7 Check Points for Mid-Year Marketing Wellness
by Audrey Howes
Itís hard to believe we are already halfway into the year. Howís your marketing working so far? Halfway through the year means we are halfway through our marketing plans, so nowís the time to take a good look at your marketing wellness and make the needed alterations before heading too far in the wrong direction.
1. Analyze the Past
To know where you are going, itís important to look back at where youíve been. Take some time to review your marketing plan for this year.
- Make note of the marketing initiatives you have completed. Were they successful? Why or why not?
- Take stock of the marketing ideas that never made it to fruition. Why werenít they initiated?
- List areas of success, semi-success and failure.
- Compile ROI for all of your marketing efforts.
- In terms of ROI, what were you most and least successful campaigns?
Looking back at your marketing plan for the year is an important step in making the remainder of the year a success. It is well worth the time to see what worked and what could work as you move ahead.
2. Identify Your Audience
In order succeed in marketing you need to be sure you are marketing accurately and to the right audience. First, take some time to reassess your view of your ideal customer and consider their perspective.
- What are they interested in? What do they read, what sites do they like, what companies do they follow, etc.?)
- What are their wants and needs?
- How do they communicate with you and in business? (i.e. social media, email marketing, phone, face to face)
Understanding your customer will help focus your marketing initiatives and ensure you are reaching your ideal target audience.
3. Run an Audit
Once you have identified their perspective, look through the microscope at aspects of your company from your ideal customerís perspective. Itís time to get honest about where the holes in your plan lie.
- Evaluate your overall branding consistency. Are your customers ‘meeting’ the same company in all of your communication platforms?
- Is your positioning is speaking to your ideal customers needs?
- Test out your follow-up process to see how it is working.
- Identify marketing initiatives that your ideal customer responded well to and initiatives that failed to reach them.
- Pinpoint areas where your ideal customers are active, but you are inactive, such as online on social media or offline in trade groups.
- Think about how you are currently communicating with your customers and locate the gaps in your communication style and their preferred communication style.
Looking at your marketing plan layered with your ideal customer’s desires should give you some tremendous insight into what is working and what is not. Indentifying these ‘risks’ and treating them now will prevent future crises.
4. Test Your Theories
With an excellent picture of your marketing successes, failures and needs, it’s time to run a few tests to see how your theories will hold up in practice.
- Select a few small segments of your contacts to experiment on.
- Choose two or three marketing initiatives or strategies to test on these small groups. These could be initiatives that never made it off the idea list or revamped marketing efforts from earlier in the year.
- Pick 1-2 weeks and run your tests on your subgroups.
- Carefully collect the results for review.
Running tests is always in a marketer’s best interest. Yes, it can be time consuming and tedious, but the payoff can be tremendous.
5. Evaluate Your Progress
Having tested several theories, it’s time to take a look at the results. In some ways, this is the scariest part… did the tests work? Even though it may be a bit scary, careful analysis of the results is crucial to successful marketing for the remainder of the year.
- Of the tests you ran, which was the most successful? Why?
- How did your tests line up with your ideal customers wants/needs? Were your messages well received?
- Which of the tests you ran needs to be dropped from your marketing strategy? Why?
- Do any of the tests need to be repeated? Why or why not?
The scary part is over. You’ve looked at your results. You can begin to move forward to a terrific year’s end.
6. Make an Action Plan
Now let’s put our findings to work with an action plan. The year will be over before we know it and there is no time like the present to improve our marketing.
- What was your most significant discovery? How can you apply it to your marketing efforts?
- What needs to be eliminated from your marketing plan? Create a strategy this week to remove and/or replace these items.
- What needs to be added to your marketing plan? List at least 3 ideas or initiatives to implement.
- What marketing initiatives show the most promise for your target group? Choose 2 to initiate in the next month.
Your action plan is in place and your marketing efforts are ready to go! Get started on your revised strategy today.
Continual check-ups are key to long term marketing health. Set dates on your calendar now to check in on your marketing efforts each month. At each meeting, ask yourself:
- Are my marketing efforts on track with my action plan? If not, what do we need to do to get them back on track?
- Has my ideal customer changed or altered in any way? If so, how does my marketing need to shift?
- Are there any areas we need to grow or shrink our marketing efforts? Why/how?
- What initiative has been the most successful this month? Why? How can I capitalize on its success?
Marketing is challenging and taking time to evaluate it is even more challenging. However, true success arises as we take the time to do regular wellness checks on our marketing efforts. Keep these check points handy in the months and years to come. Your marketing will thank you for it!