In the first few weeks of January, there’s lots of advice floating around out there advising brands to boldly move forward toward the goals and objectives they’ve set. It’s an exciting, optimistic time, when anything seems possible.
To transform those possibilities into even more exciting realities, now is a really good time to do a year in review if you haven’t done so. This is an internal process, where you and your key leadership team members sit down and analyze everything that’s occurred over the previous twelve months. How does your brand look compared to how it did at this time last year?
There are several elements to this Year in Review process. One focus should be the digital marketing efforts your brand has made. Identify the campaigns you’ve run, and the results of each. Which efforts were successful and why? It’s important not to let your Year in Review process devolve into a blame game; instead, focus on identifying successful elements that can be replicated in the months to come.
If one particular type of marketing event worked exceptionally well for your brand – for example, a flash sale, or a refer a friend campaign – you’ll want to structure similar events in the future. Make sure you reach out to your partner retailers to discover what type of campaigns, especially those associated with your brand, have worked well for them.
Review all of the digital platforms you’re currently using to promote your brand. This includes your website, as well as social media sites, Google AdWords, retargeting ads, etc. Assessing the performance of these channels can be tricky; if you don’t already have one, make 2016 the year you look into a marketing dashboard to simplify apple-to-apple comparisons. Remember that mobile-only apps like Instagram and Snapchat count as social media; review the progress your brand has made on those platforms. At a minimum, you’ll want to come away from this review understanding what your most active channels are, how much each channel is contributing to your revenues, and where you plan to concentrate your marketing efforts for at least the next six months. No one brand can do it all: you have to be strategic and selective.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at your partner retailers’ digital presence. As part of the Year in Review discussion, have your team discuss how the brand can better support partner retailers’ marketing efforts in the year to come. It’s hard to know what will be helpful if you don’t know what your partner retailers are doing. The time spent researching this question can help streamline your efforts and increase overall effectiveness.
The Year in Review gives focus and clarity to brand managers and the other team members responsible for implementing the marketing plan for the year to come. Remember to take notes on the insights