Marketing promotional schedules help to outline the specifics of every marketing initiative your small busienss will take part in for the year to come. Promotional schedules help keep everyone on the same page and eliminate missed deadlines or forgotten ideas. The process of writing a marketing promotion schedule involves the precise planning of what will be undertaken, how and when.

Create a marketing plan that outlines the details of your small business promotions. List the names of each promotion, the product or services being promoted, the types of initiatives planned for each and the budget dedicated to each element and the plan as a whole. Your plan may also include research into past sales results, marketing return on investment and market analysis regarding the types of customers you are targeting and the projected results of your plan.

Create a spreadsheet that lists your planned marketing initiatives for the upcoming year. In theory, you can write your marketing promotion schedule any way you like, but a spreadsheet can keep things organized and eliminate confusion throughout the process. Create separate columns for the name of the initiative, the expected start date, expected end date, the cost of the initiative, any partners with whom you are working on a particular initiative and the schedule of dates as they relate to the creation of the marketing materials associated with the initiative.

Meet with your creative team or marketing personnel to review the deadlines for each marketing initiative. Plan the creation of all marketing materials and set dates for promotional emails, trade shows, advertisements and any other initiatives you have decided to run.

Meet with your marketing partners and suppliers to review the marketing plans for the year to come. Solicit input and work through the proposed launch dates so everyone who is mentioned or who is taking part in the funding of your initiatives is on board. If sign-off is required for logos or other branded materials obtain it.

Distribute copies of the detailed marketing schedule to all concerned parties from your own marketing people, to the printer who you'll be working with, to your marketing partners. Follow up at least one week before the approach of each deadline to ensure all is going according to plan and mark each initiative as completed after launch.


Take careful inventory of your return on investment for every initiative launched. It's not only important to know what was successful and what wasn't but also how successful each element of the plan was and how to make it work even better next time around. Small businesses often don't have the same ability to rebound from mistakes that large businesses do, and immediate adjustments to failed tactics are one way to avoid digging the hole too deep.


Excluding marketing partners from the process can result in branding and copyright issues later on. If you are using logos or brand names in your advertising, you must always include their owners in the promotional process.