. No need to reinvent the wheel if all that’s required are slight adjustments to keep your content fresh and relevant.

October – And OOH will bounce back

We’re taking to the roads once again.  Perhaps we’re even thankful to be stuck in traffic during our daily commutes.  This means it’s duck season for out of home. Take advantage of the fact that OOH is currently down by signing an annual contract as soon as possible at a great discount rate.

November – As we hunker down for winter, LinkedIn keeps us entertained

Our employees are our best amplification source so set them up in the best way possible. Give them access to your assets.  Help them with scripts if necessary.  Above all, encourage them to spread your messages and campaigns further for maximum penetration.

December – Ring in 2022 with a good old-fashioned traditional campaign

The pandemic forced marketers to split campaigns into tactical executions.  With the world opening up again, we’ll once again have access to several different channels to reach out to customers and prospects.

Do it with a well-executed brand generation campaign not solely in digital but expanding it via direct mail, OOH and radio. This is the time when we can once again use different channels to reinforce our messages.  So let’s all frolic in that idea! v

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