All too often, we wait until Q4 to think about how effective our marketing for the year has been. But by getting a jump-start right about now, you can increase your performance and get a clearer picture of how things need to change for the following year. In a world where agility and optimization are so prized, this mid-year check-in can help you achieve – and maybe even exceed – your marketing goals.
- What grade would you give your marketing so far this year? Be honest with yourself. Admit the stumbles, but bask in the successes!
- Is your ROI where you’d hoped it would be? Are the investments you’re making paying off in the ways you hoped they would? Would you benefit from shifting money from one focus or platform to another? Break out the spreadsheets and make some informed bets for the remainder of the year.
- Do you feel like you have the right marketing partners in place? You should feel a sense of security and relief that experts are stewarding your brand. If you feel doubt or anxiety, it may be time to reset expectations with your current agencies or look around for new ones.
- Are you making the most of your PR connections? If your company is doing great things, make sure people know about them! If your brand is doing great things, make sure the industry knows about it.
- Have you created or nurtured your best influencer relationships? Word of mouth is more important than ever. Find influencers who are natural advocates for your brand and help them spread your message.
- Is the messaging you’re putting out into the world reflective of your brand and its values? If it feels impersonal or distant from all that your brand stands for, it’s time to hone the strategy, words and images.
- Take a moment to look at the competition. Check out their websites, social media platforms and advertising. Do you feel good about where you stand? Or does this exercise motivate you to bolster your own performance?
- Compile a list of missed opportunities. Were there news stories you should’ve been a part of? Events? Sponsorships? Train yourself and your team to always be looking for those opportunities – and to always be ready to act.
- Are your priorities and goals still the same as they were at the beginning of the year? Or do they need some reordering?
- Are you proud to show your friends and family the work you’ve been doing? Because if you feel great about your work, chances are your audiences will, too.
And now here are some mid-year marketing to-do’s. It’s like spring cleaning – in the summer – for your brand.
- Update your website. Make sure you have the latest and greatest images, case studies, contact information, etc.
- Refresh your social media assets. If your brand would benefit with some new profile imagery, go ahead and change it out! And if the messaging feels stale, infuse it with something new.
- Dig into the data. Key things to check on from a numbers perspective are:
- Website page views
- Content Downloads
- Social shares
And believe us, we know that there are other things that seem more pressing right now: meetings to go to, decisions to make, steps to take to move your company forward. But also believe us when we say this will make a noticeable difference in your marketing’s effectiveness. And your sanity. Just like when you finally clean out your garage or closet or email inbox – you’ll be so glad you did.
Lauren Sweeney is the Founder and CEO of Dotted Line Collaborations, full-service advertising and branding agency solving big brand problems from our headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. When Lauren’s not providing strategic direction for the firm or delivering amazing results for our clients, Lauren is outdoors enjoying all that Richmond has to offer or traveling to a new and exciting destination.
To read more about our firm’s recent work, visit dottedlinecollaborations.com.