We’ve all heard this story before: a new year starts with the best-laid marketing plans in place, but teams soon have to pivot as priorities change or external circumstances impact goals for the year.
An extreme example of this is in 2020 when the impact of the pandemic fully set in. Another (more typical) example is a planned launch with a lot of dollars behind it getting pushed, leaving teams to recalculate months of plans to find a way forward quickly.
Even without these impacts, we learn a lot in the first six months of the year – what our target customer wants may change, and how we reach them is always evolving. Let’s look at why semi-annual planning can help marketing teams recalibrate and optimize efforts for the end of the year.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Reporting is inevitable in marketing, but how teams leverage this data can lead to some nimble strategies. While a regular cadence of reporting is always necessary, taking the time to really dig into the campaigns, content, and announcements that are performing well over a longer period, like six months, can be eye-opening.
Want to know where investments are paying off? Look at the data and how it ties to marketing goals for the year. Are current strategies effective? If yes, take this mid-year period to find where to double down. If they aren’t, look to see what may have evolved in terms of the market and how to pivot.
Objectives Aren’t Static
“Dynamic” is a word that can be used to describe every industry today. Things are constantly changing, and marketing teams are responding – often on the fly. As markets evolve, consumers become more digital, and competitors enter and disrupt the scene. Annual marketing plans that made sense in January don’t stand a chance of holding relevancy seven months into the year.
All of this means that the mid-year mark is the perfect time to look at initial objectives and update them for the second half of the year. This may mean making changes in terms of strategies and tactics, including messaging and channels. It also could result in resources being reallocated toward activities and tactics deemed high impact.
Agility Is Key. Tools Help.
Pivoting can be hard, and team members may hesitate to change their thinking. Communication and having tools that support these adjustments are critical for success.
Make sure that you have the marketing technology and tools needed to inform reporting and decision-making, as well as those that help optimize tactics. This can include data-driven influencer marketing platforms that allow you to research, execute and report on campaigns from one tool or leveraging automated reporting platforms that help gather relevant data to drive future plans.
Marketing teams understand that their world is unpredictable and ever-changing. By planning for semi-annual marketing plan updates, they are providing and setting aside the time needed to evaluate strategies and find a better way forward.