Everywhere you look, there are signs reminding us how many days there are until Christmas or how many days there are left of this year. To me, it seems like we were just stocking up on bottled water and cash getting ready to ring in the year 2000, Y2K, and now we’re counting down to 2020. As a business owner, you are likely using these last few weeks of 2019 to plan for the new year, finalizing budgets and prioritizing marketing plans. Do you know what those plans look like? How do you plan for the future if you don’t review what you’ve done in the past?
Hopefully, as you’ve made your plans for the year ahead, you have spent time reflecting on what actions you took this year. Were they all successful? Did some of the marketing strategies you implement work better than others? Are there some actions that were smart, but could have used some better implementation? Think back on each strategy, before you plan what you will do in the future.
March on with Successful Strategies
Perhaps you conducted a producer meeting this year that had tremendous turnout, introduced some producers to your products and captured some new customers. That is the definition of success. Think about what made that meeting successful. Was it the speaker? The topics discussed? The audience? Time of year? Whatever made that event successful this year, you will want to capitalize on for the future. As the adage goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” move forward with similar events and marketing initiatives in the new year to ensure continued growth for your business.
Fix what Needs Fixin’
As mentioned in the previous article, it is best to debrief or reflect after each event to see what worked well and what didn’t. If you conducted a marketing event during the past year that had some good things going, but didn’t really hit the target, perhaps now is a good time to review those debriefing or post-event notes to recall what didn’t work out so great so you can go back and make necessary changes. Once you review the event, make the changes and add it to your strategy for the forthcoming year, you might find it to be the biggest success of all. Sometimes a little tweak is all that needs fixed to make a good event a great event.
It’s Okay to Call it Quits
Did you conduct a marketing initiative, educational event or promotion that was an absolute flop? That is going to happen once in a while. No, it isn’t ideal, and for those of you driven business leaders, those flops hurt, but we can learn from them and move forward. Maybe it was something as simple as the timing of an event or maybe it was a promotion that just didn’t interest your customer base. Sometimes the biggest lessons come from the hardest times. Your debrief notes should indicate that this was something that your company doesn’t intend to do again. Don’t spend time dwelling on this event. Move on, learn from mistakes and don’t make them again.
Once you have reviewed what worked out well and what didn’t work out so well, you can start making some marketing plans. Try to have a rough plan in place for the next 12 months, so you can start sharing plans with your ASM and creating an outline with more concrete ideas. Remember, there are a plethora of activities and ideas listed in the back office under the Dealer Rewards Center. Or, you can always propose one of your original ideas to your ASM and the Marketing Team.
Reviewing your former marketing strategies is a great way to discover what worked, what didn’t work and what you need to continue to make work in the future.