November is a key time for businesses to review their budget and plan their spend for 2019. Nearly every business will factor in spend on marketing and PR, but how much do you need and where should it be allocated? We share our top tips for planning ahead to ensure that the money you invest in marketing is well spent and you get a real return on your investment.
Evaluate your year to date. How successful has your marketing strategy been for 2018? Did you achieve your desired outcomes? What was the return on investment? Seeing the successes (and failures!) of your strategy to date can help you to plan for the year ahead and indicate where your resources are needed most.
You can’t implement an amazing strategy if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve. Be clear about your goals and communicate them to all members of your team. Set KPIs that are ambitious to ensure continued drive towards reaching your aims. In this way, you can work together to create a strategic marketing plan that will deliver results. And remember a long list is no good, you must prioritise!
We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of companies struggling to attract and retain staff. Sitting down now to assess your resourcing needs and key recruitment periods for 2019 is a good idea. We find that working with our clients to outline the key recruitment campaign periods and key recruitment marketing tactics in November and December can help to alleviate some of the pressure come the New Year.
Hand in hand with resourcing is internal comms. If you work in a large company or multinational, you will understand the struggle of communicating with your internal teams. Internal comms are very important not only for employee engagement, but also to get buy-in from teams into planned marketing initiatives. Consider investing in an agency to manage your internal comms for the year ahead to ensure that complex information is broken down and that it is shared with the target audience correctly.
Now is a good time to look back and see what worked well and where you can improve. What are your benchmarks on social media? Where do you compare to your industry in terms of digital ROI? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, now is a good time to find out, because when you hit the ground running in January, you want to make sure you’re running in the right direction.
Media Relations & Thought Leadership
A lot of companies consider hiring a PR and media relations agency, but few take the plunge. Look ahead to 2019 – Do you have some big plans? Company activities such as product launches, office openings, recruitment campaigns, jobs announcements and general company growth all make for great media announcements. But what if you don’t have big plans? Thought leadership and ongoing PR tactics such as speaking opportunities, profile pieces, features and interviews are ways of keeping your company front-of-mind in the media, and the public eye. Consider working with a PR agency to tease out your key messages and share them strategically with stakeholders across key media and platforms.