If you ever wondered how to create a simple marketing plan for child care centers, this is the place where you will learn how to do it.
I want to give you the plan that we use with a lot of child care centers and it is the one that I think could help you internally as well if you shared it across your team to keep them organized.

Focus on the month ahead

The first thing you need to know is that we will only plan a month ahead. I’m not suggesting you go and spend two weeks doing your planning and try and plan 12 months ahead. I really only want you planning a month ahead because candidly in working with child care centers, I realize that things are changing. One week is slow, the other one is great. We need to change things a little bit as we go.

Choose dates

So with you focusing on one month ahead, you will want to think about the dates as well. The first column you want to have in your plan is a column with dates. Let’s just say that you’re starting in January, you’re going to list out all the different dates that you plan on executing some kind of promotion that will drive results. So we need a plan that’s going to drive X amount of parents who show interest in your credit union, so that you get X amount of calls, that turn into X amount of applications that turn into X amount of children enrolled and these numbers vary across all the different child care centers that we’ve worked with but this is the thought process I want you to adopt. That’s the top level.

Which tactics will you deploy?

Next thing, you need to list out all the different tactics that you’re going to use to get those parents on board. For example, are you going to use email marketing, search engine optimization, Google AdWords, Facebook ads, social media, maybe radio? Whatever you’re doing, we want to list out all those tactics that you want to use next to the dates when you’re planning on doing that.
Now, one of the most important part to make sure that everything is going according to the plan is to think who is that one person who is responsible for executing each of these tactics. That’s your next column. Whether it’s your agency, yourself, someone on your team; you need to know who that one person is who is directly responsible to execute that tactic. One person, there’s one person that has their finger that can push that button.

What is the theme?

The fourth column is the theme. What are you promoting? Are you trying to get more children enrolled in your child care center? Are you running a new offer that is targeted to a specific audience? Maybe your top priority for this month is just to get the word out about your child care center? Whatever it is, it doesn’t make sense just to list a bunch of tactics; you need to understand what your focus is here.

How much money do you want to invest?

Next column is very important. What are you putting behind those tactics? How much money are you investing in Google AdWords and how much money are you investing in other tactics? List the different financial resources per each tactic. This is simply a math equation. As long as the money that you’re investing is producing a positive return on investment, you do that all day long. All day every day and you push your agency to continue to improve it. But there’s no reason you should ever stop it if it’s giving you the desired results. All you need to answer is: how much are you willing to invest to fill in that empty spot?

Notes and grades

Last two columns are for notes and grade. You need to keep notes so you’re going to list what happened: you sent out 1000 emails, 200 people opened the email, 19 called and you six of those applied, and in the end, there were three new children enrolled. At the end of the day, all that I care about for you is how many applications you had and how many of those actually went through the enrollment process.
Once you figure out that equation that’s working for your child care center, you can scale it and turn it up or turn it down as needed. As often as you like.
And the last part is to grade your efforts. I only have two grades – A or F. Simple as that. Now some of those Fs are going to take a month or two to change. Especially with child care center, depending on your enrollment dates, you will not be able to calculate everything on a monthly basis. You can then go back and see, ok so we launched this tactic a couple of months back, but we had 30 enrollments this month, so now it seems that this tactic is actually working pretty well. So you start analyzing what happened, and you see how much money you spent deploying that tactic and as long as you have a positive return, you need to change that F to an A and put some more notes in, for example, how many months it took you.
Remember, you want to start building that calendar month by month so that the next year you can just dust it off. Take out what didn’t work and keep doing everything that did and add some new stuff in to keep generating positive results for your child care center.
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