The Friday before Labor Day—the summer’s last hurrah. It’s been a nice summer-here in Boston—low humidity, pleasant, sunny days. But the college students are back, our kids are in school and there is a hint of that cool, crisp fall air in the evenings…
This is a busy time of year for everyone, but especially marketers. Companies are making their final pushes to complete the year on a high note, conferences and trade shows begin to appear on the calendar, and budget planning for 2015 commences. The pace quickens in September, and the marketer’s list of to-do’s is a long one. Here are three things that marketers can do right now to ease the burden.
Reconnect with your C-Suite and Staff. Summer time is vacation time and chances are that your senior executives and staff have not all been in the office at the same time and for a long time. Better have a meeting of the minds. It’s time to reconnect on projects and campaigns, and to get everyone back on the same page, share statuses and re-align expectations and objectives. What’s been on the to-do list since summer and where do things stand? Is there anything that is no longer a priority? Anything you can close out? And while you are assessing existing programs, take a look at your results to date, with an eye toward 2015 planning. Consider an offsite meeting now rather than at the end of year to ensure that you are on the way to meeting your goals and laying the proper groundwork for 2015.
Revisit your measurement approach. Even though the half-way mark for the year occurs at the end of June, it’s really in the month of September when business starts to go full throttle. Marketers need to prepare now to show the value they are delivering as the final push begins. If you don’t have a way of measuring that, it’s time to get one because you will be saving yourself some headache down the line. You will also help your cause when the budgeting cycle for marketing begins. And if you have a measurement program in place, it’s time to examine whether it is truly measuring the impact of what you are doing in your campaigns, your content marketing, your influencer reach and your thought leadership initiatives. Integrating analytics into your marketing program, while it may be onerous and taxing at first, will ease the burden of other tasks and help you hone in what is working and what is not. If you do not know where to begin, find a partner to help (see point 3, below). You can throw away the stuff that isn’t and suddenly your list of things to do gets much more manageable.
Get a great public relations partner. Having a public relations partner by your side, whether a full service agency or a solo practitioner, is like having a second brain. Today’s PR professionals are far more than arms and legs that secure media impressions. They are strategic and important resources that can double your ability to conceptualize and execute on integrated marketing campaigns. If you are a marketer who feels like a lone wolf in your business, get an agency or a freelance PR professional as your trusted sidekick, and then you have a wolfpack. You can get a lot more done and do it far smarter than you could by yourself. With the level of unique and shareable content required today to make impression with customers, you are going to need a wolfpack.