« Show all articles

How to create a marketing calendar for a retail association

Marketing calendars allow a retail association to plan effectively, and maximise every marketing opportunity, leading to better allocation of funds and an increase in retail revenue.

Even if your retail association doesn’t yet have an actual marketing calendar, it probably already has the makings of one.

There are undoubtedly dates throughout the year that you plan to promote in some way, usually significant dates like Christmas and Mother’s Day, and there may be some ad hoc dates thrown in, such as a community activity or the celebration of a local event.

Knowing these dates is important because it allows a retail association to plan and budget for their marketing. Now imagine what would happen if that level of organisation existed every month?

Marketing calendars allow a retail association to plan effectively, and maximise every marketing opportunity, leading to better allocation of funds and an increase in retail revenue.

What is a marketing calendar?

A retail association marketing calendar is a month-by-month list of marketing activities. It includes things like awareness days or popular celebrations, product launches, special events, and sales and promotions across the shopping precinct.

A strategic marketing calendar is not a retail marketing strategy in itself – rather it’s the timeline for rolling out your marketing strategy.

A strategic marketing plan sets out marketing goals, messaging, and tactics – a marketing calendar is a timetable of activity that supports it.

Why is planning a retail marketing calendar important?

A marketing calendar is an essential marketing tool for a retail association because it makes sure no opportunities are wasted. For example, your marketing plan may detail a significant Mother’s Day campaign, but the impact of that campaign will be watered down if you only develop and roll it out a week out from the big day.

They also make sure that time is allocated after a marketing campaign, to review and learn, before the next is commenced, meaning more effective campaigns.

Retail association marketing calendars also ensure that every marketing dollar is well spent and delivers biggest bang for your buck. It can also help you manage staff resources and meet deadlines.

Example of a retail marketing calendar

Here’s what a top-line marketing calendar may look like for a retail precinct or traders association:

January: New year

  • Social media campaign about New Year goal setting
  • Content: free goal-setting worksheet
  • Email sign-up campaign

February: Valentine’s Day

  • Paid advertising: Valentine’s Day promotion
  • Content: gift ideas for Valentine’s Day

March: International Women’s Day

  • Social media celebrating great women in your retail precinct
  • Competition: call on public to nominate an impressive woman in your retail precinct

April: Easter

  • Easter egg hunt / Easter Bunny appearance
  • Event promotion: in-store and posters

May: Mother’s Day

  • Social media: gift suggestions
  • Promotion: Mother’s Day giveaway

June: End of financial year (EOFY)

  • Social media: reminder to buy for tax time
  • Sale: discounts on items
  • Email sign-up campaign

July: Winter food campaign

  • Catalogues and flyers to promote campaign
  • Social media posts to promote food traders for winter
  • Paid advertising: to broaden reach of campaign

August: Winter food campaign (continued)

  • Content: interviews with food traders; recipes from food stores
  • Social media: videos showing off food traders
  • Email sign-up campaign: offer free recipe e-book in exchange for email addresses

September: AFL grand final

  • In-store decorations and promotions
  • Social media posts to celebrate AFL grand final

October: Halloween

  • In-store promotions, including sales and activations
  • Content: Halloween costume and activity ideas

November: Melbourne Cup

  • In-store promotions
  • Competition: pick a winner or best dressed contest

December: Christmas

  • Social media: unique gift ideas for Christmas from local traders
  • Content: Christmas gift guide
  • In-store promotion: visit from Santa
  • Paid advertising: to promote precinct and retailers for Christmas shopping

How to choose the right dates for your marketing calendar

Selecting dates and aligning them to marketing activity is crucial to a retail association, especially those with limited budgets. It’s no use splashing out on New Year promotions only to have nothing left in the tank by Easter.

Choose your key dates based on the mix of retailers that comprise your traders association. For example, a fashion-focused retail precinct would have different dates of significance (e.g. Melbourne Cup, Christmas party season) compared to a food-focused precinct (e.g. Valentine’s Day, Easter).

Also, take a look at the spending activity of the visitors to your retail precinct. Do shoppers typically visit your precinct for specific activities? There’s no use running a broad promotion for health and fitness when the majority of visitors come to your precinct to enjoy food and entertainment.

It’s important to notice which key areas of retail or service visitors come to your precinct for, so you leverage those visitors and entice them to stay and enjoy other offerings in the area. It’s much easier to market to an audience already coming to your precinct for particular activities than trying to run a campaign for a niche area of retail that won’t see much conversion.

Bring your marketing calendar to life

Once your marketing calendar is set, put everything in place to make it happen.

Organise members of your retail association, book the printer, check that supply chains can deliver, and, most importantly, make sure the production of your marketing campaigns remain perfectly aligned with your marketing plan.

Doing all this well in advance will ensure that your year’s marketing is rolled out without a hitch and has the optimum desired results.

Speak to the retail association marketing specialists

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne and has a long history working with retail precincts and traders retail associations. We know what works and we know the marketing strategies that achieve real results.

To find out how we can help your retail association, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

« Show all articles

Ready to elevate your business?

We love meeting exciting, new people. Whether you need help with a one-off project or are looking for a long-term partnership, get in touch and lets have a chat.

Simply fill in the form below, or just give us a call on +61 3 9079 2555:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Are you an Assemblo insider?

Would you love to get a monthly email with the latest trends, news, marketing insights and some of our awesome work thrown in for good measure? Yes? Then sign up below for a monthly update.

Your privacy is important – you can read our privacy policy here.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.