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2017 Marketing Calendar + A Free Template to Get Started

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Anna Crowe
Anna Crowe SEJ STAFF
2017 Marketing Calendar + A Free Template to Get Started

The holiday season is officially behind us! Your holiday marketing is done for 2016, the holiday shopping discounts have passed, and you’re counting down the days until next year’s holiday fun fest.

Now that you know how to expertly pull together my favorite Google Analytics reports for the holidays, you could take your marketing one step further and perfect your holiday marketing calendar-planning skills. My marketing calendar (and free template!) gives you a handful of global and national honored holidays along with some other quirky holidays that might spark a little personality in your brand.

If you haven’t started planning for 2017 yet, now is the time to start, whether it’s the Facebook ads whisking your customers away to somewhere tropical during summertime, heading to Snapchat for an Oscar-winning filter for awards season, or just ramping up your evergreen content for daily brand happenings.

If used correctly, my marketing calendar can be amazingly entertaining — and drive ROI.

To help maximize your 2017 holiday marketing goals, I’ve also put together a list of every holiday in 2017 you’ll want to have on your radar. You already have the basics like evergreen content, so think about the stuff you “need” (want) that you might not have done in the past. From a Valentine’s Day Deal to an LBGTQ event, this article will give you the 2017 marketing calendar ho-ho-hook up.

4 Elements of an ROI-Driving Marketing Calendar

Of course, every marketer has their definition of what makes a marketing calendar great. That’s what makes every year so fun. For me, a great marketing calendar:

  1. Is a tool that drives sales
  2. Has a campaign you are proud to be a part of
  3. Champions its customers year-round
  4. Raises the bar for next year

One business I admire that surpasses all marketing efforts year-after-year is Whole Foods. Not only do they listen to their customers (they launched their rewards program to help reduce prices), but they offer personalized products year round (like these holiday chocolate bars perfect for my binge-watching of holiday movies).

Binge-watching w/ chocolate bars to rewards programs, @WholeFoods is an example of marketing done right.

3 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Themselves Before Building a Calendar

1. Is the holiday relevant to my brand?

Only choose holidays that will fulfill your end goal.

2. Can I focus on one holiday at a time?

You don’t want your customers to feel like you’re interrogating them. If you want quality engagement, you need to give consumers time.

3. Is there a theme relevant to my brand every month?

If you can choose a theme for every month, you can narrow down the holiday marketing you want your brand to participate in.

3 Marketing Calendar Templates

Before we get started, here are a few assets you ought to download:

Marketing Calendar for 2017 in Google Calendar

Sample Marketing Calendar in Google Sheets

sample marketing calendar

A list of all the holidays listed below in Google Sheets

holiday list 2017

Ahead, find 432-holiday marketing campaign examples to add to your next marketing. Because it just wouldn’t be the holidays without an animated gif email campaign from Kate Spade.

Holiday Marketing Dates 2017

January

While the holiday season may be officially over, there’s still reason to get excited. From a marketing perspective, January is the perfect time to capitalize on New Year’s resolutions. True to form, half of Americans will make New Year’s resolutions to change something about themselves, according to Nielsen. And, of that half, only 46% keep up their resolutions for 6 months.

Only 46% of Americans keep up their resolutions for 6 months. @Nielsen

So get your Fitbit ready and your negative thoughts-hoarding habits under control. Whether your consumers are aiming to be more mindful or not making any resolutions at all, January is the best time to communicate “better you” theme.

Monthly Observances

Weight Loss Awareness Month
National Blood Donor Month
National Thank You Month
Girl Scout Cookie Season Begins

Weekly Observances

January 1-7 – Diet Resolution Week
January 15-21 – Hunt For Happiness Week
January 16-20 – Sugar Awareness Week
January 23-27 – Clean Out Your Inbox Week
January 22-28 – National School Choice Week
January 29-February 4 – Meat Week

Days

January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 4 – Trivia Day
January 8 – Golden Globes
January 11 – National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
January 13 – Friday the 13th
January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 19 – Get to Know Your Customers Day
January 20 – Penguin Awareness Day
January 21 – National Hugging Day
January 24 – Compliment Day
January 24 – National Peanut Butter Day
January 28 – Chinese New Year
January 29 – SAG Awards

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

Kate Spade New Year

everlane new year day

world penguin day

February

I’m sure you don’t need a reminder, but February is the month of love and football. Between Valentine’s Day and the Superbowl, every marketer has their hands full blending cold beer and chocolate hearts. Bottomline: You know February is short, but it is jam-packed with some of the best holidays all year. No, I’m not talking about the Oscars or the Superbowl. Ahead, I’ve got a whopping 21 events to pack into a mere 28 days.

