For this week’s #TMITuesday, we’re thinking about end of year planning! It’s tempting to slip into holiday vacation mode in November and December, but taking some time to reflect and plan can help you get a jump start on the new year:
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
As the end of the year approaches, many telecom marketing leaders find themselves in “budget season.” If you don’t have an official marketing budget yet, it’s a good idea to know what you’re spending now so you can make more detailed plans for the upcoming year. Here’s a simple process to follow:
- Determine what you’ve spent on marketing so far this year. Split this into further categories if possible, like events, web development or content creation.
- Calculate your marketing to revenue ratio to determine what percentage of your revenue is going to marketing.
- According to the Small Business Association, 6-8% of revenue should go to marketing for companies under $5M. Some spend more and some spend less. Our clients typically range from 2-10%.
- Based on what you spent this year and your growth objectives for next year, you should have a decent idea of a ballpark budget. This will help immensely when you go to take the next step – creating your marketing plan.
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
The end of the year is the time to look back on the content you created over the last 12 months, and use its performance to shape your new year’s editorial calendar.
Which of your content pieces performed well? Take stock of the top 10 pieces. Brainstorm what about the piece seemed to encourage engagement.
• Designed well?
• Written well?
• Targeted to a specific audience?
• Short? Long?
• What is the piece’s tone?
• What is the piece’s subject matter?
There are many possible metrics. (How long was the headline? Did you send it out in an email?) It just depends on how granular you want to get with your data analysis.
Looking at these metrics may give you a sense of what you’ll want to create more of in the following year. We recommend making a spreadsheet where you can keep track of these metrics year over year — a tactic that will help you analyze the long-term evolution of your content production.
Don’t have an editorial calendar? Now’s the time to make one. Excel spreadsheets work just fine for this task. Organize them by month/week/day with space for any metrics you’d like to include:
• word count
• where it will be shared across social media
• Targeted buyer persona
See where this is going? Once you create an editorial calendar with these metrics for the new year, it will be super easy to denote how well your content performed come the following December.
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
Make a list of all of the marketing initiatives you completed throughout the year, including anything that’s still running or will run throughout the rest of the year, and use that information to plan for the next. Make sure to include:
- The general basics of the campaigns (e.g., what was created, how was it distributed, etc.)
- How much you spent in advertising, placement, and your team’s time to create and execute.
- The results you received (e.g., number of leads, the number of closed deals that originated from the campaign, the revenue received and projected, etc.)
- What elements worked, and what didn’t.
Once you’ve completed this exercise for all of your initiatives, create a loose plan for marketing initiatives for the upcoming year. Keep the strategies that worked and change (or abandon) those that didn’t. Of course, certain things may change as the year goes on, so some items will want to be planned out a quarter ahead while others, like big channel shows, are more certain and can be prepped for with more advance notice. Either way, taking stock of this year’s marketing will help you hit the ground running in the year to come.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
With the end of the year quickly approaching, now is a great time to reflect on the past year’s successes, and identify where you need to improve. One chore that is put off during the year is strategizing and “cleaning” your email marketing automation software.
One way to make your software more efficient is to clean your email list. Some good starting points are:
- Deleting unengaged subscribers
- Updating subscriber’s information
- Adding new contacts (if you have the information available)
If you are just starting to build an email list, check out our tips that will make the process quick and easy.
Another improvement is to integrate your sales CRM with your marketing automation tool. When these two platforms are not connected it causes the sales team, and revenue, to suffer. The integration of these platforms gives sales complete visibility into who is a “hot” lead so they can prioritize who they reach out to. We recently switched to HatchBuck, an all-in-one tool, from InfusionSoft and PipeDrive. Not only has it saved us time, but it has helped sales and marketing work in tandem.
And before you begin any email marketing next year, make sure to strategize! Every campaign should have a goal and target a specific audience.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
As the other Mojo’ers mentioned, the end of the year is great time for reflection and cleaning house. For social, it’s a great time to see what worked, what didn’t, and what can be done to clean up your lists.
Take a look back at your primary social channels and look at which posts got a lot of engagement, and which ones got very little. Take note of these and work more and less of each into your plan for next year. Make a plan to experiment with some posts that are a different spin on posts that worked really well. If there is any pattern to the posts that fell flat, either eliminate those posts or brainstorm some ways to improve them. Social is a great medium for experimentation, so it’s a good idea to come up with some test to run in the new year to find new ways to move the needle.
List hygiene is also important for the end of the year. For each social channel, take a look at who you are following and who is following you. Unfollow anyone you are following who really isn’t relevant to your industry or who you have noticed is either spammy or completely inactive. Take some time to think about any key people who you should be following but aren’t—new clients, prospects, industry influencers—and follow them.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
At the end of each year it is important to think about how you can improve for the coming year. On a personal level one thing that you can do is to implement at least three new things into your daily routine that will help you to achieve your goals for the coming year. A good way to determine what things you will implement is by first creating the following lists;
1. Create a list of all of your accomplishments. For each one take note of what it took on your part to achieve the accomplishment.
2. Create a list of all of the things that you think could have gone better. What could you have done differently for each?
3. Create a list of your goals. What things are you hoping to achieve in the coming year?
Once you have these lists then you can start to think about what you will implement into your daily routine in order to achieve your goals. Pick at least three new things that you will implement into your daily routine. Then keep track of your daily activity metrics so that you can see if they are helping or not.