We finally got through 2020 – from now on, It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named – and Q1 is just around the corner. It’s time for you to start scribbling down your New Year’s Resolutions to make sure we start the year off fine. If you’ve found your way here, we’re guessing that’s because “Crush Marketing in 2021” is probably one of yours.
To help with that, we decided to recap all relevant dates for 2021 in one blog post to help you strategize for the year ahead. Read on and find out which dates you should include into your marketing strategy and get our free 2021 Marketing Calendar.
Why is it important to have a Marketing Calendar for 2021?
Most people think that the implementation of a marketing strategy is the longest part of the process, when it is actually one of the easier steps at the end of the process.
The real work comes before, when you’re setting goals and establishing priorities.The earlier you start planning through every step of the strategy, the less problems you’ll run into down the line.
This year has shown us that unpredictable circumstances require brands to be able to adapt their communication strategies to engage with their target audience.
In order to do that in the best way possible, let’s make sure you’re preparing your marketing strategy for success:
Preparing your marketing strategy
Before you start, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want to achieve and how can you get there?
- What are your USPs? Why should people buy your products or services?
- What sales promotions can you offer (special deals, freebies, discounts…)?
- What distribution channels are best to achieve your goals?
Keep in mind that a year has so many special dates, holidays, and marketing moments – planning is a must in business and in life!
It is important to decide which promotions (like special deals or key product sales) you want to focus on, and your decision should be based on the goals you established for yourself when you planned your marketing strategy. Focusing on the wrong promotional strategy can easily ruin your KPIs, and nobody wants that!
When thinking about your holiday or special day marketing campaigns, remember to plan out your promotion in different stages:
- Before the actual date: Let your customers know about what’s coming ahead of time and how they can benefit.
- During the day itself: Make your big sales push via email and leverage any social media buzz.
- After the main event: Don’t forget to follow up with those that converted to obtain their feedback on the process or offer additional products or services.
Finding the right marketing channels
Once you have decided what the right marketing strategy is and what kind of sales promotions you’re going to offer, you’ll need to focus on getting your marketing messages to your audience.
For marketing promotions around special dates, like the ones we’ve added on our Marketing Calendar, the best strategy is to go omnichannel. Marketing campaigns around these dates that combine different channels (for example, in-store, online, social media or email marketing) allow you to engage with your audience in a different way and also provide many upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
There is a range of channels for you to leverage, but that doesn’t mean you should try to use them all just to tick those boxes. While something like TikTok might be a bit of a stretch if you’re trying to sell dental implants, there are a few must-haves that will apply to most businesses.
One of those channels is email (yeah, you probably guessed that…). Email continues to be the best marketing channel for ROI, as it allows you to personalize, segment, and optimize your email campaigns with detailed stats. Another big plus is that your marketing messages will stay in your contacts’ inbox for them to use that promo code or find your store’s address when the time comes.
To plan and schedule your email campaigns right on time, let’s have a closer look at 2021 dates to keep in mind.
Marketing Calendar for 2021
You already know January is all about New Year’s resolutions, goal setting, and mourning the loss of the bright holiday season.
Start off by wishing your users a Happy New Year, and use this month to offer special deals on products or services that might come in handy when they start working on those New Year’s resolutions.
Other special dates in January include the Chinese New Year and Blue Monday, so think about what you can do to make your users’ days a bit warmer!
Dates you shouldn’t miss in January:
- January 1: New Year’s Day
- January 8: Winter Sales (European countries)
- January 18: Blue Monday
- January 28: Data Protection Day
The excitement of the new year might be gone, but that doesn’t mean February doesn’t have some special marketing dates in store for you!
In fact, February has two of the biggest marketing moments of the year: Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl.
According to the National Retail Federation , US Valentine’s Day gift-givers spent a record-breaking $27.4 billion in 2020, and consumers were predicted to spend around $17.2 billion on food, decorations and team apparel forSuper Bowl 2020, with each person spending an average of $88.65.
Looking at these figures, February is definitely a month to keep in mind when it comes to creating marketing campaigns.
Other special dates in February include Groundhog Day, always fun on social media, and Mardi Gras.
Dates you shouldn’t miss in February:
- February 1: LGBT History Month
- February 1: Black History Month (US)
- February 7: Super Bowl
- February 2: Groundhog Day
- February 12: Chinese New Year
- February 14: Valentine’s Day
- February 16: Mardi Gras
March is all about women… and green.
We’re moving away from all the muscle power of the Super Bowl and onto a different kind of power this month: the power of women. March is all about the movement of women’s rights, and International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th.
So use this opportunity to show a bit of your corporate side and share stories from the women in your company and how you support equality in the workplace.
Other special dates in March in our Marketing Calendar 2021 include World Wildlife Day, National Pi Day, Mother’s Day in the UK and a fan-favorite… St. Patrick’s Day!
Dates you shouldn’t miss in March:
- March 3: World Wildlife Day
- March 8: International Women’s Day
- March 14: National Pi Day
- March 14: Mother’s Day (UK)
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
With Easter starting in April this year, you can look forward to longer and warmer days for your easter egg hunts!
For some, Easter is all about tradition, be it religious or not. For others, it’s more about the chocolate rabbits and egg hunts. So why not hide an Easter Egg in your marketing campaigns to increase engagement this April?
Other special dates in April include Earth Day and April Fools’ Day, so maybe a great excuse to have some fun with your email marketing campaigns?
Dates you shouldn’t miss in April:
- April 1: April Fools Day
- April 2: Easter Friday
- April 4: Easter Sunday
- April 5: Easter Monday
- April 12: Start of Ramadan
- April 22: Earth Day
There are a few important dates in May, but is there any more important than Star Wars Day? Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying that this is a BIG date on social media, so make sure you leverage it!
