The humble calendar is a bit like a ninja. This unassuming piece of media can sneakily infiltrate the homes and offices of your clients, where it prominently finds itself displayed on desks or walls. Chock full of exciting imagery, promotions, and messaging, this useful promo item not only aids your clients in their day-to-day planning but acts as a personal billboard for your marketing initiatives. Once your calendar finds its way into your client’s spaces, it gives them a front-row seat to your messaging all year long.
Calendars can create incredibly fun, unique, and exciting marketing experiences. Customers also love them, because unlike some of the strange gadgets they get bombarded with at trade shows, these babies serve a practical purpose.
So, let’s discover some exciting ways to take your custom calendar and convert it into a marketing powerhouse.
Your calendar is an opportunity to connect with your customers 365 times in a year. So, your calendar needs to have some clear goals. Do you want to engage new customers? Retain old ones? Find ways to create more repeat business? Diving into a calendar with a strategy will make it far more successful than just slapping some nice imagery on it and calling it a day.
Go beyond product imagery
Photos of your products are a common choice within the custom calendar sphere and there are plenty of great applications for that. However, a custom calendar that just has stock product imagery isn’t very exciting. When it comes to a picture calendar, there’s a lot you can do with that space. Once you have your marketing goals in mind, think about the message that each month conveys. If you’re a dentist, does a photo of your practice drive clients to book an appointment? Possibly.
Maybe instead, you could collaborate with a graphic designer and content writer to create aesthetically pleasing headers for each month that have inspirational quotes, a funny industry comic strip, or advice.
If product imagery is the way you want to go, try to make the imagery in your calendar unique. Set your products in seasonally correct backgrounds or find ways to delight and surprise your viewers with unexpected photography choices.
Stuff it with promotions
While some customers are pleased as punch to receive a calendar from you, others might need some coercion. It’s never a bad idea to sweeten the deal with some promotions. After all, once you remind them of your service each month, you want something to drive them to your location, right?
For 20 years, Chick-Fil-A was a master case in this area. Not only were their calendars delightful to look at and perfectly branded to their corporate image—they promoted the heck out of their food inside. Their calendars contain coupons and offers every month, which kept their customers exciting and engaged with their calendar all year long.
Brand it and brand it well
A calendar has so much potential for branding, so don’t stop at putting your logo on the front. Slap your emblem on every page of that sucker! No one looks at the cover of a calendar after putting it on the wall, so you’ll want to be sure that your branding is clear each month.
But, remember, branding goes beyond the logo. Your calendar needs to look and sound like your brand, too. That means all copy should fit your brand voice and the colors should match your corporate color scheme.
If you haven’t established a brand yet, today’s the day to start. Consistency among your online, print, and in-store presence is key to winning the trust of customers as they interact with your brand through various platforms.
Use your calendar to combat business slumps
Slow periods exist in every business. Whether it’s right around the holidays, during summer vacation, or maybe right before back-to-school, it seems each business has notoriously slow times that they desperately need a traffic boost during.
So, mark that on your calendar. By that, we mean, add promotions directly to the dates of your calendar that coincide with these slow periods. By doing so, you’ll increase foot traffic during these slow periods.
If you have annual events at your business, be sure to plan their dates while designing your next calendar. Mark popular holidays (and maybe fun, industry-related days like National Hot Dogs day if you’re a restaurant) with a fun graphic and perhaps a special promotion to drive interest in them.
Keep it simple
While we’ve gone through quite a few ideas to make your calendar pop, at the end of the day you’ll need to keep your ideas simple. Every element in your calendar, from imagery to messaging, to the promotions and dates you mark need to have a clear purpose. Your messaging needs to work well within a visual hierarchy each month, which easily draws the eyes from your imagery to the desired interaction with your customer.
The humble calendar takes a little time and patience to put together, but the effort can be well worth it. While other promotional products end up in drawers, your calendar can find its way to prominence in even a cluttered office. While billboards or print ads fizzle to a distant memory soon after a customer’s contact with them, your calendar is a constant visual companion for an entire year.
If you aren’t implementing calendars in your promotional strategy, consider jumping on the train now. With some consideration and planning, your calendar will be the secret weapon to your marketing department always dreamed of.