Planning and Executing Your Year End Marketing Checklist

The end of the year is upon us and soon we’ll be entering into a brand new year. Are you ready? The end of the year gives us a great opportunity to review and reflect on the last several months. What worked? What didn’t work? It’s important that we finish this year strong and begin to evaluate and start preparing for the next year with a marketing checklist, so that the results can be even better.

Let’s start with how to make sure you finish your year on a high-note.

Holiday Campaign Planning

Ideally, the holiday marketing campaign should be planned and laid out in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. If you haven’t had time to do that yet, you still have a few days left to develop a quick holiday marketing plan. Since you are getting a late start, you don’t have much time so you’ll need to focus on things that you can still have impact and put into place quickly. Most of those tactics will be in the digital space and can be done by utilizing your ecommerce marketing. A few items that will help include:
-Email Marketing
-Social Media Marketing
-Pay Per Click Search Marketing

…and don’t forget your own holiday marketing. Have you done (or plan to do) any of the following?
-Sending holiday cards to clients.
-Sending holiday gifts to clients.
-Scheduling holiday parties, open houses or customer appreciation events.
-Setting up blog posts and social media posts to drip during the holiday season.

Once you’ve implemented a plan for the last quarter of the year and you’ve clearly defined and lined up your campaigns and holiday planning you can turn your focus to next year. Key items that should be part of your end of the year checklist include:

Step 1: Identify and plan out your last minute sales calls and emails.

It’s important that you identify any last minute sales calls and/or emails that you need to send out in the last quarter. The reason I’m putting this as part of your checklist is that often companies are planning their next year’s budget in the last quarter of the year. If you are hoping to close a deal early next year, you need to make sure your being accounted for in the budgets of your customers.

Step 2: Develop your marketing budget.

Entering into a new year without a marketing budget can be the demise of your business. Your marketing budget not only creates an awareness of how much you can spend towards marketing, but it helps you in determine what marketing vehicles to use in the upcoming year.

A marketing budget empowers you. Knowing how much you have to spend on marketing can help you stay within that budget and it will lower your stress level and help in developing your overall marketing plan and strategy.

Step 3: Develop your marketing calendar for the upcoming year.

A marketing calendar enables you to coordinate all of your marketing efforts and assists you in spending your marketing budget wisely. It can keep you on track, making sure that you are using every opportunity that you have to market without lapsing in your efforts.

An effective marketing calendar will ensure that your planning, budgeting and staffing are taken care of. This alone could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Step 4: Create your content strategy for the upcoming year.

We’ve seen content become extremely important when it comes to digital marketing and this will continue to be the case in the upcoming year. Content marketing is seen as the force multiplier when it comes to marketing. It has an impact on social media marketing, search engine marketing and public relations.

A content strategy helps in creating the time; identifying who and explaining the why behind the content that you’ll be creating. Starting the New Year off with a solid content strategy will give you a head start.

Step 5: Conduct a technology assessment and identify your technology needs.

Technology is becoming more and more important when it comes to digital marketing. Our technology tools enable us to create dynamic landing pages, engaging content search engine marketing and more.

Evaluate your website and make determinations on whether or not your online presence is easy to update and serving your marketing needs today. If not, it may be time to assess your technology needs from a marketing perspective and enlist the help of technology professionals. You cannot afford to be behind the times with technology in the upcoming year. The online presence of businesses will continue to play a vital part in all marketing efforts.