Many countries also celebrate Mother’s Day in May. This is a time for many to show appreciation towards their mother(s) and mother figures.
This day (and of course the other 364 days in the year) is perfect to lavish mothers with lots of love, flowers, and chocolate. So remember to think about moms everywhere when you plan your special offers and promotions.
Other special dates in May in our Marketing Calendar for 2021 include May Day or Labor Day in many countries, and the start of Roland-Garros for tennis lovers.
Dates you shouldn’t miss in May:
- May 1: May Day
- May 4: Star Wars Day
- May 9: Mother’s Day (US)
- May 17: Roland-Garros
It’s getting warmer and warmer outside, and that means it’s time for summer fun.
For many companies, the summer means a slump in sales. Instead of (online) shopping, events like vacations and other outdoor activities are in people’s minds. So, don’t be surprised if your marketing performance starts to decline rather than grow during the next few weeks.
Does this mean you should interrupt your email marketing campaigns? Absolutely not!
In fact, the summer might be the best time of year to stand out from your competitors and get in touch with your contacts. Make sure you start working on adjusting your email marketing strategy for the next couple of months.
June is also Pride Month and Father’s Day in many countries. This year, it will also be big on the sporting side, with the postponed Euros 2020 adding on to the usual Tour de France.
Dates you shouldn’t miss in June:
- June 1: Pride Month
- June 11: Euro 2020 Starts
- June 20: Father’s Day
- June 21: World Music Day
- June 27: Tour de France
The holiday season is finally here! And even though we warned you to plan ahead in June, you might be finding it quite challenging to keep your users engaged during the summer.
Unfortunately, last year’s Euros 2020 and Summer Olympics couldn’t take place, but 2021 is giving us another possibility to experience both to their fullest. The postponed 2020 Olympics will take place between July 23 and August 8 and everyone will be watching, so take advantage of the hype with some fun sports-themed messaging!
Other special dates in July our marketing calendar 2021 include the Summer Sales period in some European countries, and Emoji Day!
Dates you shouldn’t miss in July:
- July 1: Canada Day
- July 4: US Independence
- July 14: Bastille Day – French National Holiday
- July 17: Emoji Day
- July 23: Olympics Opening Ceremony
August is generally a slow month in many countries. The summer is in full swing, but as the weeks pass, more and more people start coming home from their vacation. So it’s the perfect time to target them with any offers or promotions they might’ve missed.
How do you do this effectively, you ask? Well, with email segmentation, of course!
With email segmentation, you can filter contacts based on their past behavior (for example, anyone that hasn’t opened an email since a certain date) and resend them any special summer offers they might have missed.
Dates you shouldn’t miss in August:
- August 6: International Beer Day
- August 8: Olympics Closing Ceremony
- August 19: World Photography Day
September is here and it’s back-to-school season… and not just for kids!
In fact, September sometimes feels like a second January. Some might hate it, some might love it, but we all feel it. New goals, new projects, and new marketing opportunities. Children (and adults!) can’t wait to buy new school bags, pens, pencils and planners for the new school year.
Keep that in mind and plan some marketing campaigns to re-engage your customers after the summer with incentives like special promotions, sweepstakes, and exclusive offers.
And don’t forget to target people who left goods and services in their online cart. 😉
Dates you shouldn’t miss in September:
- September 1: Back to School
- September 6: Labor Day (US)
- September 18: Oktoberfest
- September 21: International Day of Peace
The scariest month of the year has finally arrived!
Autumn is officially here, and so is Halloween! This means that, offline as well as online, monsters and other creatures could be just around the corner, waiting to scare people.
For marketers, October marks the start of Q4 and the holiday season, a huge period for brands everywhere. With big dates coming up, it is the time to start planning what your holiday strategy will look like, and it is also the moment to let your creative juices flow and start getting festive.
>Dates you shouldn’t miss in October:
- October 1: Black History Month (UK)
- October: Columbus Day
- October 10: World Mental Health Day
- October 31: Halloween
November is the strongest time of the year for B2C sales, and it’s the official month for buying our holiday gifts. Immediately after Thanksgiving come dates like Black Friday, Black Week, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, so it’s time to kick it into high gear.
In other words: You should definitely have these dates marked in red on your 2021 marketing calendar so you can send special promotions and offers.
We know you won’t forget, but just in case, we’ve already marked them for you on our downloadable Marketing Calendar for 2021.
Dates you shouldn’t miss in November:
- November 4: Diwali
- November 25: Thanksgiving
- November 26: Black Friday
- November 27: Small Business Saturday
- November 28: Hannukah
- November 29: Cyber Monday
The best comes last: It’s finally Christmas!
It’s cold outside, the streets are covered with snow, and there’s festive decorations and lights everywhere! While some prefer to go outside, those that stay in might do a lot of online shopping for those last-minute Christmas presents. This is your chance to give Q4 a final push with special holiday campaigns and offers!
But December is not just about selling – it’s also about joining in on the festive atmosphere and thanking your contacts for spending the year with you.
You can get creative and run a little Christmas competition on social media (Best Christmas Tree or Craziest Holiday Decorations) where your customers can win coupons or goodies, or film your team singing Christmas Carols for an original Merry Christmas campaign.
As you can see, it doesn’t get more creative than December to end the year successfully.
Dates you shouldn’t miss in December:
- December 24: Christmas Eve
- December 25: Christmas Day
- December 26: Boxing Day (UK)
- December 31: New Year’s Eve
Download the 2021 Marketing Calendar
We’ve saved the dates you can’t forget and given you all the resources you need to make 2021 your best marketing year yet. Now, it’s up to you to work on your campaigns and increase engagement with your offers, promotions, or competitions.