Aside from celebrating our nation’s birthday, the first week of July marks another important milestone for marketers and salespeople across North America. It’s the beginning of the 2nd half of the year.
Your first half of the year may have consisted of getting new campaigns in market, new content created and published, new processes established and lots of experimentation. Summer holiday season is upon us and the chaos has started to calm. The 2nd half of the year is an opportunity for refining the present and planning for the future. Here are four ideas that we hope will get your 2nd half moving in the right direction.
Please note that we’re still investigating whether there’s a correlation between changing your shirt and improved results.
1. Do a Deep Dive into Your Reporting
Now that some of your campaigns and media buy have been in market for some time, it’s time to look at the dashboard to see how you’re performing. One important question to ask yourself is whether you have the right KPI’s (key performance indicators). If you’re not measuring the right things, you won’t know what to adjust.
Some areas to look at are:
- Conversion metrics across the different stages of the funnel (Contacts, Leads, MQL, SAL, SQL, Closed Wins)
- Overall vanity metrics (email opens, click through rates, time on page etc..)
- Media buy – hopefully you have enough data from your A/B tests to make firm conclusions on how to proceed with the 2nd half of the year
2. Get Feedback from Sales
Our sales teams and channel partners are often our most influential stakeholders. If they’re not happy with the support they’re receiving from marketing, they’re either voicing their displeasure or they go radio silent and become completely unresponsive.
Now is a good time to ask them what’s working and where they need help. A few questions worth asking:
- How are the sales toolkits working? What adjustments could we make to them?
- Why are we losing deals? What issues or obstacles are you hearing from prospects? What’s the competition doing better?
- What new use-cases are you hearing about from customers and prospects?
3. Conduct a Content Audit
According to a Sirius Decisions B2B Content Study, 60-70% of B2B content goes unused. This means that 7 out of the 10 content pieces that you’ve slaved over are never seen by the outside world.
If you haven’t done one recently, now is an ideal time for a content audit. It will enable you to determine whether the content you currently have is valuable and it will help you identify content gaps in the buyer’s journey. You can then use the conclusions from the audit to create a fact-based request for budget and resources.
Our content audit template can help you get started!
4. Start Building Your “Should Try This Next Year” List.
For many of us, planning and budgeting for next year will start soon. Now is the time to start collecting ideas around campaigns, themes, creative or technology. I often come across something in my LinkedIn feed, or in a newsletter or on Twitter that will get me thinking “we should really consider trying this out for ourselves”. Sometimes I’ll even bookmark it or send myself a note. However I usually forget to follow up on these ideas when we’re brainstorming tactics or plans and then kick myself later.
I’ve now created a folder in my Evernote called “Should Try This Next Year” or STTNY for short. It’s my dumping ground for a variety of things that future Marketer David will care about including:
- Campaign executions that may serve as inspiration for us
- Ideas / tips / tactics that we should be testing ourselves
- Technology tools or platforms that we may want to trial or even allocate budget towards
I’ve also added a calendar reminder to go through the STTNY folder on a quarterly basis to tag items and to look at the various files and select a couple of ideas that warrant focus in the upcoming period.
Whether you crushed the first six months or you’re in catch-up mode, the start of the 2nd half of the year is an opportunity to be better than the first half.
There’s not many things less important than the score at halftime. – unnamed football coach (Editor’s note: this coach was likely losing at halftime)