A woman stands drawing on a whiteboard various diagrams and charts representing marketing planning.
How this one simple change can lead to improved & measurable results

If you do one thing for your propane business’s marketing strategy this year, make it this: Create a marketing plan outline for each month. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. The important thing is having some general calendar that your team can follow, even when things get busy, so you aren’t adding even more items to your already full to-do list. Let me explain how hashing out marketing initiatives in advance is a critical practice every propane company should employ. 

A Road Map for Success 

You wouldn’t set off on a road trip without the directions on hand, so why would you try to dive into your company’s year or quarter without a plan? During peak season, propane companies are working tirelessly to make deliveries, complete safety inspections, install equipment and respond to repairs or emergency service situations. Planning your marketing ahead of time means having a road map to success — and by success, we mean increased revenue and better customer satisfaction. Your annual marketing calendar doesn’t need all the details in place to be a valuable tool. It can be as thorough or as simple as needed, but it should exist so that your marketing team can think ahead to plan timely promotions and campaigns around business goals, like expanding your customer base or enrolling more pre-buy contracts. 

Opportunities for Timely Detours 

It’s understandable to be wary of planning too far in advance. By nature, the propane business is variable and there are many ways your company’s goals or customers’ needs may shift. However, planning sets your business up to better pivot when a timely opportunity or unexpected need arises. 


Whether you need to respond to fluctuations in market prices or take advantage of an opportunity to branch out into a new territory, an annual marketing calendar can be adjusted to incorporate short-notice campaigns. Your team will be able to act quickly and strategically modify your original plans so that you stay true to your business goals and avoid missing any important messages that you wanted to advertise later in the year. 

Reach Your Audience With Compelling Campaigns 

Various research shows Americans could see thousands of ads per day. If you want your message to stand out among all the noise of constant and never-ending advertisements, you’ll have to be thoughtful about the development and execution of your strategy. This starts with planning a strategic content calendar ahead of time and giving your team a chance to develop and distribute materials with precision and accuracy. 

Reduce Stress & Improve Employee Retention 

Employee retention in the propane industry can be a significant and ongoing challenge. Have you considered how planning ahead with your marketing can positively impact your employees’ day-to-day responsibilities? Firstly, planning campaigns and promotions in advance will provide ample time to execute tasks, like pulling mailing addresses and updating email lists. Team members responsible for these tasks will be far more successful when given enough notice to meet important deadlines. 

Secondly, you’ll be able to brief your employees on any upcoming promotions so they have all the information they need to answer questions related to your upcoming campaigns, like new pre-buy pricing or changes to your cylinder exchange program. This preparation will lead to more positive customer interactions, which is a major win for your employees, your customers and your company. 

How to Get Started 

Maybe you’ve never used an annual marketing calendar before. Or perhaps you’ve started with one and things have fallen off the rails when the busy season ramps up. You may have already planned out your year but are looking for some fresh ideas to reinvigorate your strategy. Here’s a quick checklist every propane company can put to use: 

  • Set your goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? Focus on a short list of all your most important business goals. 
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Consider areas that need improvement, where your marketing is excelling and if there are potential opportunities or threats. 
  • Define your objectives. Create tangible marketing objectives that align with your business goals. 
  • Determine your audience. Know who your target audience is and how you can reach them. 
  • Develop your tactics. What marketing channels will you use and how will you employ them? 
  • Build a timeline. Begin a rough outline for the quarter or the year that accommodates campaign development, execution and deadlines. 
  • Measure your results. How will you evaluate performance? Predetermine data points that can measure the efficacy of your marketing. 

Following the steps that were previously mentioned, you’ll be able to clearly identify your company’s goals for the year and how your marketing can deliver on them. 

Think about how you can set aside time in your schedule to plan with your management and marketing teams each year and set consistent check-ins to evaluate performance and adjust strategies if needed. Your future self will thank you!

Jennifer LeClerc is the vice president of marketing at Consumer Focus Marketing. She has more than 18 years of marketing experience and has been involved with the energy industry for the past 12 years. She specializes in integrated marketing strategy.


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