Prepping For NexT Year
Diving into the MCOM planning process
It’s that time of year where MComm pros are sitting down to establish next year’s goals. When setting those goals, it’s important to make sure they are strategic, measurable (qualitative or quantitative), attainable, relevant and timely. As you consider what to include, and where to start, in your planning, here are a suggestions to make your process that much sweeter and easier:
1. Analyze past metrics
If you kept track of your communications metrics this past year (if not, you should start), sit down with your team and discuss what went well and what didn’t. Do you want to redo your successful campaigns or tactics next year? What is it about those missed goals that didn’t work? Learning from past mistakes (and successes) is how we are able to move forward. Choose wisely which of those tactics you want to continue or try again, and which you want to do away with. Compare past success rates, and set new goals for the items you want to keep. This gives you a good starting point for next year’s plan.
2. Incorporate your strategic plan
After you analyze the past year’s metrics, look at your organization’s strategic plan and see what’s coming up. Incorporate any relevant goals into your marketing/communications plan. For example, if your organization expects to have funds raised for a big project, think about how your marketing initiatives can help to drive revenue for this project. Aligning your marketing/communication plan with your organization’s strategic plan helps to ensure that your planning process stays in line with your organization’s goals. It also helps to ensure you have beneficial metrics to work toward. We all want to be able to tell our c-suite how marketing and communications efforts contributes to the bottom line of our business or organization.
3. Check the temperature
Things change from year to year, check the temperature of your target audience as you move into the next year. How well does your audience respond to your content or products compared to this same time last year? If there's been a dip in engagement start the market research over again -- not necessarily from scratch but research what's changed on their end. Most times they'll tell you if they're leaving feedback on your engagement channels. Find out where you began to lose them and what you should be doing to get them back. If your engagement rates are consistent, strategize ways to get your most loyal consumers to advocate for your brand, whether it be raising awareness about your organization, helping you fundraise or, for consumer brands, encouraging friends to buy. Your people are your best assets. Use them to your advantage.
4. Tracking progress
I’ll be the first to say that when I started my career I couldn’t stand project management tools because I didn’t understand their purpose. If you ask me today, I’ll tell you they’re my favorite thing. They give you a way to track your progress throughout the year. Having a project management tool keeps your initiatives on schedule and allows you to track details on assignments such as who a project is assigned to, when the target completion date is, and short notes for FYI purposes. Slack is a great tool for that. When you’re consistent in tracking your marketing/communications efforts, it’s easier at the end of the year to get a detailed glimpse of how your efforts paid off.
Keep in mind that marketing/communications plans are intended to be living, breathing documents. It’s also okay to alter the road map as you go along if need be. Having a marketing/communications plan helps to guide your efforts, and think strategically about how to get the best ROI possible for those efforts. Need assistance developing your plan? I’m here to help. Fill out the contact form and we can brew a fresh, strategic marketing plan together.
Kelsey Haynes is a proven leader in marketing and communications who enjoys helping her clients get the most out of their brands