Where did the year go? In the third quarter, your goals need to shine — or else you may not reach the finishing line at the end of the year.
Q3 marketing goals can feel overwhelming. After all, at this point in the year, goals are serious business. Are you halfway to where you need to be? Have you been crossing off to-dos and reaching mini milestones? Your third quarter (or Q3) strategy should be an extension of the first and second quarter strategies. Ultimately, it should all add up to year-to-date results that demonstrate progress and keep the ball rolling.
In other words, as you approach the third quarter and think about the theme for Q3 marketing goals, it’s about finishing what you started. This is not the time to coast along. Instead, assess where you are and decide what to do to stay on track. Is it time to step up and rev the engine a little? Or is everything actually going well and worth staying the course?
As scary as Q3 can be, with the clock beginning to tick louder, timing is your friend here. Guess what? You’re halfway through the year. That means you still have six months to do great work. Even if you started off slow in January, a fast pace in June can help make up lost opportunities. But remember, if you aren’t hitting your target goals, that means someone else might be. Is your audience in someone else’s backyard? Is another organization’s effective emailing campaign outpacing yours?
Staying on top of your Q3 marketing goals ensures your brand is gaining traction and your audience isn’t lagging behind.
What’s Happening in Q3 Anyway?
Sometimes, it’s helpful to take our noses out of our lists and see what’s happening in the world around us. No matter what you hope to accomplish, your Q3 marketing goals cannot ignore what’s going on for your employees, clients, and partners. As June turns into July, calendars turn for some organizations on certain fiscal year schedules. On the plus side, there’s time for travel, family gatherings, and summer camp. Severe summer storms and droughts may also impact your audience. Some folks may be planning weddings or moving. And then, ultimately, there’s the return to a school-year routine in September.
Your Q3 marketing goals must take note — consumers may be spending more, as they enjoy time outside and activities. They may also be expecting certain sales for holidays like July Fourth and Labor Day or back-to-school themed purchases. Lean into the themes of the summer months to maximize your communications. Launch a summer reading challenge, offer a packed picnic basket lunch option, and offer deals that help your audience enjoy this time of year. You can focus on the big picture but make tweaks to your marketing campaigns and services to help you reach goals.
Think about the habits, products, and needs of your audiences in Q3 as you consider your marketing goals. Your people may be expecting certain communications or looking to hear from you less; they may be unplugged or temporarily altering their social media habits. Make adjustments as needed. But also remember that summer is a temporary state — the leaves will soon be falling and temperatures dropping — so there’s no need to go too wild. Stay on track by making smart adjustments.
Love It? List It
Ah, summer. The sun, the sand, the vacation days. Wait, what were we talking about? That’s right — Q3 marketing goals.
It’s easy to get distracted halfway through the year. You’ve been cruising along and are ready to take a break. (Which is totally okay! A break could help you recharge and get back in the game with more oomph.) But even so, now is not the time to get too distracted. The right list and resources can help you keep it together.
Before you pull up the list of marketing goals you created at the start of the year, make a list of your current priorities. What’s been top of mind lately? And what has been taking up the most time? Now, take out the official goals list and compare. Is the thing you’ve been spending most of your time on the no. 1 goal on your list? Maybe not. And is the thing that you’re most excited about trying there?
If there’s an idea that you love, a goal that cannot be forgotten, or a plan that needs to come through, write it down. Again. Reflecting on your year-to-date performance and priorities will help you reach your Q3 marketing goals. It is critical to understand what you’ve been doing right (and wrong). The knowledge will be well worth the reflection time.
Don’t Love It? Toss It
The start of the year holds a lot of promise. There’s the excitement of starting a new year, new project, new goals list. Then…the months sort of merge together. Winter turns into spring. Spring turns into summer. Your to-do list picks up dust.
If the start of the year was about saying “yes,” the middle of the year might be about saying “no.” And, while we don’t like to be negative, there is a positive side to learning how to say no. In fact, turning down certain opportunities or ideas could make you more productive and focused. Setting healthy boundaries and work and stopping people-pleasing tendencies can ultimately make you more content and effective. Think about it like this: When you say no to the wrong opportunities, you are also saying yes to recommitting yourself to the right opportunities.
Ensure you have the time and energy to focus on your key priorities. Toss the ideas that are taking up too much time and not bringing results. Your Q3 marketing goals should focus on platforms that make sense.
Refuse to Give Up!
Here’s the thing—it’s not yet time to wrap up the year. There are still months to go. And, as long as you still have the energy, creative resources, and budget, it’s time to keep at your Q3 marketing goals.
As stressful as it can be to look around and realize you’re not where you want to be, it’s more stressful to do nothing about it. The summer months can be busy, fun, and full of activity for your clients. Lean into all they bring while keeping your overall goals in mind and you will be sailing through these warmer days.