Mid-year business reviews give you a chance to get a clear picture of what’s going on in your business and the same is true of your mid-year marketing check-in: It’s a chance to see what’s working, what’s not, and how best to move forward.
In our previous mid-year marketing plan check-in blog, we gave you a set of steps to follow as you conduct your marketing mid-year review. If it’s been a while since you reviewed those steps, you can find that blog here. And if you’re looking for more insight on marketing plan evaluation, be sure to check out our blog on Q4 marketing pushes here.
But today, we’re taking a look at the key questions you can use to begin your own mid-year marketing check-in.
These questions are not meant to be an exhaustive list of what you and your team should explore. Rather, these questions are provided as a jumping-off point for each topic in a set of key areas to explore during this check-in. From budgeting to the game plan for what’s next, these questions are designed to create a dialogue between you and your team.
And from those conversations, you’ll develop a strategic perspective on what’s next for your marketing campaigns.
Let’s get to it.
Question 1: How are we progressing toward our annual goals?
The first question we suggest as you begin your mid-year review relates to your annual goals.
A lot can happen in 6 months and so it’s natural that your goals may have evolved since that time. But if they’ve remained the same, it’s important to reflect on whether you’re making real progress toward them.
Whether you selected a single key performance indicator (KPI) to track or have several you’re keeping tabs on, this question can help you evaluate where you’ve seen growth and progress and where you may not have seen growth.
- Are we seeing signs of growth?
- Are there any indications of decline?
- Where are we in terms of growth in the ___ area?
This question can also help you to begin the process of refining your strategy as you’ll be able to get a real look at how your marketing is supporting your business.
Question 2: How does our marketing budget look?
Aligning or realigning your budget is a key step in any mid-year review but it’s especially vital when it comes to your marketing budget. When you conduct check-ins and measure KPIs you’ll have data to back up your decisions to invest or not invest in certain areas.
- Are there areas where we could cut spending without impacting our KPIs?
- Where are we getting the most for our money?
- What might we be overspending on?
This question can also help you see where you may be over-investing, overspending, or missing the mark with where your money goes and how hard it works for you.
Question 3: What’s coming up?
Your mid-year marketing check-in is also a fantastic time for a review of your calendar.
From trade shows to launches or even anticipating potential slow seasons ahead, take some time to check what’s on your calendar and allow that to inform your content marketing and other efforts.
Are there any lulls in our calendar where we could work on bigger marketing items like our website?
- When will we need all hands on deck?
- When should we do our next launch?
- When is that industry convention?
- What will we need to prepare for it?
- Are we ready for the upcoming holiday season?
Reviewing your calendar can also help you plan for big marketing investments like ad campaigns or a website overhaul that you may want to do at different points in your sales cycle. And getting clear on the calendar for the rest of the year also allows you to keep your team on track as you move toward your goals.
Question 4: What’s not working?
Once you’ve reviewed your progress toward your goals, your calendar, and your marketing budget, it’s time to bring all of that information to bear on your overall marketing strategy. And one helpful question to ask yourself and your team to consider is,
- “Given all this information, what’s not working for us from a marketing perspective?”
While it’s often easy to see what’s working (the pay-off is usually evident by the impact on one or more of your KPIs, after all), figuring out what’s not working may be a question you tackle with a trusted marketing strategist.
And whether you decide to tackle this question alone or to reach out to an agency partner like Revelation Creative, getting to the bottom of what’s not moving you closer to your marketing and business growth goals is a major goal of any mid-year check-in. Perhaps the greatest benefit: answering this question can help you experience greater growth in the future.
Question 5: What’s next?
Once you’ve identified what’s not working for you when it comes to your marketing strategy, it’s time to look ahead. When considering what’s next, you’ll take the lessons learned from the other questions in your mid-year marketing review and weave them into a strategy for the weeks and months ahead.
- Where will you allocate your time, money, and resources in service of your goals?
- What steps will you take to meet these goals?
- And what changes will you make to your current course of action, if a change of pace or direction is needed?
These questions will help you to make progress toward your goals as you move forward. And they’ll also help you recognize any areas where you may want or need support as you take action.
Connect with a Team That Can Answer Your Biggest Marketing Strategy Questions!
If these questions left you looking for a bit of guidance when it comes to your business’s marketing strategy, our Revelation Creative team can help. Contact us today to learn how we can help you make your presence known.