The importance of pre-planning: your 2014 marketing calendar

Effective marketing strategy is all about pre-planning and anticipation. Preparing your marketing activities in advance will allow you to take advantage of the year’s greatest marketing opportunities and beat your competitors to the punch. While some of the greatest campaigns have the illusion of spontaneity, in reality they are all planned months in advance in order to be executed to the highest possible standard. It’s crucial that you plan ahead and implement your marketing strategies in a timely fashion, and with that in mind, we’ve created this marketing calendar to help you take advantage of some marketing opportunities.


Springtime signals the start of a new year – it’s a season symbolic of rebirth and regrowth, leaving winter behind and ushering in the milder, more optimistic months of the year. Your marketing activities can be used to reflect these attitudes, trading on spring symbolism and taking advantage of events such as Easter and the annual school holidays. Mother’s Day is another significant event for marketers in certain industries and sectors, so it’s important to consider your audience and the ways and means with which you can reach out to them at this time of year. Start planning your marketing activities for spring straight away – while it may feel as though we’re still in the depths of winter, the seasons will change before you know it…


Summer is the season of academic holidays, trips overseas and days on the beach. Naturally, businesses whose trade is affected by seasonal weather conditions will need to be particularly active at this time of year. Marketing in time for the school holidays is particularly important, and many businesses find that TV adverts are particularly effective during the summer when more and more people have time off from work and school during the day. This year, of course, we can look forward to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. These events come about just once every four years so it’s important that you make the most of them – patriotic imagery and football-related tie-ins will be particularly effective during the summer months of 2014, but you’ll need to approach the process carefully…


As the year moves into autumn the children return to school and the holiday season comes to an end. That doesn’t mean, however, that your marketing opportunities are over. Annual autumnal events such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night will always prove effective for savvy marketers, while the resumption of a new academic year will present opportunities for businesses ranging from clothing manufacturers to stationers, personal finance providers and even automobile retailers. Proactive marketing is all about recognising your opportunities and taking advantage of them in a timely fashion.


Winter is one of the most productive marketing seasons of the year for one simple reason: Christmas. Christmas is a season of conspicuous consumption when consumers tend to abandon their usual spending habits in favour of a more free-spirited approach. Marketers will need to be proactive throughout the Christmas season if they are to take advantage of the opportunities available to them – just look at the Christmas adverts from retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons if you don’t believe us! Aside from Christmas, winter offers up New Year, the January sales and even Valentine’s Day for marketers to capitalise on, too…

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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