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Mid-Year Check-in: Evaluating, Refining, and Enhancing Your Marketing Strategy

It can be easy and invigorating to plan during the season of optimism that marks the New Year. It’s as if there is an excitement in the air to make a fresh start, with an entire year ahead to pursue your biggest goals. 

But then, life happens. Businesses get busy and important goals start to get sacrificed in favor of pesky-yet-urgent daily tasks. Before you know it, the mid-year point is looming and you are off-track and looking for ways to find your way back and finish the year strong. On the other hand, perhaps you’re one of the rare unicorns that have been crushing their goals this year and are seeking ways to refine and enhance what’s already working.   

Either way, it’s not too late. There’s still plenty of time to do a mid-year check-in to refine and enhance your marketing strategy. Whether you’re feeling behind or you simply want to optimize what’s already working, here are three things you should measure in order to finish 2020 strong.  

Check in on your goals. Even the best of goals can fall by the wayside as priorities shift throughout the year. Throw in unforeseen situations (like a global pandemic and resulting economic downturn) and your goals could have gone right out the window. You’re not alone.

But, irrespective of whether you’re having the best year ever or are struggling to keep up, checking in with your goals is a crucial part of any mid-year check-in. These can be anything from sales goals to social media growth to lead generation — really, it’s whatever you had hoped to achieve by the end of this year.   

Were you able to meet monthly and quarterly goals? Why or why not? Do you think you can still meet your initial yearly goals? Why or why not? Consider whether your goals are still realistic, asking yourself why or why not. Did you execute well on achieving your goal, or do you see a pattern of poor execution? Did extenuating circumstances force you to pivot? If so, what are your new goals? 

There are no right or wrong answers; it’s OK if you haven’t made the progress you expected, but it is essential that you understand why things didn’t go as planned. That’s what will help you realign your goals with your current situation and continue making progress.  

Evaluate your pacing. Achieving big yearly goals is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you’re not big on formal goal-setting exercises, you can look at how your numbers are pacing year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. Look at your main marketing and communication channels, including your website, social media channels, and email marketing channels (if you do that). 

Because the event industry can be seasonal, I find that year-over-year comparisons offer the best insights for how your business is doing in any given month, while quarter-over-quarter evaluations can give you a window to how well you are pacing toward this year’s goals. 

Once you have some numbers outlined, ask yourself:  

  • What is happening? Are your numbers growing or contracting? By how much? Is this something that can be leveraged or turned around in the next quarter or do you need to pivot? 

  • Why do I think it’s happening? Are there circumstances outside of your control, such as major algorithm updates or drastic changes in local conditions?  

  • What is within your control to adjust? What change can you make and measure that could change the outcome? 

Check in on business metrics that matters. Irrespective of your business’ annual goals, certain metrics indicate the overall health of your business and should be monitored on a regular basis. I promise that evaluating your metrics doesn’t have to be scary. A few key performance indicators (KPIs) can tell you a lot about the health of your business.  

Your Website Health: 

  • Is your traffic growing or declining? 

  • Are you getting the right traffic? Are they coming from the right locations? Are they the right age and gender for the clients you’re trying to attract?  

  • Who is sending you the most traffic?  

  • Is your inquiry page getting enough traffic and conversions? 

  • What content is doing well? Can you further optimize it to do better? 

  • What content is not doing well? Does it need to be optimized or eliminated? 

  • Is your website converting traffic into leads and inquiries?  

Your social media channels: 

  • Is engagement growing or declining? 

  • Are you attracting the right people to your social media channels? Are they clients who may want to potentially book you or colleagues who would love to refer you? 

  • Are you able to drive traffic to your website or win inquiries through DMs and PMs? 

Your paid ads: 

  • How much reach are you getting with your ads?  

  • Are your ads engaging, winning likes comments and shares?  

  • How much traffic do your paid ads generate? 

  • What is your cost per click? 

  • What is your traffic to lead conversion?  

  • What is your cost per conversion? 

By setting aside a few hours in the middle of the year to evaluate your goals, how well you’re meeting them, and keeping an eye on business insights and metrics that reveal the overall health of your business, you can set yourself up for a strong finish in 2020.  


Christie Osborne

Owner | Mountainside Media

Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that brings in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA and the ABC Conference.