Updated: Sep 1, 2020
After Lockdown and an extended stay at home for everyone, thoughts are starting to turn to how we go back to work, the office and our get our kids back to school.
September has come around again and despite the clear differences this year with the Covid-19 crisis, the back to work and school period is a great time to take stock and take advantage of your recharged batteries (if you are indeed recharged) or the opportunity to try new things.
When it comes to marketing, September is five months in to the business year for many of us and time to start planning a progress review against your strategy and tactical plan.
DUSTING OFF THE PLANNING DOCUMENTS
We all know that our strategy and tactical plans were signed off at the beginning of the year and we kicked them off in April. Five months has flown by but its now time to pull those monthly and weekly results together if you haven't already and create a half yearly review. Staying ahead of the reporting curve with C-Suite stakeholders is vital to keep teams aware of what's been happening and the benefits all this hard work brings to the bottom line.
LEADERSHIP TEAM UPDATE
It's time to get creative so get ahead of your boss and set an agreed review time in October to present the six month results to the team. Start to populate your presentation and think about the way you will present the results. As marketing gets ever more digital think away from Powerpoint and look at more interactive tools like video, Prezi, Vismi or throw in some fun with Powtoon. If you get really stuck check out Zapier's article about the 13 best presentation tools.
HOWS YOUR ROI COMING ALONG?
Return on Investment (ROI) is a big metric to report on and even more so now that marketing spend is under a great deal of scrutiny. You have a number of channels and certain campaigns will cost time and money. Not to mention the cost of you and your marketing team. The ROI calculation is not going away. In fact its becoming a bigger part of your marketing day. The ability to get stuck in to the results and numbers around performance marketing should by now be something your marketing executive should be aware of. Any good Finance Director and CEO will ask what it will cost to get the results they need.
So that's you as the person in charge taken care of. What have you got your team doing?
Half yearly reviews are a good way of looking at progress with agreed goals. It's now time to agree dates for your reviews and set some expectations for the content and discussion. Remember nothing should ever be a surprise to your team member but its also a good time to set expectations for the next six months of the year.
Review the need to adjust targets either way and remember to reward the good things from the results.
CONTENT & CAMPAIGN PLANNING
Dusting off your content plans is important for two big reasons. Firstly as we head for the half year point we may have missed some potential opportunities to create great content led campaigns. Secondly, you need to see what your competition have been up to. Take stock and see how you can get ahead to lead the sector in the months ahead.
Does your strategy and tactical plan launched at the beginning of the year still cut the mustard? From experience these things are always in need to refreshing because to stay ahead you need to keep the innovation and ideas flowing. If you didn't have something in the bag for September back in July its a little late to be creating something today!
If you haven't got started on social planning or its just done month by month think about using a simple forward planning tool. Here are some good ideas for social media content planners from HubSpot. They have Trello at the top of their list. The common aspect is all can be sharable and security protected.
And finally... I don't think its possible to complete a performance review and a planning update for the last half of the year without mentioning Covid-19.
DAMAGE LIMITATION DUE TO COVID-19
If you are lucky enough to be unaffected by Lockdown look away! As we move in to a "new normal", do you need to review your business planning and revise any marketing, content or PR messages? Getting senior agreement and plans in place is now against the clock as it looks increasingly likely that there will be significant limitations on most businesses and how they operate as we move in to Autumn and Winter 2020.
And on that rather negative note lets hope the "Back To Work" period that faces us all is at least exciting and rewarding. Don't delay plan today!
Thanks for reading.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Stephen Moore FCIM, a Strategic Marketing Consultant and part-time Marketing Director living in beautiful Suffolk. I support businesses large and small in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and London. I have been writing about marketing developments for 20 years with articles in The Metro, City AM, Fresh Business Thinking, AllWork, The Marketer and Marketing Week.