Calendar-Led Marketing & Buyer Behavior

calendar2Marketing FAME’s content is organized like no other book you’ve been assigned to read.  That is, it’s calendrically organized, featuring one or more people or events for every day of the year — sometimes coincidentally and sometimes not-so-coincidentally corresponding to the day of the year they are discussed.  This type of organization is intended to sensitize you to the importance of calendrical timing in the marketplace.

“Calendars may be the most widely used and most influential marketing planning tools in the world.  It is difficult to imagine astute marketing professionals not referring to calendars when planning and implementing marketing programs. Accordingly, Marketing FAME prompts readers to think calendrically.” — Charles L. Martin

“What’s the marketing relevance of calendrical timing?” you might ask. In part, it’s attributed to the predictably periodic calendrical timing of seasonal changes, most holidays, and periods when buyers have the need, money and time to shop.  These and other considerations mean that buyers’ behaviors and marketers’ actions are frequently calendar-led, i.e., they are greatly influenced by the date on the calendar.  Thus, many marketing initiatives are more appropriate or likely to be more effective during some times of the year than during others.

smiley-santaAs an example, consider that American retailers who shelve chocolate Santas and heavy winter outerwear in November and December may benefit from their timing decisions by tallying high sales numbers during these two months, whereas those who shelve the same merchandise six months later may suffer the fate of poor calendrical timing and sell few of these items during that period.    Therefore, Marketing FAME’s calendrical form of organization is a useful way to remind budding marketing professionals, such as yourself, to think about what calendrical periods mean to buyers and organizations, and thus when to do what, or what to do when.

Marketing FAME helps sensitize readers to  periodic changes in the marketplace and in the mix of marketing opportunities that make each time of the year unique.” — Charles L. Martin

tractorEven when there’s no obvious calendrical significance of an individual’s birthday or an event’s anniversary, each daily dose of information implies a marketing opportunity to celebrate or otherwise commemorate the date and occasion nonetheless. As an example, February 7 is the birthday of John Deere, the founder of the farm equipment maker, Deere & Company (the company that makes the familiar-looking green tractors and riding mowers).  Accordingly, recognition of Mr. Deere’s birthday could be part of a celebration of agriculture or Rural America & Small Town Day.  Or, the date might be used to celebrate the spirit of innovation, in general, or advances in farming-related technology, in particular, or the success of Deere & Company, most specifically.  Click here-deere to read the John Deere story in the 2017 edition.

As another example, taken from the 2018 edition, November 17 is the anniversary of Nancy Green’s birth in 1834.  Ms. Green was the original model and spokesperson for the Aunt Jemima brand of pancake mix.  So, the Marketing FAME story for November 17   summarizes Green’s role and contributions, and then articulates a couple of universal marketing lessons regarding convenience and sampling that stem from the story. Beyond these generally applicable take-aways, however,  the brand’s manager  might seize the opportunity to celebrate Green’s birthday and thus promote the heritage of the brand. Further, restaurants might promote the date with special Aunt Jemima recipes developed for the celebratory occasion. Or, more generally, organizations could celebrate the date by saluting Green as a successful and inspirational African-American woman. The marketing possibilities are endless, but they begin with knowledge of what birthdays, occasions or events fall on the specific date.

windowAlthough not every day represents the same mix of potential marketing opportunities for every organization, every day does represent one or more opportunities for some organizations whose marketers are willing to seize them. So, as you read Marketing FAME, think about how each day is unique and how each day’s stories might possibly link with your organization, or with its values, brands or customers.  An endless number of opportunities are waiting for you to discover them.

Regardless of whether you are a student, scholar or practicing marketer, if you would like to learn more about calendar-led marketing, calendar-led buyer behavior and calendars as marketing tools, read these reader-friendly articles by Dr. Martin:

reading2“Calendars:  Influential and widely used marketing planning tools,” Journal of Brand Strategy, 5(2), 2016, pp. 1-14.  Access the final page proofs for this article by clicking here… Calendars: Influential and Widely Used Marketing Planning Tools (Note to scholars:  As a courtesy to the original publisher, please cite the original source of this article, i.e., Journal of Brand Strategy).

reading2“How nature, culture and legal calendars influence the calendrical timing of consumer behavior,” Journal of Customer Behaviour, published in Volume 15, (#4, Winter), 2016.  Access the final “author copy” of this manuscript by clicking here… How Nature, Culture and Legal Calendars Influence the Calendrical Timing of Consumer Behaviour    (Note to scholars:  As a courtesy to the original publisher, please cite the original source of this article, i.e., Journal of Customer Behaviour).

reading2 “Calendar-led marketing:  Strategic synchronisation of timing,” The Marketing Review, 17(1), Spring 2017, pp. 73-86.   Access the final “author copy” of this manuscript by clicking here…  Calendar-Led Marketing-Strategic Synchronisation of Timing (Note to scholars:  As a courtesy to the original publisher, please cite the original source of this article, i.e., The Marketing Review.