Sometimes the smartest marketing strategies also are among the simplest. Not even really a “strategy” as much as smart business, committing to organizing your meetings ahead of time is easy, will save you time and money. And by ahead of time, I mean anywhere from a month to a year. This is our Marketing Monday idea of the week and one that is applicable for any business or non-profit organization.
This week we welcome the month of March. Sit down for 30 minutes and think of all the people you need to reach out to this month and plot them on the calendar right now complete with their contact information so you won’t have to dig that out when you’re ready to make contact.
Review your January and February months and look at what you did and with whom you connected as well as any annual deadlines that are important to you and your business. Is there anyone you need to reach out annually that you don’t want to forget? Plot their information in your 2013 calendar now and as months pass, make sure to keep your 2013 calendar up to date with those annual check-ins or deadlines such as production schedules, trade show dates, etc. This will make your 2013 calendar more accurate and it will save you time come November and December when you’re thinking of first quarter 2013.
Besides getting organized for 2013, what is more important is the task at hand. I’m looking at March 2012 and reviewing my clients, appointments and events that I know are solid. Now I’m adding those people whom I know I need to reach out to because I haven’t spoken with for the past few months or are on my list of people who are waiting to hear from me. I’m also adding my media contacts with whom I need to maintain a relationship and see what they are up to (hence why it’s called media relations). I might have a story or two that might work with a piece they are working on (or not). I won’t know if I don’t take the time to reach out to them and see what they’re doing. I’m also reviewing editorial calendars of key publications to see if I have anything that would work with those ed cals and deadlines.
From a business perspective, relationships are key to being successful and being organized is definitely part of the equation. From a marketing perspective, keeping your calendar up to date and clean helps visualize those important existing relationships (ie clients/customers) and top of mind. If you can’t be pro-active because other commitments come up, move those appointments to the following month and make them a priority.
Once you get into the habit of keeping your calendar up-to-date, it will become easier to manage your appointments and your customers will appreciate that you remember how important they really are to you.
Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm that specializes in working with both for profit and not-for-profit organizations. While she’s a digital fan and keeps a calendar online which syncs to her phone, she often refers to her trusted spiral bound calendar as well to help her plot her calendar for the following month. She recommends you find a calendar that you love and be diligent in using it.