Have you set up your 2012 chiropractic marketing calendar yet?

I know it’s already 2 weeks into the year, but if your holiday season is anything like mine, it takes the first week or two in 2012 to actually relax and catch up from the end of the previous year.

One of the things you must do is write down all your plans and goals on a yearly calendar.You can not just wait until you need new patients, and then figure out what to do. This is reactive marketing and you want to be proactive this year.

For years, I used a monthly calendar on the wall that my staff and I could write marketing events down and see what was coming up.

But the furthest you can see on these types of calendars is only 30 days at a time. What we need is a “year at a glance” type of calendar.

Well thankfully this year I found the NeuYear Calendar, which is a complete year at a glance. This will hang great on the wall or back of my door.

I recommend you grab one too, and start planning your monthly marketing events, promotions, ads, etc.

Here’s some benefits listed on their site, which led me to buy one immediately:

  • It’s big, coming in at 27″ x 39″ this means you can see the whole year at once. “You no longer have to page through a traditional calendar (or on your small computer screen), to see the whole year. You can layout your goals for the year, set future deadlines, and clearly see the passing of time. Also, it has bigger squares so you can write more.”
  • No space between months. “The week is the currency we think in, so this calendar focuses on presenting 52 weeks, rather than 12 months.”
  • Brilliant aesthetics. In Making Ideas Happen, author Scott Belsky says “the design of your productivity tools will affect how eager you are to use them; attraction often breeds commitment.”
  • 2 calendars in 1! It has a horizontal orientation that fits perfectly above your desk, or you can flip it over for a vertical orientation that fits perfectly on your door.

Now that I shown you which calendar I think is best, what do you do with it?

Call a staff meeting one day during lunch. Start by explaining your mission for your practice and the goals you have for this year.

Then begin brainstorming with your staff about the different types of marketing ideas they have. Make sure to give them room and freedom to talk. Even if they have a bunch of bad ideas, just write them down. You never know when they’ll say something you’ve never thought of.

My staff would often come up with many successful in-office marketing procedures from the past that I had totally forgotten about.

Once you have written down, everything you can think of, start prioritizing your list. Put a “1” by the most effective, “2” be second most effective, and so on.

Side note: Do not base effectiveness on what feels like it did the best last year. Feelings do not turn into dollars. Measure effectiveness based on your return on investment numbers you recorded for all marketing last year. And if you didn’t keep good records, go back and see if you can figure it up now. Remember, ROI equals the amount you brought in from a given marketing campaign divided by the money spent on it.

You might want to throw in something new for 2012 that you haven’t tried before. A few suggestions would be:

Then begin writing on your calendar all the 1’s, 2’s, etc. spread out somewhat evenly throughout the year. So you don’t want all your ads to come out in March and have the rest of the year empty.

If you wanted to do it according to budget, you should write the amount to spend beside each campaign to. For example, on February 20th you might write “Run Neuropathy Ad for $1000 or less”. (To see how to save money on running your monthly newspaper ads, watch this free webinar.)

If a month get’s too busy, slide things forward into the next month. You should be marketing every month of the year, no exceptions.

Now you have a marketing calendar set up. Try to stick to it as much as possible. You may need to edit and change things throughout the year. That’s fine, but make sure you take a look at the big picture before making rash decisions.

Do you have any other good ideas on planning your marketing calendar? Let us know in the comments below.