By Jana Sabol, MGI Senior Account Director
It’s that time already. Time for your mid-year marketing check-in.
Flowers are blooming, butterflies all aflutter, and days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing. It’s almost July 2. With 182 days before it and 182 after, July 2 is the exact middle of the year.
If you’re wondering where the time went, you’re not alone. The good news is that right now is the perfect time to look at your 2019 plan and ask yourself if this year’s results are meeting expectations. If you wait until your year-end review, you are missing out on more than 6 months to course correct.
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 tips to guide your mid-year marketing review:
1. Look at results. As it’s commonly said, to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. Late last year you built a marketing plan to meet your 2019 goals. This plan likely included different channels, tools, segmentation, and outreach to meet agreed upon goals. As each campaign or tactic was deployed, were you tracking results? Now is the ideal time to really dive into those results. Each organization and each campaign is different, so determine what defines success for you to find out what’s working and what isn’t. Cut those underperforming efforts and focus on the winners and new efforts. This leads me to my next point…
2. TEST. It’s not what you suspect, it’s what you know. And the only way to know is to test. Whether you find yourself in a hole with ground to make up before year-end, or in a position of surplus with some wiggle room, there’s never a wrong time to test. Test offers, lists, creative, and channels. You never know what will work and outperform your control. To effectively measure your tests and make data-driven decisions, ensure that you have response tracking in place.
3. Be “media neutral.” Look at your current marketing channels. If you’ve found yourself saying, “Our members don’t use mail,” you’re not alone. How many emails did you have in your inbox this morning? The average office worker receives more than 120 emails per day. It’s no wonder emails can sometimes get lost in the clutter. That’s why we encourage all of our clients to be “media neutral.” In fact, we’ve found that associations using both digital and direct mail have more success with higher response rates than digital alone.
4. Know your audience. Get back to the basics of listening to and understanding the pain points and motivators of your target audience. If you’re only talking to your members when it’s time to renew or register for an event, you’re doing it wrong. Put yourself in the shoes of your members and ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” That value should be communicated early, often, and through several channels throughout the year.
5. Get inspired. While it’s easy to become complacent mid-year, it doesn’t mean you should. Just because it’s the middle of the year doesn’t mean you can’t make updates to your marketing plan. Take a look at what others in your industry are doing or invite team members from other departments to brainstorming sessions. You never know where your next source of inspiration or ideas will come from.
And just remember, it’s not too late to improve your 2019 marketing results. While a mid-year review can seem daunting on top of an already busy day-to-day, a review of the past few months and a refocus on future efforts can pay dividends come year-end. For more information on conducting a mid-year review or to schedule a consult to review and alter your strategies to hit your year-end goals, contact Jana Sabol at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.706.0349.