Beyond the financials: why EOFY is time to revisit your marketing plan

Beyond the financials: why EOFY is time to revisit your marketing planThe end of financial year is fast approaching, which means even more on the to do list for small business owners! You probably have a number of loose ends to tie up (checking inventory, chasing payments, invoices, reconciling data…) before you even think about reviewing your marketing plan.

But it’s important to check your marketing strategies have generated enough sales and new customers – and helped to meet your business goals.

And now is the perfect time to do it.

So while you’re in reviewing and budgeting mode, set some time aside with your team to go over your marketing plan. Refine it in line with results from the year gone by, any new goals, and your budget and predictions for the coming year. Here’s how. 

Three Rs to refresh your marketing plan 

1. Review your marketing activities and performance from the past year.

This step is about self-assessment. Think about questions such as:

  • What worked well? Why?
  • What didn’t work? Why not?
  • What could we do better?
  • What was the ROI for each strategy?
  • Is our market research data still relevant?

2. Remind yourself and your team of your business objectives and goals.

Before you move on to making concrete changes, make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to your overall vision. Ask yourselves:

  • Why do we do what we do? (Beyond making profit, of course!)
  • Who is our ideal customer and where do they spend their time?

3. Make resolutions for the year ahead.

Now it’s time to plan. Your reviewed marketing strategy should take into consideration questions like: 

  • What is our marketing budget for the new financial year?
  • What new opportunities are out there?
  • What marketing strategies do we need to tweak or implement to meet our objectives and our customers’ needs?
  • What promotional activities will we do and when?
  • What metrics will we use to measure marketing performance?
  • How will we implement marketing strategies and achieve the desired goals?

It’s important to think about any industry changes and market trends you foresee for the next 12 months. Use your own insights, as well as industry benchmarks and forecasts to inform your new plan.

Then, assign milestones you want to reach along the way to achieving your objectives and map out timelines for reaching them. Careful planning now will make it easier to put your plan into action later.

Measure, review and tweak continually 

Your job isn’t over just yet. Re-evaluating your short and long-term marketing strategies is an ongoing task, and it’s essential to making sure your business stays relevant and competitive.

That’s why, as part of your end-of-financial-year review, it’s also a good idea to set up a formal review process you can come back to over the course of the year (if you haven’t got one already). Setting time aside to review and assess each specific marketing activity will help you stay on top of what’s working for you and what isn’t.

Include questions such as:

  • What have we done so far to help achieve our marketing objectives?
  • Are we meeting our targets?
  • What are our competitors doing?
  • What’s changing in the market? Carry out regular market research to make sure you’re not making decisions based on out of date information.
  • Are there any political, social or economic changes that could be affecting our business? How can we respond?

It’s fair to say the person in your team responsible for marketing is probably wearing a lot of other hats as well. So if holding regular review sessions seems unrealistic, keep them brief and structured. You’ll find they help you stay focused and on track – and if something isn’t working you can identify it and take action straight away.

How do you make sure your marketing plan is ready for the new financial year?

Share your ideas with us below.

 

Comments

  1. We are indeed going over our marketing plan and looking ahead at our biggest season, Christmas. We have production needs to meet, as well as details to discuss, decide upon and so on. Thanks for the tips and reminder.

  2. So many folks in business just throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks — never planning, measuring or tracking to see what REALLY works.

    These are great reminders and questions to be asking on a regular basis!

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says:

      I love your comment Cathy. It’s important to plan and measure to ensure you are getting a return on your investment. Thank you.

  3. Lorii Abela says:

    I appreciate with thanks for the marketing tips you have provided. Revisiting the marketing plan is a must. It will significantly help improve the business.

  4. Ingrid Cliff says:

    Great reminders! The key for me is to remember to integrate the marketing with the overall business goals. Marketing should only be a tool to deliver the goals and is not an end in itself.

  5. Carol Rundle says:

    Even though my financial year is the same as the calendar year, I have been going through this process of re-evaluating my marketing over the couple of weeks. Being a very new business (first year), I don’t have any benchmarks to go by, so having your insights is helpful. Thank you.

  6. Lisa Swanson says:

    Great article that really spells it all out as well as a reminder to get myself in gear with a marketing plan. As an owner of a few personal training studios I always had a plan. but now that I’m just staring in the whole online arena, I’m finding it difficult to put one together. Time to stop procrastinating and get working on that!!!

  7. Holly Jean says:

    I spend A LOT of money on multiple automation tools. Many of which I could probably cut back and save maybe $100 or more per month… It’s time for me to look at what is worth the price. Thanks for the read, I honestly wouldn’t have thought about it without this!

  8. Beth Niebuhr says:

    What good strategies. Thanks for all the helpful hints on evaluating and finding solutions.

  9. Beth says:

    I am actually preparing for a marketing meeting taking place later today for my “day job” at my husband’s mortgage company. I recently transitioned to the role of Director of Strategic Relationships and Community Outreach and am looking forward to implementing several new ideas to boost the company’s profile both online and around our community. We actually work on a traditional calendar (Jan-Dec) but reevaluating the marketing goals mid-year would be a logical step whether I had stepped into this new position or not. Every company should follow your suggestions at least twice a year.

  10. Always great to look at goals etc as throughout the year they may change. Also, a careful look at what is working and what is not. Methods may stop working and without paying close attention it may not be realized. Who wants to waste time on things that aren’t helping the business grow and meeting goals?

  11. Perfect reminder to check mid-year to see where we are on the plan and results.

    I’m with Holly and need to be very careful about spends on SaaS, especially. Do I really need each one?

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says:

      Thank you Sharon. Mid-year review is a perfect time to assess which tools are most effective and efficient, and are worth pursuing.

  12. Great reminder post for us all. My corporate year end is November, so I am constantly assessing and reassessing what I am wanting to invest in to grow both myself and my brand. I have several projects in the works and because I have partners each of the projects has its own needs and marketing requirements. Thanks for the information in this post, Vicky! Very helpful.

  13. This is such great advice! I usually evaluate my tennis business at the end of each season, but there is so much more that I can do. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  14. These tips are great – not just for EOY but for really monthly reviews 😉 I have to take a step back and reassess each month, “Ok what am I doing… and is it working? and what can I change?”
    Great post, thanks Vicky!!

  15. Kristy Klenk says:

    Measure, review and tweak is so important. Businesses often make a plan at the beginning of the year, implement and set on auto pilot without seeing if their marketing is really working. With constant changes in social media, more frequent review is needed.

  16. Lisa Mason says:

    Great post, great tips.

  17. Mine is end of year, but so true that it is important to re-evaluate annually!

  18. Katarina says:

    Definitely should evaluate at the end of the year what works and what not and readjust. Thanks for the tips here.

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