Making the most of the halfway point of the year
On New Year's Day the entirety of the year ahead feels long and full of possibility. Business marketers launch all sorts of novel initiatives to kick off the new year. Everything seems possible.
As the first months elapse we watch for marketing successes and opportunities.
I'm always slightly awe-struck by the arrival of summer. How are we halfway through the year? The halfway point of the year offers a splendid perspective on the second half of the year.
What marketing plans should we have in place for the second half of the year? Interestingly, now is the time to think closely and carefully about the third and fourth quarters. While schools are wrapping up classes for the summer, while children are heading to camp and to play outside and while we think about summer breaks and a slower, more languid work pace, we do have to think about the fall and winter marketing plans.
There are a few ways you might think about the third and fourth quarters:
1. Consider how to maximize your enterprise's connection to upcoming holidays. Give consideration to how you might create meaning for your stakeholders focusing on Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and the many other holidays that dot the horizon on the calendar.
2. People consciously or unconsciously use holidays as guideposts for purchasing behavior, professional decision-making and more. In what ways do you want your business to show up and stand out during these moments?
3. Give thought to the cycles your business goes through. How can you anticipate the peaks and valleys of busyness to find even more success?
Now is the time to think about:
1. Advertising: You should be preparing compelling print, radio or digital ads that celebrate your business, services or products during the second half of the year.
2. Print collateral: What do your business cards, brochures, letterhead and other materials look like? Are you proud of them when you present them? If not, now is the time to improve their look and feel. You should love your collateral and giving these elements to people should make you feel as if you are giving them a gift. Any feeling less than that is a missed opportunity.
3. Social media: What channels is your business present on? What sort of content have you been publishing and is it resonating with your audience segments? If you are not garnering likes, comments and shares, your social content is not engaging and fizzy enough.
4. Website: Does your website perform for you? Does it turn up very high in search results? Do your visitors find the information they are seeking on your website? Now is the time to update the front end and back end of the website.
5. Google presence: I've written about this before and it absolutely merits repeating, the Google Business Profile is possibly the single most important digital asset for your business. It must be accurate and up-to-date or you will lose business.
6. Media opportunities: Are you an expert in your field or channel? What media would take an interest in your point of view? Now is the time to reach out to media contacts and invite coverage and connection. Earned media is powerful and reinforces and amplifies your expertise.
7. Ratings and reviews: If you aren't asking your customers to rate and review your business you are losing out on an important opportunity to discover how much they love your business or where you can improve things for greater satisfaction.
There is so much you can do to support your business success. Above are just some very straightforward ways you can celebrate your services and products.
I encourage my clients to take chances and try some new approaches in addition to the ones that are already in use. Now is the right time to see what might work well and uncover new and exciting ways to grow your revenue and increase consumer evangelism for your brand.
• Rebecca Hoffman is the founder and principal of Good Egg Concepts, a strategic communications and brand marketing consulting practice serving clients around Chicagoland and nationally