Now for the finishing touches of your marketing plan. You should now have the message and media selected, your scheduling determined, and a budget. In this section, you'll need to set up some charts to illustrate everything in your plan. These charts will not only help you present your plan to the powers that be, but they will also help you implement the plan.
Start by putting together a Graphic Media Calendar. List your media on the left, followed by columns that correspond to the calendar or fiscal year for which you are planning. In the last column to the right, summarize the frequency and include the GRPs for each vehicle. At the bottom of that column, total the GRPs. See our sample Media Calendar and other worksheets on the Marketing Tools page.
Then set up a similar calendar for each media type with the same elements included.
Compared to implementation, planning is a breeze! It is in this part of marketing that you call in the reinforcements. It is very important to schedule the events in your plan and assign responsibilities well in advance. Use a very large scheduling board, and put it in an easily viewed spot. Set up a reporting structure with progress reports and regular communications that will keep your plan on target. Making deadlines in the marketing world can be critical to the success of your product (or business).
Magazines typically require insertion orders at least three months in advance. Press releases for monthly publications should also follow a three-month lead-time schedule. Newspapers allow shorter lead times, and so do some other types of publications.
Make sure you know every deadline. Flag them wildly and stay on your toes!
Now, how are you going to make sure the plan is working? Go on to the next page and find out.