Hello, spring! Hello, Q2! Now is a good time to stop, take a breath, and reassess those goals.
You did it: You and your marketing goals made it to the second quarter. But are your marketing goals serving you as well as they could be?
As marketers and communications professionals, we are sometimes so focused on immediate needs that it can be hard to live outside the moment. There’s always a notification to check, an email to send, or a video to download. Well, don’t forget that if you don’t plan ahead there could be even more to do. Additionally, not taking the time to plan or practice routine maintenance could land you in a crisis.
Back in the cold, snowy months, we talked about winterizing goals. As auto and homeowners know, not prepping your possessions for winter could lead to a big or unnecessary expense. For example, drafty windows and doors can lead to high energy bills or frozen pipes. And foregoing the snow tires can be pricey and dangerous. Now, with the weather warming up, we are similarly called to reassess and prepare. At home, you may be opening windows, shaking our heavy blankets, and planting fresh blooms. In the marketing world, you must also look around to see what needs to be adjusted in order to take on the changes ahead.
Some might say preparing for the spring and summer months is a little sunnier than winter. There are no freezing temps to stop you from getting your jobs done! At this time of year, you also have a bit more to work with from a communications standpoint. Fortunately, that includes a quarter’s worth of data. You are no longer working in the dark. Additionally, you also have three quarters left to the year. With the right steps now, you could make spring your—ahem—springboard into a successful rest of the year.
Predictions and Goals
At the beginning of the year, our Futurist in Residence Peter Shankman shared his predictions for the year ahead. Predictions and goals go hand-in-hand. After all, if you have an expectation or hope of where you are going, you can create a path to get there. One way we could check in on the second quarter is to revisit the predictions from the start of the year, and the marketing goals they may have inspired.
When you think about goals, also make sure they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based. If your goals are too general, it can be difficult to measure your success. And it can also be difficult to reach them. With efficient goals setting, you can get organized to ensure your business grows consistently over time.
Since this is the second quarter, you may not have marketing goals that you have achieved yet. However, you can check in and measure your success so far. If you had a goal to grow a certain number of followers, how many do you have now? Or, if you had a goal to try micro-influencer marketing, have you started a list of potential partner influencers? Getting a project off the ground is a mini-goal in itself. And maybe you realized your workflow has been a little messy, keeping you from reaching your goals. Now could be the time to take a step back and talk with your team and examine ways to streamline the process.
Check Out Your Data
Thanks to your first quarter data, you are able to evaluate the success of the year so far and gauge the most important next steps. In other words, where are you with your marketing goals? And where do you need to be?
However, your reflection will only be as good as your data. If you haven’t been gathering strong data, fear not! This is the second quarter, and one marketing goal could be to strengthen your data. Spring cleaning your email lists, looking to remove bad email addresses and to understand what links are popular. Comb through your social media demographics to take in data on location, age, gender, and time and usage.
Social media marketing especially is both an art and a science. Sure, much hinges on emotional connections, creative campaigns, and artistic designs. But those elements are able to be successful in part because marketers know their audiences and are able to send beautiful, targeted messages to the right places.
Here are a few ways marketers can use data to gain insights and achieve goals.
Data can help:
- Organizations understand who is in their audience
- Build stronger relationships in real and virtual communities
- Reveal the strongest and preferred communications channels
- Add personalization and create individual experiences
Now Look Ahead and Plan
Hopefully, the year is filled with milestones. For now, you can both celebrate your immediate wins and use today’s mini goals to help ensure success later. Your second quarter marketing goals represent both short-term and long-term projects.