Summer is almost over and as autumn creeps closer, turn your thoughts to what marketing you need to be doing in the last quarter of the year and look at ‘Your Autumn Marketing Checklist’.
Before you launch your Autumn, Winter, and Christmas campaigns, it’s worth reviewing your marketing strategy. Dust it off and check that:
- You’re still after that same position and recognition in the market place
- Your segments haven’t changed too much and the Personas you have created for them are still up to date
- The products / services you offer your market are still the same and the descriptions of them are still relevant
- Your core messages are still the same and don’t need refining.
If anything needs updating or adapting, then do that now before you launch into creating a Marketing Plan. If you need help with a Strategic Marketing Review, then get in touch as this is a core part of what I do.
Make sure this plan includes:
- realistic goals
- measurements to check that you are heading in the right direction
- measurements that tell you you have got there.
Given that the world is still uncertain, ensure you build your plan so that elements of it can be adapted and changed rapidly. Last year showed us how haunting it can be to be viewing adverts showing holidays and going out at a time when the world was locked down and shut off. While this level of uncertainty still exists, try not to create a plan where everything is so tightly interwoven that if one thing has to change (eg one message, one image, one creative) you have to scrap the whole lot. Think ‘modular’.
Do any of your marketing foundations need fixing? By this I mean things that most of your marketing rests on. They include:
- social media profiles
- brand collateral eg logos, images, words, fonts
- marketing collateral e.g. videos, leaflets, emails
- marketing automation e.g. emails, retargeting ads
- the skills and knowledge of you and the rest of the team involved in marketing – have things moved on, do you need to brush up on new skills?
If you only find out your marketing foundations need fixing once you have launched a campaign, life can become quite stressful as you try to build, launch and fix simultaneously.
A lot can happen over summer. And a lot can happen in a summer in a pandemic and this can impact Marketing Budget. So, check. Go back to the Budget you have put aside for Autumn and Winter and check:
- costs haven’t gone up since you set the budget
- suppliers are still in place
- that the budget you need is still available.
And remember: if your organisation has had a better business period than forecast, it could be there is more money to be had to spend on marketing. Budgets can be changed down and up.
5. Dip Test the Market place
Before you launch your Autumn Marketing, check that it will be well received. If you don’t have the time / budget / resource to do full on market place testing, then you can ‘dip test’ the market place yourself.
These are some good steps to take:
- Read, watch, observe, listen to your audiences and think
- Are they saying or doing anything that you should take into account when you launch your next marketing campaign?
- If something does ping on your radar, then look at it a little deeper to ascertain how important it is and how much you need to adapt what you are doing because of it.
Take the time to really think about what you can do that will truly engage your audience. If you start to think about it now and you come up with a creative idea, you still have the time to plan and execute it. It’s no good getting the idea for a brilliant client Christmas Campaign at the start of December.
It can be hard to get inspiration when you are sat here in the ‘wrong’ season, so here’s how I advise my clients to get in the right headspace:
- Search ‘Best Campaigns Autumn 2020’, ‘Best Christmas Marketing Ever’, ‘Award winning marketing Campaigns’ and see what others have done in previous years for the season you are looking at
- Look at what is being launched right now, by snooping around, ‘Marketing Week’ and ‘Campaign’ (both need free subscriptions)
- Ask your network what their plans are for Autumn Marketing and Campaigns and get chatting to them to spark ideas.
And if you are still struggling, then go for a walk and forget about it. By the time your walk ends, you’ll have some ideas.
Get help and support
You may also wish to find out more about, ‘The Marketing Spaces’ a membership platform for marketers and business professionals who do marketing – contact me directly for more details.