What To Do Before the Year Ends: A Marketing Checklist for Businesses

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Posted on December 13, 2022 by Claire Page

As the year comes to a close, it’s time for businesses to start planning their marketing strategies for the following year. Whether you’re a large corporation or small business owner, reviewing your marketing plan is an integral part of your end-of-year checklist. If you’re unsure where to start, here is a checklist of things you should do before the end of the year.

Review your marketing goals and objectives for the year

You should go through each component of your marketing plan one by one and note any issues or topics that need to be addressed. Be sure to look back at the schedules, data, financial reports, and the milestones or benchmarks you set to evaluate your business’ progress.

  • Calculate what has been accomplished.
  • Determine which aspects of your marketing mix are working well and which ones need improvement.
  • Examine how well your channels are meeting your objective.
  • Take a look at what you need to keep doing or what you need to begin doing to achieve your goals the next time.
  • Review your income statement, balance sheet, and financial reports and compare them to your marketing goals.

Evaluate Your Marketing Efforts and Tactics – Which Ones Worked Well, and Which Ones Need Improvement

Has your business accomplished the goals that were set in its plan? If not, what prevented them from being fulfilled as expected? Have you seen an increase in new customers over the past year? Were business promotions successful? Are you going to finish the year strong?

When you examine each of your marketing channels on their own and as a whole, you will be able to determine which of them have been productive and which have not been pulling their weight in terms of efficacy.

The following are some questions that you and your team may want to ask themselves as you review your strategy:

  • How could you more effectively distribute resources like the time you spend and the cash flow you have?
  • How much did your traffic, conversions, and return on investment improve from one month to the next?
  • How do you plan to accomplish what you’ve set out to do moving forward?
  • Where should you concentrate most of your efforts if you want to improve upon your previous performance?
  • Are you using the appropriate metrics to evaluate your progress?

If an unanticipated event was the cause of a missed benchmark, then it is possible that modifying the plan is not required to address the situation. However, if the amount of work you had to do, the experience you had, or the way you prioritized your tasks caused you to miss the benchmark, consider modifying it to something more applicable to your company.

Make a plan to improve your weakest areas

In most cases, you’ll find that not all of your first strategy was operating as intended. Now is the time to make adjustments once you have determined what is successful and what is not working for you.

You and the other key decision-makers at your organization should review your strategy to reflect the modifications you have developed together. This could entail adjusting your content strategy and the regularity with which new content is published, utilizing new social media accounts to reach your target market, improving cash flow by increasing or decreasing your budget, or coming up with some new ideas.

Analyze your customer data to see who your most profitable customers were 

As beneficial as new customers are to a small business, you can’t forget to nurture your loyal customers. Review your profit and loss statement, income statement, and business finances to discover your most profitable customers.

If new clients were your income source during the current year, new client acquisition might be a benchmark you want to set for the future. Was your small business most profitable during the holidays when spending was at an all-time high? Should you put more stock into promotions during the holiday season?

Also, where they are shopping can make a difference as well. If your business sees more online sales, your website landing pages may have to be overhauled. Are they coming to your website through social media content? Should you be advertising more through your social media?

Reflect on the audience and prepare to focus your intentions on them in the coming year. 

Set new marketing goals for the next year

How will we know whether these adjustments to the strategy were successful? How will you evaluate whether or not you are on the right path to achieving your objectives? Setting new standards will ensure that your plan continues to be on track for success and will also make every team member accountable for their contributions.

If feasible, these benchmarks should be saved in a location that is easily accessible to everyone on the team. One of the most effective strategies for encouraging consistent performance from your team is to remind them regularly of how success will be judged.

If you haven’t yet, Create a budget for your marketing initiatives

How will you know if your business is successful if you don’t grasp your financial statements well? If you haven’t already, use an accredited accountant or accounting software to help make sense of the numbers.

Your financial records should go along with your marketing plan, as some metrics can only be measured by how much cash you have. Your action plan should also include your cash flow statement so that you know if your profit is higher than your expenses.

Small business owners understand immensely the importance of reducing expenses and keeping their balance sheet in the black. To improve cash flow, look at your business needs and review areas in your marketing plan where you can reduce your costs. If a strategy isn’t working, then get rid of it. If a process works, is there a cost-effective alternative to achieve the same results?

With a new marketing checklist, you are ready to grow your small business and create a better experience for your clients. Having your employees involved in the process can help your business achieve its goals faster and allow your company to thrive.

Once you have reviewed and set your marketing goals, go to Social Link to complete a proposal so we can help you achieve your marketing goals for 2023! Social Link has the tools to help you accomplish your goals with experts in SEO, design, social media, etc. They can help you navigate the newest marketing trends and create a marketing strategy that compliments your brand. Work with this award-winning, full-service marketing agency and grow your business to new levels..

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