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How to prepare your marketing for the new year

guides & essays

How to prepare your marketing for the new year

woman in red green and white floral dress
In order to prepare your marketing for the New Year make sure you follow some simple steps to give you the confidence you need.

There’s no doubt we’re in the thick of it now – the holiday season. But with the holidays come a lot of change, both in our personal and professional lives. January is always a time for reflection and resolutions, so it’s the perfect time to start prepare your marketing strategy for the new year. 

Every year, we make promises to ourselves on January 1st to do more, go further, get better and improve ourselves, all of which we seldom hold ourselves accountable to. We promise this year will be our year by setting bold goals and looking ahead.

What if, for this coming year, you focused more on implementations, intentions and milestones instead of goals? 

  • Experiments: tests and new campaigns you want to try
  • Implementations: audits to help you keep track of your marketing health
  • Intentions: personal goals and ambitions
  • Milestones: progress and implementations across the year

Here are a few tips to help you get started as we look at some good practices for the end of the year.

Marketing experiments

Like most marketers, you probably spend a lot of time planning and strategising. But no matter how well you plan, you must sometimes test things out to see what works and what doesn’t. That’s where marketing experiments come in. 

Think about experiments as campaigns that are new to you and/or incorporate new strategies and activities you never tried before.

Setting up marketing experiments doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be pretty simple if you follow these basic steps. First, look closely at your marketing campaigns and identify any areas you could improve. 

Try different tactics and see what works best for your business. 

  1. Identify one area you’d like to try something new on.
  2. Map out what you’ll need to test this: what kind of support and resources will you be looking for?
  3. How long will the experiment last? Make sure you put a deadline to it to review your efforts.
How to review experiments

Decide which marketing strategy you’d like to test first. Determine what you want to measure, how long the experiment will run, and who your target audience should be.

Monitor the results closely and make sure you take note of any key insights or changes over the course of the experiment. After the experiment is complete, review all the findings carefully and make adjustments accordingly for future marketing campaigns.

Block out 2 hours of your time to go through the following points.

  1. Have I reached the targets I set for myself?
  2. What worked well? What did not work so well?
  3. What help/support would I need if I did this again?
  4. What would I do differently?

Quarterly implementations

Auditing is a common milestone that works well as the year ends. Auditing your social media accounts is an excellent practice for every marketer. It might involve auditing your website, reviewing your conversion rates, or looking at customer feedback.

  • Let’s take your social media content. Look at what jumps out in your strategy by identifying which posts performed best across the year, the last six months and the quarter. 
  • Take one step back to your overall presence on social media. Is your bio up to date on social? When was the last time you checked your links? 
  • Take a look at your social media strategy. Are you using the right platforms? And are your posts engaging enough? Make sure you mix up your content and post regularly (but not too often). 
  • Another important part of marketing is newsletters. If you haven’t been sending them out lately, now is the time to start again. They can be a great way to keep in touch with customers and remind them about upcoming sales or events. 
  • On your website, you are most likely to have ten broken links lying around; I recommend using tools like W3C Checker to spot them. We tend to run a health check for our website once a quarter to ensure all the dates and links are working.

Look at all of the core areas of your marketing and make time to reassess your presence, strategy and content and identify one implementation for each.

Set your intentions

We always talk about goals and targets, yet we tend to forget the bigger picture. How about we bring purpose back into our big plans for the year ahead?

That’s when intentions come to play. Intentions shape long-term habits by positively biasing our thoughts and actions throughout the day. But to be meaningful, you must first realise their significance over your inner psychology and work with your intentions by holding yourself accountable.

They help us work on the areas we want to evolve, alter or re-think to better our sense of self.

Intentions work to heighten our awareness of the mind-behaviour connection and are process-based rather than achievement-orientated.

 Grab an old piece of paper and jot down the most important dates in your calendar (read a new e-book, your first live event, or a podcast you are launching). It’s essential to have these dates handy to work your marketing strategy, guest posts, and features accordingly.

Now that you can se your year at a glance, it’s time to set some intentions.

So, where to begin?

  • First, think of thought processes, behaviours or actions you’d like to change. Perhaps you want to end your day feeling more accomplished or joyful. Or maybe you would like to be more in tune with your emotions? A little more open and trusting with others? All brilliant places to begin.
  • Next, you’ll want to set aside time and space to create your intentions to reflect the broader picture.  
  • Reflect on how you might manifest this intention throughout a month, alongside associated emotions, thoughts and actions.

Milestone planning

Just as intentions can keep us feeling fulfilled and happy, we need milestones to help us grow. Especially when looking at your year as a whole, you need to have clear milestones in place.

If you do not see the results you expected, chances are you’re not going to achieve what you set out to do by accident: it takes purposeful planning and auditing your efforts frequently. 

A helpful way to break down your year is to set milestones, just like we’d intentionally set goals. However, instead of looking at them as the destination, we approach milestones as progress towards a bigger picture (our intention)

I still rely on making my milestones SMART when working with clients and students.

 S.M.A.R.T. is widely used when setting “goals”, but it can also help when looking at milestones.

  • Specific – The more specific you make your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Think about how this goal will help you with your projects for the year ahead.
  • Measurable – To see progress, you need to be able to measure it. Attaching a specific number to the outcome can help you recognise progress as you grow.
  • Achievable – Less is more, especially when it comes to milestones. Choose one milestone, and work toward it. Then move on to the next one. Remember, you can only achieve so much before your willpower dwindles and you jump straight into burnout. 
  • Relevant – Your milestone should be consistent with what you want to achieve. There’s no point wasting time on something that won’t help you achieve your overall focus of the year. 
  • Time-bound – As you review your efforts every 90 days, that is a great time to audit your progress. By adding a deadline for achieving each milestone, you will be able to see how close you are and keep yourself on the right track. Remember, you are always encouraged to adjust your deadlines according to the goal and its achievable.

Choose your word for the year

Think about the year ahead and ask yourself what one word would best represent your dreams and future goals.

It is a powerful practice because no matter how busy or scattered we may get at various points in our 365-day journey. We’ll always have our word to hold onto and guide us through.

Here are some examples of words to consider (you can also think of them as themes for the year): Freedom, Love, Thrive, Value, Elevate, Fierce, and Flow. 

You’ll find that more and more, your thoughts, decisions, and actions in the new year will flow in harmony with your word.

Take time to reflect

Take time to remind yourself of your word of the year periodically. It will reaffirm your intention and adjust your mindset whilst holding yourself accountable and encouraging new behaviours. Set periodic milestones, audit your efforts and run quarterly experiments.

It’s time to start thinking about next year. What does that mean for you? It means you need to prepare your marketing for the year to hit the ground running in January. 

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