Now that you’ve worked on boosting sales to overcome the Summer Sales Slump, it’s time to update that marketing plan and finish the year strong. Now is a great time to gather up your data, analyze your progress, and make updates to your marketing plan. You’ll be glad you did come December! Here’s how.
Eight Steps to Updating Your Marketing Plan
- Begin with the end in mind: At the beginning of the year, you started out with some exciting and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals. Behind the business goals were your marketing goals. Start your end-of-year refresh by reviewing those business goals. Are they the same? Any changes? What progress has the business made towards achieving those? Next, review the Marketing Goals, from your overall objectives to specific campaigns. Update your progress here. This will be the baseline from which you take on the rest of your update.
- Check the Numbers: Hopefully, you created some great measurement tools to keep track of your progress, including a Marketing Dashboard, Analytics, and Reports. Mid-year is the perfect time to do a deep-dive into the numbers behind the numbers. First, update all the data. Then, take the time to see what the numbers are telling you — which leads right into the next tip — the After Action Review.
- Conduct an After Action Review: This is an exercise taken right from the military. After each exercise (real or training), they take the time to do an After Action Review. They ask: What was supposed to happen (the plan); what actually happened (the data); and what lessons can we take away (the update)? Take the time to compare actual results to the plan. What worked? What didn’t? What adjustments need to be made? Be sure to get input from other sections/teams in the business, like Sales and Product Development. Get their thoughts and data on how marketing efforts have affected their own goals.
- Survey your Customers: This is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business — ask your customers how you’re doing. At the very least, you can run a Net Promoter Score survey and get an overview of their level of satisfaction with you. Above and beyond that, you can get their insights into your products, your processes, the entire way you do business. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. Mid-year is a great time to run a survey. This also prevents you from ignoring one of the most valuable segments of your market — your current customers.
- Review the Marketing Plan: Take all of the data and insights that you’ve gathered so far, and run a comb through your marketing plan — every part of it. Update your Buyer’s Personas and the Target Market. Take note of new competitors, opportunities, threats, etc. Update the financial part of the plan — have costs changed or have you added new expenses?
- Update Your Marketing Goals: As we mentioned above, goals are both realistic and attainable. Go through your goals and make mid-year adjustments. Don’t let pride or stubbornness get in the way. If you need to adjust a goal down, do it. If things are rockin’ and you can adjust up, do it.
- Make Adjustments to Your Plan: Now, you’ve analyzed your goals, your activities, the financials, and the results. You have what you need to update your marketing plan for the rest of the year. Reallocate funds to what’s working best. Focus your time and energy on the activities that bring the best returns. Update your content calendars.
- Create or Update Measurement Tools: The final step is to make sure you have the measurement tools ready to go. Create them if you don’t have them. Update the ones you do have: Dashboards, Analytics, Reports, etc.
That’s it! Eight steps you can take to do a mid-year update to your marketing plan.
How About Some Help on This?
This is a lot to review. It might take a little inspiration and some accountability to get through your mid-year Marketing Review — and to keep track as you march through the rest of the year! We can help. Give us a call or schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you maximize your business and marketing efforts and hit those revenue goals.
Call now, 888 297-3321.