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Remember January? Okay, this is the last day, but if you’re scrambling, you’re not alone. Many marketing teams are overwhelmed at the end of the year with last-minute projects, budget spend, and preparing for next year’s campaigns. But there are some critical team- and company-based activities that can get you off on the right foot in the new year, so you’re not just wandering from your desk to the coffee pot, doing business as usual.
Mobilize your team, distraction-free.
Get these folks JAZZED about the new year — new strategies, new campaigns, new ways of generating ideas. From lead management to PR, campaigns to events, you want everyone involved to feel like they’re part of the same strategy.
I invited my team to sit for an entire day — laptop-free — in a conference room and share how they looked at things, similarly and differently. I brought in an outside speaker to break up the internal feel and motivate them with a new perspective. We worked in small groups to solve real-life problems we could apply to our own program. Not only was it great bonding (an abundance of snacks never hurts), but the team also came away with ideas they could put into action right away.
Stick to one slide.
We have a phrase floating around our marketing team: “PowerPoint or it didn’t happen!” Yes, most of us still have to present our ideas in a shiny new deck each year, but if the key components of your 2019 plan can’t fit on one slide, you may be overthinking it or you’re full of hot air. Challenge yourself to distill those plans and ideas down to their very essence. Make your own elevator pitch, so it’s clear to others — but also to yourself — exactly what your objectives are.
Take it on the road.
Transparency is the single most important way to build trust and awareness companywide. Once my marketing managers had completed their plans for 2019, we held a road show for the leadership teams of different business groups within our company.
We outlined clearly how marketing will drive business and through which focus areas. This prevents misunderstandings or misalignment between marketing and the company’s business goals — it shows we are aligned for day one, and gives internal stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions.
Whether you’re a small business or part of a conglomerate, executing your marketing plan starts with teamwork and transparency. Don’t look at Q1 as time to figure things out — use it as a time of high-energy (remember your plans to join a gym and learn Spanish and master homemade pastry?) and harness that excitement to get campaigns and events off to the races.