Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 8:00AM
As we enter the final quarter of 2012, it is time to start thinking and planning for 2013. We’ve put together a quick check list to help make the most of Q4 and get you ready for 2013.
- Perform a 2012 audit
There is an old saying that goes something like this: “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.” From a marketing perspective that means performing an honest and unbiased assessment at your marketing program. This is your chance to determine which marketing activities have been helping you achieve your goals, and which ones are falling short. If they are falling short, ask yourself if there are any adjustments you can make or if it is time to move on and try something else.
- Set clear, measurable goals
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many times organizations develop nebulous marketing goals, like increase sales. Instead, be specific and realistic. You also need to break down your marketing goals into smaller, specific objectives. This will allow you to analyze your performance along the way and make adjustment as needed. For example, in the case of social media, you might want to set an overall goal of increasing brand engagement by 20%. This could then be broken down into goals for each of your social assets. In turn, those could be broken down into even smaller actionable and measurable items.
- Talk to your customers
As part of setting clear, measurable goals, you also need to know where you stand. And getting a clear understanding of the perception of your brand takes time and resources. However, talking to your customers and target audience is crucial for understanding what they need and how your product or service can better serve them. Remember, it’s not about what you need to sell; it’s about what your customers want to buy. This can be as easy as online surveys or as in-depth as actual one-on-one interviews. The important thing is that you reach out.
- Talk with your vendors or outside agencies
If you use an outside marketing/advertising agency, bring them in as soon as you begin the planning stages for 2013. A clear perspective can be invaluable. Sometimes, internal marketing teams are so close to a problem, they don’t have the perspective necessary to clearly define the challenges. The Duffy Agency always offers a free consult to its clients. It helps us better understand the challenges they face so we can better serve them. Moreover, if they do need our help down the road, the ramp-up time is much quicker.