Monthly Observances

Black History Month
American Heart Month
National Heart Month
National Weddings Month

Weekly Observances

February 9 – February 17 – Fashion Week
February 12 – 18 – Condom Week
February 12-18 – Freelance Writers Appreciation Week
February 12-18 – Random Acts of Kindness Week
February 14-20 – International Flirting Week
February 19 – 25 Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Days

February 2 – Groundhog Day
February 3 – Wear Red Day
February 5 – World Nutella Day
February 5 – Superbowl Sunday
February 12 – Grammy’s
February 12 – Lincoln’s Birthday
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
February 15 – Single’s Awareness Day
February 17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day
February 20 – President’s Day
February 22 – Washington’s Birthday
February 22 – Walk Your Dog Day
February 26 – Academy Awards
February 28 – Mardi Gras
February 29 – Leap Day (jk! The next leap year is in 2020.)

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

groundhog day birchbox

jcrew valentines day email

love valentine's day

valentines day marketing

nike black history month collection

March

With March officially upon us (and the promise of spring on the horizon), you really need to make a conscious effort to step up your giving back game. Below are four weeks of holiday inspiration that caters to every brand, personality, and food cravings.

Monthly Observances

National Women’s History Month
National Nutrition Month
National Peanut Month
National Music in Our Schools Month
American Red Cross Month
March for Meals
The Great American Cleanup

Weekly Observances

March 12-18 – Girl Scout Week
March 6 – 13 – National Sleep Awareness Week
March 14 – 20 – Brain Awareness Week
March 26 – April 1 – National Cleaning Week

Days

March 1 – Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
March 1 – Ash Wednesday
March 2 – National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day)
March 3 – Employee Appreciation Day
March 3 – World Wildlife day
March 8 – International Women’s Day
March 11 – World Day of Muslim Culture, Peace, Dialogue, and Film
March 14 – National Pi Day
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
March 17 – World Sleep Day
March 20 – First Day of Spring
March 22 – World Water Day
March 23 – National Puppy Day
March 26 – Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

April

They say April showers bring May flowers, but I think this month is as good a time as any to let your marketing campaigns fully bloom. The days of excessive celebrity awards are behind us, and now it’s time to make April a breeze. The NFL draft, Earth Day, and Tax Day are all screaming for your attention. Here is what you need to know.

Monthly Observances

Earth Month
National Volunteer Month
National Autism Awareness Month
Keep America Beautiful Month
National Garden Month
Stress Awareness Month

Weekly Observances

April 3-9 Masters Week
April 10-16 – National Volunteer Week
April 16-22- Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week
April 23-29 – Every Kid Healthy WeekAdministrative Professionals Week
April 23-29 – Every Kid Healthy Week
April 23-29 – National Princess Week

Days

April 1 – April Fools Day
April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day
April 2 – National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
April 2 – Baseball Opening Day
April 7 – World Health Day
April 7 – National Beer Day
April 11 – National Pet Day
April 12 – National Grilled Cheese Day
April 14 – Good Friday
April 14 – Coachella Music Festival Begins
April 15 – Tax Day
April 15 – National Titanic Remembrance Day
April 16 – Easter
April 22 – Earth Day
April 28 – National Superhero Day
April 30 – National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

anthropologies april email

easter jcrew email marketing

May

It’s officially getting warmer, and all the flowers that started to bud are now in bloom. And, it’s the month of the daffodil flower which symbolizes spring, rebirth, and vanity. It’s also the month of BBQ, hamburgers, and salsa (or all three?!). But, let’s make one thing clear: Marketers all know this month is about those motherly figures who made us.

Monthly Observances

ALS Awareness
Asthma Awareness
National Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Clean Air Month
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
National Barbecue Month
National Bike Month

Weekly Observances

Food Allergy Awareness Week (second full week of May)
April 30 – May 4 – National Tourism Week
April 30 – May 4 – Drinking Water Week
April 30 – May 4 – National Pet Week
April 30 – May 4 – Teacher Appreciation Week

Days

May 1 – May Day
May 4 – Star Wars Day
May 5 – Cinco De Mayo
May 11 – SEJ Summit
May 7 – Kentucky Derby
May 8 – World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
May 9 – National Teacher Appreciation Day
May 10 – National Receptionists Day
May 13 – World Fair Trade Day
May 14 – Mother’s Day
May 19 – National Bike to Work Day
May 19 – NASCAR Day
May 25 – Geek Pride Day
May 29 – Memorial Day

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

staples teacher appreciation

loft email marketing

jcrew email marketing may

June

Too tired? Overworked? Forget it — June has a way of sparking summer lovin’ that tempt even the most devout couch potatoes out of the house. Promise. June has truly outdone itself. The LGBTQ community is going to parade with pride, and the Stanley Cup Finals (Go Tampa Bay Lightning!) will be keeping us on the edge of our seats. Oh, and donut lovers: I’ve got you covered. Start filling up the iCal!

