Holy wow -- it's June.
Every year it seems you glance down for just one second, and then look up at the calendar and it's June.
It’s easy to get caught up in the little details and hassles of each day.
So easy, in fact, that even though you may have set some concrete business goals at the beginning of the year, it’s easy to lose sight of those goals and get off track.
If it feels like the first 6 months passed you by in the blink of an eye, don't panic.
You still have a chance to reflect on your business and set the course for the rest of the year without letting the next 6 months blow by.
But if you DON'T take some time to reflect...
Before you know it, you'll be at a New Year's party, and someone will be asking you about your business, and you'll find yourself lamenting about the SAME stuck systems, processes or employees. Nothing has changed.
Take some time to reassess your business progress, goals, and marketing plan with a mid-year marketing health check.
At the very minimum, I suggest you take 1 hour to go through this article with the checklist you can get for free below. I will share the necessary steps to conduct the most important details for your own mid-year marketing review
Examine Your Business Head-to-Toe With This FREE Mid-Year Marketing Checklist
Use the form below to get it emailed to you instantly.
Summer is a fantastic time to review your business goals and marketing plan. Take some time to reassess your progress and strategy with a mid-year marketing health check.
As a successful marketer for more than two decades now, I recommend taking at least a couple hours to go through the checklist.
By committing some dedicated time to the task, you will ensure you take advantage of any available opportunities. You might find that your goals have shifted -- take the moment to ensure your processes, systems and team structure fits your new objectives.
And you know what, you'll probably find yourself enjoying it! I always love taking inventory of my goals and redirecting the reins where needed.
Have a beer or glass of wine, if that's your thing, and have at it -- whatever you do, the most important thing is that you block out some time in your calendar and just DO IT.
By the time December rolls around and we're all back to having those New Year's parties (woohoo!), you'll be singing a much different tune than the one above. AND you'll be poised to take your business to new heights in 2022.
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist #1:
Website Health Check
This might seem basic, but because the website is often the welcome mat to the house of your business, it's essential that it's clean, maintained, and imprinted with the right "Welcome" message.
So, to dig in, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How is your website creative? Examine it as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Is the content and information up-to-date? Does every page have a consistent format for navigation, headers, text, typography, and hyperlinks? Does the design look fresh or does it seem dated? As a timeline check, if you haven't updated your website in 3 years...it's time to do a refresh. It doesn't have to be a complete tear down and rebuild at all -- usually swapping out a few images and doing a copy refresh can do wonders.
- How is your website performance? Really dig in and look at the journey and time spent. Where do site visitors come from and what pages do they visit the most?
- Do you have a lead magnet? Do you have any free offers, exit intents, or other lead magnets? How are they performing? Do you have more opt-ins or less? Are there any points where you can improve it? This is both the actual lead magnet itself and any follow-up communications/offers. If you DON'T yet have a lead magnet, then this project should be added to your to-do list for the next 6 months!
- Do you have a testimonial's page? If so, is it updated with your most recent positive reviews and testimonials? If you don't have a page, consider adding one. Yes, anyone can Google or Yelp your business, but showcasing the best on your website (when they're already there) makes it even easier for visitors to start forming a feeling of alignment and connection with you.
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist Item #2:
Branding Health Check
This mid-year branding health check is closely related to the website review above, but it takes a step back to look at your marketing materials and assets as a whole.
Below I will share some essential branding questions you should ask yourself in your mid-year marketing review. I've adapted these from an in-depth article I wrote SOLELY on the subject of branding. (click here if you want to read it --> "Top Brand Audit Questions You Should Ask Yourself.")
- Do all elements of your branding look similar? Does the design of your lead magnets match your case studies? Does your website give the same impression as your social media pages? This doesn't go for just color and imagery -- consistent formatting across blogs, emails, and lead magnets is important to reduce friction in the mind. It also goes a long way to give an impression of professionalism!
- Does the look of your brand match the way you want customers to perceive your business? Does the design of each of your marketing materials -- not just your website -- present your brand in the proper light?
- Do you have a brand guide? A brand guide, at the most basic level, will define your organization’s colors, typography, voice, tone, and feel, and can be a huge help to ensure your marketing materials, social media channels, and other assets look consistent across the board. This is valuable, whether you have an entire inhouse design team or contract out to freelance designers.
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist Item #3:
Content Health Check
Content is the biggest driver for educating your prospects and engaging them with your brand to build deeper loyalty. During this mid=year marketing review, you'll see if what you have is working or if you need to make some adjustments.
- How is your blog performing? Look at it compared to last year at this time. Does your blog have the resources needed? Do you need to hire a writer, editor or designer? Does it include any free resources/lead magnets or meaningful connection to your products and services? If you don't have a blog, consider adding one. Or at the very least, a monthly newsletter with seasonal tips related to your industry. This gives you a value-added excuse to be in your prospect's inbox (and mind) with minimal effort.
- Do you have an editorial calendar for your content marketing? When it comes to content production, you want to keep it consistent, and having an editorial calendar helps that AND it can help you establish themes that help to naturally push or insert products and services.
- Are your social media marketing efforts yielding results compared to last year? Has engagement changed? Which platforms are you focusing on and why? Is your content tailored to those specific platforms?
