The end of the year is upon us, which means reflecting on the year and planning for the next. Many times, we are so preoccupied with keeping everything running and do not take the time to think about how important marketing is for our business.
Here are a few items you should consider in your year-end marketing checklist:
Review Your Business Results
Many marketers do not want to look at overall financial results, but these are very important and gives you a baseline for planning. Review your wins, losses, revenues, and profits.
- What worked? What didn’t?
- Are our products and services still relevant?
- Is the market changing?
- What caused your biggest successes this past year? Can you repeat them?
- What were your biggest failures, and why?
- Where did your business underperform, and why?
Determine your company’s marketing strategy
This is an excellent time to review the different sales and marketing elements and check on how your marketing plan held up over the past year.
- Conduct an honest SWOTT analysis. Add a category to look at industry “Trends.”
- Is your business’s long-term vision still on target?
- Do you understand where your customers and prospects are coming from? This will be important for future growth. Is your customer base growing or declining?
- The end of the year is a great time to look at your best and worst customers? Think of the ones that you want to move off your client list, and undesirable customers are a drain on resources and profit.
- What are your measurable marketing objectives? These should be what customer touchpoints were most effective. What promotions and sponsorships were valuable, and what do you want to do differently in the upcoming year?
- Do you have a strong content strategy and social media strategy to drive your expertise?
- Consider developing a content calendar and audit your social media pages.
It is essential to understand your competition. Knowing the market helps develop your story and align with your expertise. Many times, competitors will change as your company grows. Make a list of all known competitors and how it could impact your business. Are there things that they are doing that could be beneficial for you to start integrating into your plan?
Your internal culture is one of the most critical elements to help you be successful. Culture is vital for employees in remote locations or working from company offices. Does your culture include getting involved in the community? Aligning your brand to community involvement will help drive success and also positively impact employee retention and hiring.
When starting your plan for 2020 success, examine all aspects of your business. Where appropriate, integrate new, more effective tactics for existing ones. Use the GROWL mid-year marketing review as a guide to help support your planning and highlight issues and opportunities you may have overlooked in the past year. To be successful, small companies to larger companies must evaluate and plan.
I wish you all much success in the coming year.