The second half of the marketing year is well underway, which means it’s time to set your sights on the finish line and make any necessary adjustments to ensure you meet or exceed your marketing goals for the year.
Here are five things you can get started on right now to make your second-half marketing programs shine.
1. Assess Progress to Date
In order to know what adjustments you need to make, you must first find out what’s working and what’s not:
- For each marketing program or tactic, compare your initial goals to your results so far. Are you more than halfway to your stated goals? Ahead or behind? Invariably, some programs will be performing better than expected, others not as well as you’d hoped.
- For those programs that are going strong, consider adding more resources to further their momentum. For those that are lagging, try figuring out the reason(s) behind the lacking performance. Typically, a program doesn’t meet expectations because it was not designed properly, not targeted clearly for an audience, or has operational errors such as poor lead attribution, not enough content, weak conversion forms on a website, etc.
- Decide whether the problems are worth fixing in order keep the program going or if those resources are better deployed elsewhere.
2. Redefine Your Objectives
The business climate is dynamic and your marketing objectives can often change during the course of a year, for any number of reasons:
- A product line is dropped or a new product added
- Sales targets change
- Marketing priorities change
- A merger or acquisition takes place
- A new executive with a different vision comes on board
If objectives change, marketing programs often must change as well. Make sure your programs and objectives are fully aligned for the second half of the year. Also, if objectives change, budgets will likely be impacted. You might have to shift resources. Make sure the most important programs are funded and that they clearly support the most important objectives.
3. Develop New Marketing Content
You may need new marketing content for the second half of the year. Content development—whether you create it, acquire it or curate it—is an ongoing process for most marketing organizations, and one that requires planning:
- Review your marketing calendar and make sure you will be able to fill any content gaps.
- Brainstorm with team members and sales people to generate new content ideas.
- Evaluate existing content for repurposing; for example, that popular article could become a hot new webinar or widely-read white paper in the coming months.
- Line up writers, designers and other production resources you need before they are committed elsewhere.
4. Launch a New Initiative
Maybe there’s a new marketing program you’ve learned about that wasn’t part of your original plan but fits well with your marketing objectives. For instance:
- A new industry e-newsletter that targets your audience and has advertising space to help you generate engagement opportunities
- The opportunity to build thought leadership by sponsoring a third-party webinar in a subject matter where you have expertise
Maybe you’re accustomed to new opportunities popping up midyear and you’ve been smart enough to stash a little budget on the side for just this purpose. If not, you might have to reallocate budget from underperforming programs (see point #1 above) to fund a new initiative.
5. Talk to your Media Partners
Your media partners often have data on the performance of your programs that can help assess your progress so far. They likely also have fresh ideas if you want to try a new tactic. They can also offer insight on how to boost underperforming programs.
The right media partner is your ally, has expertise in your industry and has a vested interest in helping you succeed. Take advantage of their expertise for your second-half marketing push.