- Have you done a content audit? That can include: reviewing lead magnets, blog posts, emails, ads and more to see if they all have CTAs that guide your audience to precisely the next step you want them to take. Meaningful CTAs should drive trackable customer action you can follow up on.
Don't Forget to Grab Your FREE Mid-Year Marketing Checklist
Use the form below to get it emailed to you instantly.
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist Item #4:
Ideal Buyer Health Check
Your customer base is key to the health of your business, so it's key to review and make sure you're hitting your desired target.
- Are you acquiring new qualified leads? Are your prospects and leads growing at similar rates to last year? If not, what has changed?
- Has your ideal buyer changed in the last 6 months? Do your new prospects have the same traits as your existing customers? If not, what impact will this have on your marketing? Do you need new marketing personas? If so, then see Mid-Year Marketing Checklist #4 below!
- Are all of your current customers active? Are you cultivating your email list, and nurturing your relationship with your current customers?
- Are more steps needed to convert prospects? What does the customer journey look like to your prospects at every step in their decision-making process?
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist Item #5:
Marketing Strategy Health Check
A well-thought-out marketing plan will give you the right tools, timeline, and strategy to smoothly navigate your way to achieve your goals. A mid-year marketing review will help you see what is working and what isn't, and adjust your plan for the rest of the year.
- Have any goals not been implemented? Go back to your ideas from the beginning of the year to see what has NOT yet been implemented. If it’s still viable, see how you can work it into your marketing plan for the next 6 months.
- Does your marketing plan take into your account your entire customer journey? Unique to marketing, it is essential that your plan takes into account the entire customer journey.
- Are you using marketing automation? If so, is it providing the results you expected?
If you’re familiar with my blog or my work, then you know that it took me nearly a decade to develop a proprietary process called the Marketing RAMPⓇ. This process provides my clients at Built by LoveⓇ with their customer journey completely mapped out.
I’m going to share with you a brief outline of just some of the things it addresses. It will be a good gut check for you to go through this list and see how your marketing plan lines up.
- Does your marketing plan detail your ideal buyers and how you currently communicate with them?
- Does your marketing plan include your differentiating statement that clearly states why your brand/business is better than the competition?
- Does your marketing plan break down the stages of your Ideal Customer Journey? How are you addressing their needs, wants and objections at every stage in that journey?
- Does your marketing plan map out how to infuse delight for your customers in everything you do?
- Does your marketing plan outline the assets to be shared during each stage of the Customer Journey?
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist Item #6:
Team Health Check
Your marketing plan is only as strong as the team implementing your plan. Here are some important questions to ask yourself for your mid-year marketing review.
- Were there any significant management changes or internal shifts made? Did you lose a vital team member? On the other side, did you let go of someone that was hurting the team? Is someone proving themselves to be a rising start? Has any of this affected your marketing?
- How does your sales team work with your marketing team? Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? Are there ways their communication could be streamlined? Do they meet regularly?
- Do you need additional production and/or technical support? If you find you just aren't able to accomplish your marketing goals with the team or time you have on hand, consider outsourcing some of your work (and all of your stress!) to a professional marketing agency. We have the firepower, capacity, and abilities capability to work as your in-house marketing team or as your one-off design project or strategy consultant.
Just schedule a consult here with my team to learn more and get your questions answered.
Mid-Year Marketing Checklist Item #7:
External Forces Health Check
As 2020 painfully reminded us, external forces outside of our control --- political, financial and technical -- all can impact our businesses. So, don't forget to take into account these factors when doing your mid-year marketing review:
- Is the economy performing as you projected? The pandemic is certainly an event but life has continued on more or less and the "new normal" is beginning to take shape. Have any other major events at your local, state, or even the international level had an impact on your business?
- How is your distribution network, if applicable? Again, looking at the local, national and international state of things in the past 6 months, have any disruptions happened in your distribution network? If your business is at risk of being affected, look at where you can diversify your distribution lines.
- Has the weather caused major issues? In California, fires can cause massive damage to business both through direct fire damage and also via power outages. Last year, millions were affected. Earlier this year during the winter months, Texas also suffered a major power crisis due to winter storms.
- And of course, good old governmental regulations. Especially with the pandemic, there have been a slew of regulatory issues and tax changes that might have had an unforeseen impact on your business. Is there anything you can do now to prepare for negative changes or take advantage of beneficial rules, grants or assistance?
MARKETING CHECKLIST CONCLUSION - THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Holy wow, we did it.
If you didn't go through and do it with the checklist, I highly suggest you do it now! Just fill out the form below to get it emailed to you instantly.
Examine Your Business Head-to-Toe With This FREE Mid-Year Marketing Checklist
A mid-year marketing health check is important to keep your business on track. A fall off in the first half of the year may bode poorly for the rest of the year and a mid-year marketing review can ensure that doesn't come to pass.
- You can see if you’re meeting your targets and determine if your marketing plans need to be adjusted.
- You can take stock of your strategies for the rest of the year
- And you can start thinking about 2022 priorities.
I invite you to schedule a free call with my team and I today to assess what the best direction you should take for the greatest possible chance of success for the rest of this year!