52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.
Whether you use a digital, paper, or laminated-hanging-on-the-wall-year-long-planner version, you’re probably using a calendar of some kind to organize your life. You plan ahead for events, schedule appointments, and make notes about what has to happen in order to accomplish life’s goals. A marketing calendar helps you do the same thing, for your equine business marketing and promotion plans.
Here are several examples of things you might put on a horse biz marketing calendar:
- Say you’ve got a stallion that you plan to stand for the 2012 breeding season. You might want to get that horse into the ‘stallion issues’ of your target publications, in order to reach your target audience mare owners. Print magazines often do things months in advance to accommodate the design layout, printing, and mailing processes, so you’re going to need to provide them with pictures, ad text, and/or camera-ready ads during Fall, 2011. Plus, you want your horse to be well-muscled and sleek, looking his studly best, which doesn’t happen overnight. Your marketing calendar can encompass all of this, from your stallion’s fitness and grooming regime starting now, to his photo and video shoot schedule at the height of his summer sleekness, to working with graphic designers on ads once the images are selected, to connecting with the prime publications for your 2012 stallion ads.
- Or, perhaps your retail outfit attends trade shows and horse fairs each year. Maybe this year you want to stir up business a little bit with some advance publicity or special offers to draw attendees to your booth or trailer. Your marketing calendar can include due dates for regional newspaper ads, when to send out press releases, and when to post Twitter or Facebook updates. If you’re a wholesaler needing to connect with buyers and you’ll be sending out direct mail or email info-packages, your marketing calendar can help you schedule when to have things designed and printed, stuffed and stamped, and mailed in time for the buyers to get it before they leave for the event.
There are loads of other examples unique to your own equestrian business, but the point is that a marketing calendar is a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. Deadlines missed can be money down the drain.
If you want to develop your own marketing calendar, here’s a downloadable sample marketing calendar from Brandeo.com – it’s in an Excel format, and is adaptable for your own horse business under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. You can also search for ‘marketing calendar’ on Google or another search engine to find more information about what they are and how to use them.
Your marketing calendar can include dates for each piece of your marketing puzzle. It helps you plan ahead, and allows you to ‘back-into’ when things need to happen in order to meet your marketing goals and deadlines along the way.
If you have a question or comment for me about marketing calendars and how to use them, or want to share how you already use a marketing calendar, please click on the Leave a Comment button to send it in. Come back next week for 52 Fridays #5!