Monthly Observances

Men’s Health Month
National Safety Month
Acne Awareness Month
LGBTQ Pride Month
National Adopt a Cat Month

Weekly Observances

June 4 – 10 – Pet Appreciation Week
June 12 – 18 – Men’s Health Week

Days

June 2 – National Donut Day
June 5 – World Environment Day
June 8 – World Oceans Day
June 8 – National Best Friends Day
June 18 – Father’s Day
June 21 – First Day of Summer / Summer Solstice
June 21 – National Selfie Day
June 24 – National Take Your Dog to Work Day
June 30 – Social Media Day
Stanley Cup Finals
NBA Finals

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

father's day email blast

July

As July rolls around, most brands are already prepped for the back-to-school month. But, for people who want to make sure summer never dies (like me!🙋) — our secrets for mid-summer marketing are as follows: red, white, and blue, and ice cream.

Our secrets for mid-summer dressing are as follows: light fabrics, cuts that allow for peeks of skin, and loose, flowing silhouettes. Nailing this trifecta (among a few other suggestions) is the closest you can get to being naked. All you have to do is slip on some slides, grab a basket bag, and find the nearest beach or pool — and, of course, look to the 31 outfits ahead (one for every day of the month) for how to make it through July without looking like a sweaty mess.

Monthly Observances

Ice Cream Month
National Grilling Month
National Picnic Month
National Independent Retailer Month

Weekly Observances
July 16 – 22 – Independent Retailers Week
July 28 – 30 – World Lumberjack Championships

Days

July 1 – National Postal Worker Day
July 4 – Independence day
July 5 – National Bikini Day
July 11 – National 7-Elevan Day
July 13 – Rock Worldwide Day
July 16 – National Ice Cream Day
July 17 – World Emoji Day
July 18 – World Hepatitis Day
July 20 – National Moon Day
July 21 – #NoMakeUp Day
July 24 – Parent’s Day
July 30 – International Day of Friendship

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

brit-co-fourth-july

j.crew 4th of july

August

If there’s any month most dedicated to family, it’s August. While it may be the last month of summer, it’s still one of the hottest months of the year so sporting a new bathing suit is still appropriate. August offers something for everyone. For golf lovers, I have the PGA Championship tournament, which will be jam-packed with golf superstars like Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Bubba Watson. Beer drinkers will revel in a slew of craft beers, while parents will prep their kiddos for the first day of school.

Monthly Observances

Back to School Month
National Golf Month
National Breastfeeding Month
Family Fun Month

Weekly Observances

August 6-12 – National Farmers’ Market Week
August 7-13 – PGA Championship Tournament
August 13-19 – National Motorcycle Week
August 13-19 – Feeding Pets of the Homeless Week

Days

August 1 – National Girlfriends Day
August 4 – International Beer Day – First Friday in August
August 6 – American Family Day – First Sunday in August
August 7 – International Friendship Day
August 8 – International Cat Day #InternationalCatDay
August 13 – Left Hander’s Day
August 19 – World Humanitarian Day
August 21 – Senior Citizen’s Day
August 26 – Women’s Equality Day
August 26 – National Dog Day

Examples of holiday marketing for brands
birchbox email campaign

September

When the calendar flips over to September, I tend to grieve over all the summer-y things I have to say goodbye to. As I’m mourning my return from vacation and the Instagram-worthy photos, others must say farewell to summer Fridays and summer cocktail Snaps. But don’t fret! I’ve rounded up a few exciting marketing happenings you’ll want to mark down. From finding your chi to my love of bacon, I guarantee your calendar won’t be bored.

Monthly Observances

Wilderness Month
National Preparedness Month
National Food Safety Education Month
Fruit and Veggies—More Matters Month
National Yoga Awareness Month
Whole Grains Month

Weekly Observances

September 5 – 11 – National Suicide Prevention Week
September 17 – 23 – Pollution Prevention Week
September 17 – 23 – National Indoor Plant Week
September 24 – 30 – National Dog Week

Days

September 4 – Labor Day
September 5 – International Bacon Day
September 11 – Patriot’s Day
September 11 – 9/11
September 12 – National Video Games Day
September 13 – National Celiac Disease Awareness Day
September 15 – Greenpeace Day
September 16 – Oktoberfest Begins
September 16 – Boys’ and Girls’ Club Day for Kids
September 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate
September 21 – International Day of Peace
September 22 – First Day of Fall
September 26 – National Voter Registration Day
September 27 – World Tourism Day
September 29 – Coffee Day
September 29 – World Heart Day

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

bononos oktoberfest

fall email marketing

October

The day after Halloween for me is usually all about recovering from eating way too many Reese’s and then figuring out what to do with all the leftovers. (Ahem, remember the candy exchange?). And for Starbucks fans, November 1 is a holiday all on its own because it ushers in the official holiday drinks.

