Off the Radar - Insights from Stealth Creative

The 4 Best Ways to Prepare for Next Year – Today

Well, it’s that time of year again: Fourth quarter marketing audit time. A time of extra coffee, the pulling of proverbial teeth, and long nights spent compiling four quarters worth of marketing analytics into an investor-friendly report.

We know you don’t like it, but it's a necessary step to ensure marketing success.

In a previous article, we discussed various reasons you should perform a marketing audit. Regardless of your company’s needs, you should perform a marketing audit at least once a year. With fresh statistics on how your marketing strategy is and isn’t cutting it, there’s no better time to start thinking about the challenges just over the horizon.

So, to help get you started on creating the new you, here are four things to consider when forming a strategy for 2019.

1. Get Better 

Are you planning on launching a new product or service next year? Do you see your competitors gearing up to launch new products or services?

This is a great place to use your newly minted marketing audit results.

If your industry is shifting to a new method of serving clientele, you want to be on top of it. Make sure you get any information there is on all the newest trends and incorporate that into your plan for next year.

Done correctly, planning around expected service developments and emerging marketing trends will help you hit the ground running come January. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the edge needed to lead your competition.

2. Get Focused

When your leadership or philosophy changes, so does your company’s personality. All marketing tactics need to be adjusted accordingly.

Fourth quarter is a great time to do this. Take this opportunity to look back on what’ve you done in the past. You can take a good look at what worked before, and incorporate similar tactics in your new strategies. You should also be testing the waters to see how shifting company philosophies or a new captain at the helm will steer your company’s direction going forward.

Re-tooling now will save your company a big headache once you reach the end of the year. It will also allow you to make a fresh start as soon as the new year begins, meaning less time adapting, and more time to be the best at what you do!

3. Get Ahead

Sometimes your business sector undergoes a major shakedown, and you have to adapt. If you strategize well, you can use this opportunity to become an industry leader by being the first to implement new practices. 

Let’s look at a contemporary example.

The cable industry has recently had to deal with the phenomenon of “cord cutting.”

Consumers are discovering they can pay far less for the entertainment they want, rather than purchasing a bundle with a ton of stuff they don’t want. In fact, TiVo’s Video Trends Report notes that more than 77 percent of people surveyed would prefer to buy only the channels they watch.

Worried by the alarming rate at which cable cutting has increased, television networks have developed a new solution to halt their hemorrhaging customer base: A-la-carte cable.

To meet these new marketing demands, networks like AMC have released plans to sell people their services on a per-channel basis.

Disney has gone even further and is planning on releasing its own standalone streaming service.

However, this sort of change in strategy and subsequent tactics doesn’t happen overnight.

Disney has been planning this move for awhile, and while it isn’t quite ready for launch, it will be sometime in 2019. Entertainment experts are already predicting that Disney will score big and solidify its market share with this new service offering.

And where there’s money to be made, copycats are sure to follow.

If your industry is getting ready for a major shift, don’t wait for others to show you the way. Use your marketing data to become a trailblazer. Start planning your company’s future today! 

4. Get Technical

Maybe your industry isn’t undergoing a major marketing shift. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can be doing to improve your business.

As we’ve said before, the pace of technologies in marketing is break-neck on a slow day. All businesses should include an analysis of their technology in their marketing audit.

If there’s a new technology that would make your marketing even a tiny bit better, you should consider planning an implementation strategy for next year. This is going to require some time and effort; so the sooner you get on it, the better.

Because there is so much that goes into implementing a new technology, writing about it here wouldn’t do it justice. So keep an eye out for a future blog dedicated to this specific topic.

Whatever you decide to do, Stealth can help.

We offer exceptional marketing audit services to get your business back on track for success. As your marketing partner, we’ll also walk you through the best options to improve your company’s reach going forward. Whether it’s next year or five years from now, we’ll help make sure you’re always at your best.

Want to find out how we can help you prepare for tomorrow and beyond? Drop us a line today!

And as always, stay tuned for more tips from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.

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