The holidays are quickly approaching, bringing a fresh start in the New Year. But before you check out of the office, why not take this opportunity to take stock of your marketing efforts in 2016. These three exercises will help you come back in January with a fresh perspective and poised for success in 2017.
- Look way back. Take a look at what you set out to do last January. What were your goals and did you achieve them? If you set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely), the answer to whether or not you achieved them should be a simple yes or no. If your goals were more abstract, like simply “increasing awareness,” then consider setting more measurable goals for 2017.
Establish some metrics for success. Instead of just “increasing awareness,” set a goal based on an increase of X percent in website traffic, attaining X media placements or gaining X new subscribers or leads. Use those numbers from 2016 to set yourself some measurable marketing goals for next year.
- Be honest about what didn’t work. Were there some projects you pursued over the year that just plain didn’t work? If so, be honest with yourself about why you think that happened. Were your goals too lofty? Was there a lack of strategy or direction? Also think about what didn’t work simply because it was abandoned along the way. Was there a lack of resources that caused you to abandon ship mid-stream? Maybe it was something as simple as your expectations on timing needed to be adjusted. Especially when it comes to inbound marketing, your buyers’ journey may just be longer than you want it to be – but that’s no reason to call it quits.
Answering these questions will help you nail down some problem areas and set out to overcome them as you enter a new year.
- Think big picture. Take a step back and think about your organization’s broader business goals. For most businesses, the ultimate goal is revenue generation. Aside from that, consider what other big picture goals your brand has, like customer experience, technological advancements. Maybe your organization set out to trim budgets in 2016.
As you’re establishing goals for 2017, think about those big picture business goals and how marketing can help your business achieve them. If the goal is revenue generation, consider focusing on goals that will aid in attaining them, like developing an inbound marketing strategy focused on lead scoring and lead generation. That way, you’re able to draw a direct line between you and your team’s efforts to your organization’s bottom line.
Come 2017, discuss your plans with other departments to be sure you’re all working together toward achieving the same goals. After all, teamwork makes the dream work.
Happy New Year!