Can you believe we’re half way through the year? It seems so long ago when we set our New Years goals and objectives and there’s still a long way to go before the end of the year, when most people take the time to think about those goals. A year is a long time. The reality of business can get us so busy that we don’t seem to have time to work on achieving those goals we set at the beginning of the year and it’s easy to fall off track. Plus, so much can change during the course of the year, and we need to keep objectives aligned with business changes.
Setting time aside to work on our goals regularly is key to move our business forward. Getting away from the day to day to review our business goals, reset and refocus, has an energizing effect. Some incomplete marketing projects projects come to life, others get ditched, and internal processes are always improved.
We at ACTION started doing monthly, quarterly and 6-month reviews a few years ago, when I joined a great Agency Mastermind program, and it’s become a tradition for us. The 6-month business review is more in depth, so carving the time to do it isn’t easy, especially with the workload the team is managing these days. But the benefits are crystal clear. Our team has come to expect them and they eagerly help in making them happen efficiently.
If you want to perform such review for your company, which I highly recommend, these are 6 points we look at:
1) Clarify The Purpose of The Review.
This might seem obvious, but when a bunch of creatives get in a room, ideas start to fly in every direction and it’s easy to go off the tangents. At least it was the case for us. So we now start by stating the purpose of the review, reminding ourselves we’ll be evaluating our business performance, the goals we want to achieve, and planning the next 3 months of activities.
2) Check Alignment of Your Company’s Mission, Vision and Values
This is helpful because it provides direction of your marketing activities and campaigns, especially when evaluating “brilliant” marketing ideas. It becomes easy to identify those that fit our business and those that don’t.
3) Perform a SWOT Assessment.
So much can change in 6-months time. New competitors appear. New regulations or market conditions affect our clients. Reviewing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is important because we tend to live isolated lives as a business, and more often than not, we don’t pay much attention to any of those things. This means we are unaware of our business position in the marketplace and how we can effectively compete. Being aware of them makes a big difference in making the right business decisions that will lead to success.
4) Audit Your Content
• Review your content strategy and make sure your topics and messaging are aligned with your ideal customers’ needs, wants and concerns.
• Take a close look at your existing content and check which pieces are perfectly fine, which can use a refresh, and which can be repurposed in other types. For example, you have a blog post that is driving good engagement and website traffic, create a video with same content, a slide carousel, or an infographic.
• List what new keywords you’d like to target and what new topics you want to add.
5) Review Marketing Activities
We recommend a 3 step process for these:
• Review the marketing activities you’ve implemented so far and their results. Can improvements be made? Are some total failures and need to be ditched?
• Take a look at unfinished projects, we all have those. Great ideas we started working on and set aside in the procrastination bin. Pick the one that it’s either closest to being complete or the one that will reap the most rewards and schedule time to work on it until it’s launched.
• Lastly, what’s one high level marketing effort you need to start. Maybe it’s a new website, a rebrand, a specific promotional campaign for a niche you want to focus on. Start working on the first – or next – 3 steps
Do you have enough money set aside to market your business? How much new initiatives will cost? What activities are worthy of increasing the investment? Having a clear number set for marketing is necessary, and adjustments to where is being allocated needs to be reviewed regularly. If something is producing results it’s worth investing more on it, for example if you are running an ad campaign that’s producing good leads, increasing your ad spend will increase the number of leads. Marketing is an investment in your business growth. How much you budget for is different for every business but it boils down to a balance between what you can afford and the costs of the marketing necessary to take you where you want to be.
Running a business takes a lot of work, and some of it is not fun. But reviewing where you are in your business is key to building a profitable business. Setting time aside to work on your business ensures you are going in the right direction and make adjustments as needed.
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This article was updated July, 2022