For many marketers, the last few months of the year are consumed with budget meetings and strategic planning. (And let’s be honest, we’re all a bit worn out by the time Q4 rolls around.) Before you know it, December comes and everyone tends to push off starting meaningful work until after the holidays.
But what you do in the final quarter can pay dividends in the new year — both in terms of making January more productive and less hectic, and ensuring that dollars left in this year’s marketing budget don’t go to waste.
Based on our experience with clients, here are ways you can maximize the fourth quarter. Some allow you to leverage work you’ve already produced this year. Other suggestions require that you move quickly to capture the opportunity before December 31.
- Create “best of” lists. News outlets typically run “best of” articles recapping the year’s top movies, TV shows, or books as a way to fill space during the slow holiday time. You can do the same with your marketing. If you developed articles for your website or posts for your social channels, create a new article that features those which drew the most views or shares. Where appropriate, you can add commentary that posits why these were the most popular — giving the readers another layer of insight.
- Consider marketing tied to New Year’s resolutions. People make personal New Year’s resolutions, but many also set work-related goals for the new year. This is a great chance to market your product or service as something that will help them achieve their professional objectives in the new year. Consider outreach on how you can help potential or existing clients and customers drive sales, save time, save money, or enjoy some other improvement in their work life thanks to what you offer.
- Line up your creative resources. Keep in mind that December is often a frenzied month for creative agencies and other vendors, as they are busy finalizing client projects before year end. Also, most creative agencies shut down entirely for a week or two during the holidays. Because of that, be sure to lock in resources by early November, or you may not be able to get the help you need.
- Plan ahead for Q1. If you need to get a project done in the first quarter, don’t wait until January to kick off the work. Starting in November or December means that you’re not only giving the project the proper amount of time it probably needs anyway, but you can also prepay for much of the work by using what’s left in this year’s budget. And, again, this helps you lock in creative resources for the new year; don’t wait until January 1, when the best resources are already booked for the quarter.
- Get a jump on recruiting. Many people resolve to look for a new job in the new year, and they start by researching companies over the holidays. Capitalize on this by sharing posts on social media and LinkedIn during December that promote your organization to potential candidates. Also, consider launching the job postings you had planned for January toward the end of December instead. Getting out ahead of the new year rush can help you stand out.