One challenge of being a smaller or independent business is trying to compete with larger enterprises who have access to extensive budgets dedicated to marketing. However, spending more doesn’t always equal success.
Being strategic with your budget and setting clear objectives can be game changing in bidding for the attention of potential customers. One way to be more strategic with your budget is to choose when you do your marketing. This is where a marketing calendar can be invaluable, especially if you already know your customer base and the events or holidays they’re likely to participate in.
Setting yourself up with a marketing calendar for 2024 is an easy and useful way to see which events, seasons or holidays your business can capitalise on. Marketing calendars can assist in planning out relevant dates for you to base activity around, making sure you don’t miss out on key opportunities because you didn’t spot them until it was too late.
Key calendar dates in 2024
To help you get started we’ve rounded up a list of key dates to keep in mind. So without further ado, here is our 2024 marketing calendar for the UK:
January 1st, New Year’s Day - A key date for new year’s resolutions and the start of a roster of month-long ambitions with the likes of Dry January, Veganuary and Ginuary. Allow Brits typically keep a tighter eye on their pounds during January, it’s a great month for building brand awareness for later in the year.
January 15th, Blue Monday - An entirely made-up day, it’s supposedly when people are most sad in the midst of January. It may have been invented for marketing calendars, but this doesn’t mean you can’t find a promotional use for it.
January 27th, Chocolate Cake Day - If you run a restaurant or cafe, try having some fun with this one. Try running offers on your chocolate delicacies to tempt punters through the door, as both the end of January and payday near.
February 9th/10th, Chinese New Year - Also known as the Lunar New Year, the vibrant festivities mark the official start of the new lunar calendar, symbolising opening the door to a new year and wiping the slate clean.
February 14th, Valentine’s Day - A bumper day for small hospitality businesses, so make sure you’ve planned ahead and set yourself up for romance-filled bookings.
March 7th, World Book Day - A big day for schools and parents when it comes to making, buying and thrifting costumes. However, it’s also an opportune moment for bookshops to grab the attention of prospective customers with offers and promotions.
March 29th-April 1st, Easter - A time for egg hunts, gatherings and feasts, this is when Easter takes place in 2024.
April 1st, April Fool’s Day - As well as Easter Monday, this is also a day for marketing mischief and pranks, only up until midday of course.
May 1st, May Day Bank Holiday - We’re well and truly into the bank holiday season now, so whether you’re closed or expecting to be busier than usual, be sure to note them all down.
May 27th, Spring Bank Holiday - Yes, another one! It’s also warming up now so if you run a business like a pop-up food stall, this is a great time to start pushing any marketing campaigns and promotions, ahead of summer.
June 14th - July 14th, UEFA Euro 2024 - Whether you like it or lump it, the whole country will be talking about the footy. For pubs, this is the prime time to set up and take bookings. Get your food and drink deals nailed, ready for those looking to watch the match from the comfort of their local.
July 7th, World Chocolate Day - Maybe you sell or serve chocolate and can run special deals or maybe you could just give out chocolates to customers, there’s plenty of fun to be had with this special day.
July 26th - August 11th, Paris Olympics - The football might have only just finished but it’s a bumper summer for sports with the Olympics starting and Team GB on everyone’s minds.
August 26th, Summer Bank Holiday - The last bank holiday until Christmas.
Early September, Back to School - The actual dates will vary by region but anyone selling uniforms, stationery, etc is likely to have plenty of business around this time of year.
September 27th, World’s Biggest Coffee Morning - Another marketing opportunity to get people into your business, especially if you serve coffee.
October 3rd, Buy British Day - A crucial day for producers and retailers of locally sourced products.
October 31st, Halloween - It doesn’t matter what you sell, there’s fun to be had when it comes to Halloween.
November 1st, World Vegan Day - If you serve vegan products, this is the day to showcase them. If you don’t typically serve vegan options, this could be a great opportunity to create limited edition dishes and try some new recipes for the first time.
November 5th, Bonfire Night - A date to remember, remember, remember.
November 10th/11th, Remembrance Sunday/Remembrance Day - Being strategic with your marketing also means being considerate and tactful of how your campaigns will be perceived, and whether it makes sense for your brand. Remembrance weekend is a great example of a date to be aware of and to think carefully about how to approach your marketing if you do choose to do any.
November 29th, Black Friday - Whether you run Black Friday campaigns or anti-Black Friday campaigns, there’s marketing potential around this period of shopping frenzy.
December 2nd, Cyber Monday - The eCommerce follow-up to Black Friday.
December 25th, Christmas Day - An obvious but nevertheless important date, especially for businesses in retail and hospitality!
December 31st, New Year’s Eve - Another major evening in the world of hospitality as well as time to start working on your 2025 Marketing Calendar.
Of course there’s also sector-specific dates that you might want to add to your own marketing calendar. For example, 1st October is National Hair Day so if you own a beauty salon or hairdressers, the run up to this date could be a prime moment to push out discounts via email.