Midyear has arrived. Here’s how to keep your marketing plans on track for the second half of 2019.
It’s July, and in practical terms, that means the year is half over. Just a few short months ago, you set out on your strategic planning with major goals. Perhaps you envisioned launching a content marketing initiative, taking your products to a new market, or scaling advertising campaigns. At the midyear point, it’s smart to assess how you’ve been performing and evaluate whether you’re on track for the rest of the year. Here are five questions every marketing manager or director should ask this summer.
How are we performing against goals?
Find your written strategic plan for the year, and take the time to assess your progress against the goals you set. Identify what’s going well. Highlight areas that are on track but could use extra energy. Finally, look realistically at the goals you haven’t yet accomplished. Should they be shelved? Or is it time to redouble your efforts in making them a reality?
What’s our staffing situation?
Another area marketing management should focus on throughout the year is the status of their teams. How are individual workers performing? Does anyone require mentoring, or has someone made an exceptional effort that should be recognized? Are you running low on staff in key areas, which might necessitate hiring that wasn’t foreseen at the beginning of the year? When your team is focused and happy, it’s easier to get more done. Make this part of your midyear review.
How are we performing against budget?
No doubt your strategic plan included projected budgets for the year, whether they included outside agency spending or allocations for advertising. Assess your spending to date, and make sure you’re on target for staying under budget through the end of the year. If there are any alarm bells, address them now so there are no financial surprises as you wrap up 2019.
Are we missing any opportunities?
The marketing landscape changes constantly, and a company’s ability to recognize opportunities and adapt is key to staying competitive. Look for opportunities that you may not have seen at the beginning of the year: new audiences or markets, competitive moves, or larger market forces that have created a potentially lucrative opportunity for your business. Decide whether to pursue them between now and the end of the year or put them on a list to evaluate for 2020.
How is our brand performing?
Brand health is a significant indicator of all your marketing activities, from your online activity to your advertising plans. Take the time to assess your brand health. Look at different sources of data, from market research to social media listening. If there are any indications of brand distress, take steps now to proactively address them.
Heading into the second half 2019, many leaders will be completely focused on execution. However, taking a moment to pause and reflect on your performance within the context of your strategic plan gives you an opportunity to right the ship if it’s going off course and set yourself up for success in 2020.