Marketing to the Calendar

Its easy to get caught up in the technology, the latest Quora/hashable app du jour… and trust me I love them all, but you have to apply every thing you do to real life. Often times that means taking a step back and thinking, simple right? Well most of us get caught up in our to do list, things that pop up unexpectedly, and then before we know it we realize that we missed our chance to prepare for the present.

That is why this year I am going to ask you to Market to the Calendar. Right now I am meeting with my GuestFeed clients and we are mapping out January into February. We are looking at the upcoming events at each venue, the holidays upcoming (Valentine’s Day) and planning out when and how the marketing of them will be most effective. You should be doing the same.

For one of my clients, I am laying it out like this:

January’s Theme: Emphasize the Authenticity of the Ethnic Menu Items (They are made by his Immigrant Mother)

Week One: Tweet and Facebook post pictures of the menu items, with messages that express the authenticity of each item.

Week Two: Continued Tweets with a GuestFeed produced video of his Mother making some of the items. An email sharing this video with the email subscribers, and also sharing the video on the restaurant’s facebook pages and twitter account.

Week Three: His chef is given a deadline of the 21st to have the first draft of the Valentine’s Menu ready. This is where the Marketing to the calendar comes in. We have a start date of January 28th for Valentine’s day marketing. GuestFeed will layout his menu, distribute it through all the channels, there will be in house marketing done at the restaurant for three weekends beginning with the 28th, and we will have the ability to send two emails about the Valentine’s day holiday without feeling rushed. During this time the restaurant will also be sharing photos, stories, the videos, its special event menus, etc… but the Valentine’s Day Holiday will be center stage in our minds.

I am going to cut the detail short here. What I really want to get to is that throughout the year your have to be thinking ahead marketing wise. The message takes time to form, distribute, reinforce, and be acted upon. Read that line again. What day does Valentine’s Day fall on this year? If you don’t know yet you aren’t doing it right. I don’t mean to sound harsh but I know how it is, I have been there, and that is why I am working to help as many small business owners as ask me to. I know that one of your waitresses just went on maternity leave, a bartender you relied on just took a day job, the grease trap has been leaking for a month and you can’t find the right person to fix it. I know that you have a disorganized mountain of paper on your desk, and ten other things to do.

Valentine’s Day is on a Monday this year. It has the potential for one of the best weeks of the year. Lets not let that opportunity pass, let’s prepare for it with that in mind. Thats what I am here for, if reading this is all you needed, great. If you need more I am here to help in any way you want. You can find me via comments here,, or I would love to meet/hear from you.

Oh yeah, Happy Valentine’s Day Planning.






5 responses to “Marketing to the Calendar”

  1. […] Understand your key themes. Work with your staff to define key messages that communicate the guest experience to attract the right audience. Define your organizations goals for the new year, and assign marketing and PR goals for your social media efforts that align with the organizations targets. Work to create the messages that communicate the experience tied to those goals to your guests and their networks. Those messages are the foot soldiers of your Key Themes. Example of Theme Development Here. […]

  2. Are Morch Avatar

    Hi Spiro.

    First of all I love your creativity. Really cool scenario you have set up for your client. I love how you involve the hole process from the planning to the final presentation. Many of us can learn from this.

    And I really like how you plan to show case this through various Social Media Channels.

    I might have to plan something special for my wife this Valentines 🙂

    Quora has been all over the place here lately. It has the potential for being good platform for research. At the moment it is a bit heavy on the tech side, but you have to expect that when Robert Scoble is among the top producers there at the moment.

    When it catch the masses we might get better and more niche related categories. I signed up there and keep under the watch channel at the moment.

    Keep up the good work here.

    Cheers.. Are

    1. Spirocks Avatar

      Thanks Are… you too.

  3. Gail Zahtz Avatar

    I don’t comment often enough on all of the great posts I read from people. But I wanted to add to this what the post got me into thinking:

    We should not only be marketing to the calendar, but now is the best time to line up our business goals, deadlines- a month at a time, and then weekly as possible. It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day and the immediate pressures of the business or our business areas, that sometimes- of even often- we lose track of the big picture; and when we lose track of the big picture, we can get way off course from what our key competencies, responsibilities and ROI’s lie.

    Your post got me thinking that now is a good time for me to sit down and lay out a monthly plan for the year for my company, my particular roles, and for stakeholders. I am also going to try putting out a weekly “schedule” to make sure I take care of key tasks regularly (financials one day, marketing the next, etc) and monthly numbers (like one speaking engagement a month.)

    Thanks for getting the brain juices going on the big picture when I, like many people, am currently stuck in the overwhelming minutia of what needs to urgently be done yesterday!

    1. Spirocks Avatar

      Gail, Thank you for the comment. I hope my posts keep getting you thinking. -Spiro