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Planning Ahead: Making the most of the calendar when it comes to promoting your business

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Time To Plan

Holidays have a funny way of sneaking up on us if we let them but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little effort and planning ahead, you can take advantage of using holidays to promote your business and get customers in the door. Giving yourself enough time to execute your marketing plan will also alleviate unnecessary stress – for you and the vendors you rely on to make your promotions a reality. For example, now – as we head into summer – is the perfect time to start thinking about creating your holiday cards or a 2015 calendar promoting your business.

The first step is to sit down in front of a calendar of the entire year and map out when you want to roll out all of your new promotions. Make a list of all the steps necessary to execute your ideas – from brainstorming a concept and writing copy to having the piece designed, printed and mailed. Consult all the players that you will be using to accomplish your plans – from internal staff to vendors – to get estimates of how long it will take to create each of these steps. Then plot out those on your calendar to establish a timeline of implementation.

Here is a list of elements to factor in when creating your plan (your steps will most likely be different depending on your business and promotion but these are to give an overview):

  • Figure out what items or service lines you wish to promote
  • Who is your audience/who are you trying to reach?
  • What is the incentive going to be – are you educating or offering some special price or deal?
  • Brainstorm a concept or theme
  • Writing copy – realizing each piece like ad copy, brochure copy and website copy – should be factored separately
  • Is photography or video needed?
  • What is going to need to be designed?
  1. Does this service line need a special logo or type treatment?
  2. What elements need to be created, like collateral material (brochures, flyers and postcards), advertising, indoor and outdoor signage, displays, website
  • Are any of these pieces going to be mailed?
  1. Do you need to compile or purchase a mailing list?
  2. When do these items need to be mailed to give your customers enough time to act on your promotion?
  • What are your printing needs?
  1. From collateral material (brochures, direct mail, flyers and postcards) to company stationery (will your sales team need more business cards when you roll out these campaigns) to indoor and outdoor signage (like window clings and banners), ask yourself what items will need to be printed
  • What are your advertising needs?
  1. Ask yourself how you’re going to get the word out about your campaign – newspapers, magazines, billboards, social media
  • What are the timelines for implementing each of these tasks?
  • What are the costs associated with these tasks?

When you’re doing this exercise, you’ll see why waiting to the last minute spells disaster for any campaign and how a little planning head can eliminate the majority of heartburn associated with it.

West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way – from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format to website development. Don’t wait until the last minute! Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.