5 Marketing Tips to Make your Q4 EasierJames Simpson
October 1st is more than just a day. The leaves have started to change, there's a nip to the air, and, most importantly, it's the start of the dreaded 4th Quarter. It’s the perfect time for pressures outside of the office and end-of-year projects, goals, and initiatives—along with your normal everyday tasks and to-dos—to combine for a perfect storm of busyness and anxiety.
While we can’t help you prep your home for the holidays or suggest a present for your hard-to-buy-for-sister-in-law, we can help make the next 12 weeks feel more manageable. Here is a list of common marketing to-do items to focus on what can set you up for a successful and, hopefully, less stressful, Q4 and beyond.
1. Schedule Meetings with Time to Spare
Everyone is busy during the holiday season. If you have a Q4 meeting to schedule, it’s best to put it on the calendar early in case any problems come up. Imagine you schedule your meeting, it gets canceled, and now you’re stuck squeezing crucial meetings around time off and internal end-of-year priorities. That’s stressful! You can work to avoid that hassle by scheduling meetings now with plenty of time to spare.
2. Design Your Holiday Cards and Gifts Now (Yes, Right Now)
The holidays are a perfect time to show some appreciation for your customers and business partners. It is never too early to start planning and ordering any holiday cards, gifts, or promotional material. Especially when custom work is involved, it may take time to get the details hammered out between your design team and your provider. Products need to be chosen well in advance so custom boxes can be designed to fit the items, and custom mailing labels can be printed so the package is fully branded. This process can take longer than you expect it to! It’s likely a busy season for whoever you’re working with, so do yourselves both a favor and get a head start on whatever you’re planning for the holiday season.
3. Spend the Rest of Your Budget
Remember that budget you fought so hard for at the beginning of the year? If you don’t use it all up - ideally effectively - it’ll be much more difficult to justify receiving it again next year. If you’re struggling to figure out how to spend your budget, you could design branded printed pieces for your new projects or programs, revamp your website, or develop new signage for your business. You could also use your funding to start preparing for next year.
4. Learn From the Year So Far
It’s time to reflect on the successes and failures so far. Where did your marketing excel? Where did it fall short? Is there something you didn’t do this year that could help your business out next year? These are all things to consider as you move into Q4 and beyond.
5. Start Developing Next year's Marketing Plan
It’s not too early to start developing next year's plan. With the wins and losses of the last year top of mind, you can start to lay the groundwork for an effective 2024. Have your goals changed? Has the direction of your business changed? These are all crucial considerations when developing your marketing plan. You also need to consider how the marketing plan fits with other aspects of your company. This is a great time to get all departments on the same page. If you’re struggling to lay out your strategy, we’ve created a Strategic Marketing Plan Worksheet to help get you started.
Q4 is a stressful time for everybody, but there are things you can do to close out a successful year and lay the foundation for another great year. It’s a time for reflection, time management, and preparation for what’s to come. Good luck with the fourth quarter!