When calendars ATTACK! (aka The Importance of Long-Term Planning)

No one likes getting Christmas catalogs at the end of August. But we can all learn from the forethought required have key marketing communications ready for prime time ahead of the game…

Every year, it seems, the advertisements for Back to School or Halloween or the holidays seem to come sooner and sooner. It’s often exasperating to think that marketers want you to start thinking about candy corn when you’re still lazing away hot summer days.

calendarAlthough the early barrage of promotions can be annoying, stop for a moment to appreciate these marketers ability to plan their messaging so far in advance.Here at Bean, we have a busy web development studio, so you can be sure that killer project management is a must. Scheduling and timing is everything so that we can ensure each project has enough time for proper concepting, prototyping, design, development and lots of back and forth with testing and tweaking.

As Billy Crystal’s character Miracle Max says in one of my favorite movies (“The Princess Bride”), “You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

Even for a more straightforward redesign, you’re likely looking at 12 to 16 weeks from start to finish, and a schedule full of important milestones, input points and quality assurance testing. It’s not just that the complexity of web development projects these days has grown — it’s also that we need mission-critical time together to create and consult and give clients our absolute best work.

So here are some pointers for smooth sailing (for your web or other marketing projects):

  1. Create an editorial calendar of your organization’s typical touch points. With our education clients, it’s typically late summer for back to school promotion, but our association clients’ calendars align with renewal season and annual events. Whatever your important items are, it’s most likely something that you at least have some idea is coming down the road. Ideally, you need to be on your vendor’s radar four to six months ahead of when you want to launch.
  2. Even if you only have the slightest glimmer of a project idea, it’s always best to loop in all your appropriate vendor partners as early as possible that you may have an upcoming need so that they can begin any due diligence and create a schedule that provides ample development time to make the most of your marketing budget.

So, got any hot web or interactive ideas you want to build out? Now’s the time to get cracking!

Layla Masri

About Layla Masri

Layla is a co-founder of Bean Creative. She leverages her ad agency background and 15-plus years as a marketing and web copywriter to maximize interactive impact for strategic planning, usability/accessibility, and digital promotion.
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