Time flies so fast. The fourth quarter has arrived and with it a rush to capture as much of your consumers wallets as possible and hit your goals for the year.

It can be a struggle to stay motivated and reinvigorate yourself with everything that is going on. Here are our top five marketing tips for success in the fourth quarter.

Write Down New Goals

A study by Dominican University of California found that just writing down your goals makes you more likely to complete them. (We’re sure you have heard this before.)

Why?

Writing down your goals affects your brain on two deeper levels, according to a Forbes article by entrepreneur Mark Murphy:

  • Encoding
  • External storage

 

According to Murphy, encoding is a biological process that transfers what we perceive to our brain to be analyzed. The brain then decides what information is stored and what is unwanted and discarded. Writing is a part of the encoding process, so writing things down improves the odds that it is stored instead of forgotten.

External storage is where you keep information outside of your brain, such as your iPhone notes, a pad of paper on your desk, or an online task management site. By having your goal readily available and in some place where you look at every day, you’re more likely to remember it.

Aside from just writing down and constantly reviewing your goals, the Dominican University study found that sharing your goals with someone else also resulted in a higher success rate. (The success rates were 70% versus 35%.)

Find yourself an accountability partner and work out a follow up schedule so they can check on your progress. They can be at work or home, just as long as you have one.

Plan the Quarter Out

Before the quarter even starts (you don’t have much time), you need to take some time to plan out what you want to accomplish.

This is complementary to setting goals; however, it’s not the same. While setting goals is important and should give you a time frame, planning the quarter gives you specific tasks and days to accomplish those tasks.

For example: We wanted to put out a marketing podcast (which you can listen to here) by the end of the 3rd quarter.

But just creating this goal was not enough to accomplish it. We had to sit down and plan out the different steps. We needed to plan out

  • What topics in marketing that we wanted to discuss,
  • How long each podcast should be,
  • Which site was best for us to publish our podcast,
  • How often to publish new episodes, and
  • What time and day we should release new episodes.

 

Once we had those steps defined, our individual tasks began. On Saturdays, we record new podcasts. Then, we spend Monday editing them to make sure that everything sounds good and that there is no background noise. Then we upload them on Tuesday mornings.

Without planning our specific tasks out, they could get lost in the pile of other assignments to do, and therefore not get done.

After planning the quarter and your assignments, you should also set aside time and a budget for testing.

They will help you discover if your new marketing and advertising plan is worth the time, effort, and money you’re devoting to it.

You don’t want to reach the end of the quarter and find out that you threw out money, or if you had invested a little more money you could have had a larger impact to your bottom line.

Measure Your Results

Once you have run the tests and determine that your assignment is worth continuing, it’s time to look at the preliminary results.

Some test results include:

  • The number of ad conversions from social media,
  • The number of loyal followers and subscribers,
  • How many people viewed your website,
  • How long people stayed on your website, and
  • The number of “unique” clicks on your post, website, or video.

 

Now that you have this information, what to do you do with it? You check back for our next blog that goes more in depth on all those bullets.

You also want to measure against your goals.

And when you know what works and what doesn’t work for your marketing, you’re able to start thinking about how to market more effectively in 2019!

Remember Pareto’s Rule

While Pareto’s 80/20 Rule applied to wealth and landownership in the early 1900s, he was on to something. His original discovery was that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population.

Great.

Now how does that apply to you and your marketing strategy?

Well, 80% of your clients come from 20% of your marketing efforts.

So, make sure you’re focusing on the 20% of your marketing efforts that will get you clients! That includes

  • Networking (or going to other events),
  • Being active and responsive on social media,
  • Creating a loyalty program,
  • Offering deals, promotions, and giveaways,
  • Having a well-rounded presence. (AKA – have more than just a website. Have a website and a blog and social media and email campaigns and be a part of various outside organizations or chambers.)

 

This is where tracking and measuring results is so important! If you don’t know what helps you grow or stunts your growth, you’ll never be able to succeed in growing your business.

Educate Yourself

If you’re in marketing, then you know it’s always changing.

If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the Equalman “Socialnomics” videos on YouTube. Here’s what digital marketing looked in 2011… and here’s what it looked like in 2017.

This quarter, make sure you’re keeping up to date with the latest in marketing. Some suggestions on how to further educate yourself are:

  • Subscribing to marketing podcasts: Podcasts are a great way to learn about new industry developments or innovations, work on personal growth, and get inspired for new ideas.
  • Work with others: Everyone will have their own thoughts and understanding on what is happening in the marketing world around them. You never know what could spark a great marketing plan.
  • Follow marketing influencers or publications: Marketing publications, such as MarketingProfs or MOZ, and experts, such as Brian Solis or Gini Dietrich, often have insight before the rest of us. Following them helps you stay on top of trends.

 

We hope these tips have given you a head start into your fourth quarter marketing strategy. If you are looking for more help with your marketing plan, contact Kendra Corman at kacorman@h2hconsulting.net.