Did you know July 2nd is the exact middle of the year? How did those first six months go by so fast? Weren’t you just reading this eBook and getting to work on this year’s marketing plan a couple days ago? It sure feels like it! Seeing as how time is flying by, we figure it’s a good time to talk about the importance of checkpoints, especially in your marketing plan.
Being smart with your marketing means understanding that even though a lot of your campaigns, social postings and sometimes even content are hopefully automated at this point, the “set it and forget it” attitude has no place in your overall marketing plan. Now that you have six months of data to review (although we’re assuming you’ve been keeping track this whole time … right?), now is the time to analyze the results and get to work. Reviewing data and adjusting plans sure can be time consuming. Luckily, we’ve put together a short to-do list for your mid year checkpoint so there’s one less thing you have to think about!
5 Steps to Update your Marketing Plan for the Second Half
- Analyze the past: The old English Proverb “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been” reigns true in every stage of life but today we’re talking specifically marketing stages. Taking a look back at your marketing plan for the year is the first important step in making the remainder of the year a success. It’s important to know what worked and what could possibly work as you continue to move through the year. Take some time to review your plan:
- Note the marketing initiatives you’ve completed and whether or not they were successful. Ask yourself and your team why or why not?
- Remember all of those brilliant campaign ideas you had at the beginning of the year? Make a list of the ones that haven’t made it into fruition yet and figure out why.
- Compile the ROI for your marketing efforts from the first half of the year and figure out which were the most and least successful campaigns.
- Do a content refresh: Update your content inventory with fresh material. Make sure you include timely revisions to previous content. What may have been a great new marketing trend in January might be proven not to work in July. Check the analytics of each piece of content, your social posts, your email campaigns, etc. This is the time for your analytics dashboards to shine!
- Check your sales and marketing alignment: We talk all the time about the importance of communication between sales and marketing. There’s a reason why we keep bringing it up. It’s so easy to start the year off collaborating new plans with your sales team and coming up with great ideas. But it’s just as easy to get busy and lose touch with sales about those ideas very early in the year. Now is the time to get back on the same page by setting up a meeting with sales to revisit your goals and make sure you’re still on track.
- Evaluate your progress: If you were graded for your marketing work, what grade would you give yourself at this point in the year? Do the activities you have planned for the second half of the year still make sense? Take some time to gain new inspiration through other marketing blogs ( … are some of our favorite), webinars, conferences, case studies, etc.
- Make an action plan for the second half of the year: So you’ve analyzed the past, outlined your content refresh, checked in with sales and evaluated your progress over the last 6 months. It’s time to put all of these findings to work and create an action plan for the next 6 months. The first half of the year flew by and before you know it, we’ll be ringing in the new year. This means there’s no time like the present to improve your marketing efforts.
- 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.
- Just because you’re in the middle of the year doesn’t mean you can’t add items to your marketing plan though! Now don’t go crazy here but if you find something that works and want to expand on that, by all means do it. The best part of sales and marketing alignment is that creative juices are always flowing. Write down a couple new ideas to try over the latter half of the year.
- Identify the most significant discovery from all of the measurements you’ve done during your mid year check in. Map out ways to apply it more directly toward your marketing efforts moving forward.
“Set it and Forget it” has No Place Here
So there you have it. No good marketing plan has a set it and forget it option. Save that for the next time you cook rotisserie chicken. As we find ourselves approaching mid-year, now is the time to check on your marketing plan’s overall performance. Taking a refreshed approach this summer will give your marketing and sales teams a better understanding of what’s to come. Success arises as we take the time to do regular checkups on marketing efforts and it truly is the best way to ensure ROI.