Time For a Mid-Year Check on Your Marketing Goals!

by Jul 1, 2018Marketing

Are you on track to achieve your 2018 marketing goals?

So – we are halfway through 2018. Where are you with your marketing goals? The first half of the year has just flown, hasn’t it? It seems like just yesterday, it was January and you were reading our blog Begin the Year with a Bang with These Marketing Tips and strategizing for the upcoming year.

It might be something you don’t want to think about, but summertime is actually a really good time to do a mid-year check and assess your marketing goals. In evaluating your progress to-date, you can refine your yearly marketing goals and make plans to meet (or exceed) your 2018 goals. Reviewing your progress can be time-consuming, but well worth it in the end. We’ve put together a checklist to assist you in this process.

Mid-year marketing checklist

1. Evaluate your past progress: 

Setting goals in January is great, but it is easy to get busy and lose sight of them. Now is a great time to re-evaluate where you are with your marketing goals and assessing if you are on track to meet your yearly objectives.

At our company, we recently did a really valuable exercise. We make a list of all the things we had accomplished in the past 6 months (both good and bad). It is amazing when you write it all down – to see the number of things you have (or have not) accomplished. It is important to take a close look at your list and analyze what worked well (and not so well).

2. Make an action plan for the second half of the year:

Looking at your previous accomplishments gives you an idea of what you need to do in the second half of the year to meet your marketing goals. The second part of our very valuable exercise was making a second list of what we still needed to do. Based on what worked well and what didn’t work so well, figure out what needs to be eliminated from your original marketing plan and put more time, effort, and money where it makes the most sense. It is important to realize your marketing goals need to be flexible. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Making a list of what you still need to do can be overwhelming because the number of things you want to accomplish can be neverending! It is important here to set a specific time frame (for example – what you want to accomplish in the next 3 months or in the next 6 months). Most any goal can be accomplished if you plan your steps wisely and establish a reasonable time frame.

Another important thing is to make sure your marketing goals are attainable and realistic. A goal should be reachable, with an outcome you can expect and are capable of achieving. Best practice for setting attainable goals is using analytics. Look at your past metrics (in terms of revenue, profits, losses, allocations, attribution, and KPIs).

3. Know your audience/Build Relationships:

Let’s face it. All businesses depend on customers. It is vital to know your target audience or your “ideal customer.” Knowing this, along with their needs and wants/pains and motivators enables you to effectively market to them. For more information on this, visit our blog about Putting Emotion Into Marketing.

Look at the customers you’ve obtained in the last 6 months and assess whether or not you are proactively acquiring new customers on a regular basis. Are you using marketing automation and is it effective? You might need a refresh there. Marketing Automation, combined with a CRM system for managing sales, is a great way to track and monitor your marketing campaigns. Marketing Automation is an amazing tool to use in your email marketing. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t do it all. Let automation do the hard work for you. Marketing Automation not only saves time and money, but also alleviates a lot of stress and has been proven to increase productivity, efficiency, and customer retention. Our marketing automation solution of choice is ClickDimensions. ClickDimensions is the only marketing automation solution natively built in Dynamics 365. If you are new to marketing automation, the ClickDimensions Marketing Automation Field Guide can help you gain an understanding of what automation is and why it’s an essential tool for sales and marketing departments. You’ll also learn how marketers can convince decision-makers to invest in marketing automation and how to choose the right automation software solution.

Looking at what is working and what isn’t working helps you in moving forward. The 2018 Marketing Idea book from ClickDimensions offers some great ideas to transform your marketing in 30 days. For other resources, visit our resources and downloads page.

Are you regularly listening and engaging with people on your social networks and online communities? KNOW your target audience,or buyer persona. It is a proven fact that having a well-defined buyer persona can help you build a more effective marketing plan and target your marketing campaigns and offers to the right groups of prospects. Hasse Jansen has written extensively about the benefits of buyer personas. Join groups that they are members of, comment on their posts, and acknowledge them when they comment on your posts. People like to feel that they are heard and acknowledged. For more ideas on how to effectively market to your ideal client click here.

4. Refresh content:

Make sure to update your content inventory with fresh content. If you have been consistent with publishing fresh content, stay on target. Ask yourself if you are circulating your fresh content to a variety of social media platforms and doing some content marketing. It’s great to write great content, but more importantly, it needs to be seen (and by your target audience). If you need to up your game in the content area, make a plan to do so.

Creating fresh content doesn’t always have to be re-inventing the wheel. Repurposing old content can be very effective- particularly with a certain piece of content that received a lot of traffic or attention. Again, it is beneficial to look at your analytics or social media likes/comments. Again- this goes back to knowing your audience. What are their interests, likes, and dislikes?

5. Do an analysis of your website and social media platforms:

Make sure you have a variety of high converting web pages and landing pages. Consider the niche of your business and the target demography. Make sure your pages are modern, professional, and present your business ideas clearly. Do an analysis of each page. Does each page clearly state your objective? Is it clear to visitors exactly WHAT your business does? After verifying all this information, ask yourself if you are doing the correct marketing to get prospects to visit your page.

Just as important as analyzing your website, your various social media platforms should also be revisited. Make sure your profile pictures and text display professionalism and personality. Yes – of course, people like to do business with someone who is knowledgeable. but people also like to do business with PEOPLE. Make sure your personality is reflected. Are you regularly engaging with prospects?

6. Make sure sales and marketing align:

Sales and Marketing go hand in hand, so it only makes sense that they would collaborate. Sales needs marketing to do their job and attract the leads and opportunities. Marketing’s most helpful tool is sales input. Marketing needs to be willing to listen to Sales on what content/marketing strategies are or aren’t working.

If your Sales Team and Marketing Teams are not meeting regularly, initiate that. According to the Harvard Business Review, When sales and marketing work together, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: sales cycles are shorter. market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales in lower. To gauge how well your sales and marketing teams are aligned check out this assessment tool. This article also gives some great ideas on fostering the collaboration between sales and marketing. When marketing and sales teams work together, organizations have clear insights into your customer’s journey.

Want to Learn more?

We hope you have found our mid-year marketing checklist useful in meeting your marketing goals.  A good marketing strategy can raise sales and grow your business. It is vital to have a plan and to revisit it often!

To learn about some other simple ways you can step up your marketing, check out our 5 Simple Ways to Step Up Your Marketing blog entry or our marketing checklist.

To learn more ideas to turbo-charge your marketing, visit our blog to read other interesting articles about Marketing.

Are you looking for a better way to identify, target and nurture prospects? enCloud9’s Marketing Accelerator, powered by ClickDimensions and Dynamics 365 is a fully integrated marketing solution to connect marketing and sales teams. In as fast as 7 days, enCloud9 can configure ClickDimensions in your existing Dynamics 365 system.  Contact enCloud9 today to find out how you can transform hit or miss sales and marketing campaigns into systematic strategies that lead to increased revenue and better client engagement.

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