Monthly Observances

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Bully Prevention Month
Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Financial Planning Month

Weekly Observances

October 1 – 7 – Great Books Week
October 1 – 7 – National Work From Home Week
October 15 – 21 – Mediation Week
October 15 – 21 – National Business Women’s Week
October 22-28 – National Red Ribbon Week

Days

October 1 – World Vegan Day
October 3-4 Rosh Hashanah
October 3 – National Techies Day
October 4 – National Taco Day
October 5 – World Teacher’s Day
October 9 – Columbus Day
October 10 – World Mental Health Day
October 11 – Yom Kippur
October 16 – World Food Day
October 17 – Boss’s Day
October 24 – United Nations Day
October 27 – Make a Difference Day
October 31 – Halloween

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

birchbox halloween

lands end email marketing

November

It’s Thanksgiving time. It’s Cyber Monday time. It’s time-to-start-stocking-up-on-the-newest-trends time. November will be here again before you know it, whether you believe it or not, and that means the holiday season is here. For the next two months, sales, discounts, and coupons are here— free shipping is now unavoidable, user-generated photos of an influencer holding a coffee cup looking down at their shoes are an everyday must, and a handlebar mustache is always necessary. And while it may seem like a challenge to spend so much time coming up with new marketing ideas that are just going to double last year’s, there’s so much more to marketing this month than spiced pumpkin lattes.

Monthly Observances

Movember
National Healthy Skin Month
Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month
National Adoption Month
Military Family Appreciation Month
National Gratitude Month

Weekly Observances
November 12 – 18 – World Kindness Week
November 13 – 17 – American Education Week

Days

November 2 – Day of the Dead
November 3 – Sandwich Day
November 5 – Daylight Savings Time Ends
November 6 – Daylight Savings
November 11 – Veterans Day
November 13 – World Kindness Day
November 14 – World Diabetes Day
November 15 – America Recycles Day
November 23 – Thanksgiving
November 24 – Black Friday
November 25 – Small Business Saturday
November 27 – Cyber Monday
November 28 – Giving Tuesday

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

 

thanksgiving email The Body Shop

happy friendsgiving banana republic

black friday

cyber monday

December

I’ll be honest: I spend most of my holiday marketing calendar time prepping for this month. You know, when the final day of shipping should be, what family recipe can I tie back into my blog, what gift to send to our loyalty program members. December may lack communication and revenue for B2B businesses, but for some of my die hard holiday marketing e-commerce clients, it’s their favorite time of year. Now bring us some figgy pudding!

Monthly Observances

AIDS Awareness Month
National Human Rights Month
Operation Santa Paws

Weekly Observances

December 26 – January 1 – Kwanzaa
December 12 – 20 – Chanukah

Days

December 1 – World Aids Day
December 1 – Rosa Parks Day
December 4 – Cookie Day
December 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
December 10 – Nobel Prize Day
December 15 – National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
December 16 – Free Shipping Day
December 21 – First Day of Winter / Winter Solstice
December 23 – Festivus
December 24 – Christmas Eve
December 25 – Christmas
December 28 – Boxing Day (Canada)
December 30 – Bacon Day

Examples of holiday marketing for brands

Pajama-Collection
brit+co holiday email

bhldn holiday marketing

Time to Celebrate!

February 2017 marks my first full year I’ve been working at SEJ, and I still feel like I’m just getting started. As I transition to other marketing channels within SEJ, I aspire to build something that stands the test of time in 2017 using this marketing calendar above. Sure, the 5- or 10-year plan matters to me, but creating something unforgettable matters more. It’s time to focus on the now.

This is why before I go down holiday lane, I consider the following:

  • How do we define success?
  • What values are essential to getting us there by 2018?
  • How can I structure my marketing calendar so that I don’t ever have to compromise on our values?
  • Will I be happy with my campaigns 10, 20, 30 years from now?

I’m honored to work at SEJ every day, with talented people who push me to be my best. This is what I strive for every day.

What are some of your favorite holiday marketing campaigns? Are there any new holidays that we should consider? Tweet us at @sejournal or @annaleacrowe to share your thoughts!

Pinterest Graphic: 2017 Marketing Calendar + A Free Template to Get You Started

Image Credits

Featured Image: deposit photosTsyhanova

In-Post Photo #1: deposit photos / icore

All screenshots taken by author. Taken December 2016.

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Anna Crowe

Anna Crowe

Features Writer at Hello Anna & Co.

Anna is the Features Writer for Search Engine Journal and an SEO-whisperer at Hello Anna & Co. Over the last ... [Read full bio]

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