It’s October already, how did that happen?! We certainty can’t believe it – it feels like we were nursing our hangovers from New Year’s Eve two minutes ago, and now we’re looking towards Christmas again.
Of course, the final quarter of the year is home to some of the most notable events of the year so it is often a busy time, particularly for B2C businesses, but don’t forget to plan ahead for 2024 as well.
Key events that take place in Q4 include:
October is ‘spooky season’ and yes, this may be the most beneficial to retail but there are so many clever ways to capitalise on this with your marketing. Why not run a themed competition, or incorporate Halloween into your marketing visuals for October? You could even run a promotional campaign based around Halloween and send your carefully selected prospects a Halloween related gift.
Ah, Black Friday – the UK’s inheritance from across the pond is now a staple in the UK retail calendar. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying Black Friday is a huge event. Total spend during Black Friday in 2023 totalled £8.6 billion, so it’s big business!
Our favourite time of year! Not only is it a time for family and friends, but it’s also one of the biggest events in the marketing calendar. With everyone exchanging gifts, it is tempting to sell, sell, sell, but there is no better time to forge new relationships and reach out to existing customer. Spread the Christmas cheer!
Consumers and businesses alike will plan for January during the last quarter of the year, setting budgets, goals and perhaps new year’s resolutions so get ahead of the game and think about how your business’ services or products can help people in the new year, then get the word out there asap!
Planning ahead for 2024
Let’s not forget, quarter 4 is also about planning ahead for the coming year and whether 2024 brings the first normal year since 2018 like we all hope, or we have another year of lockdowns and uncertainty, there is plenty to consider in terms of marketing. Don’t leave it to the last minute, get a solid strategy for 2024 together before the end of the year so you can hit the ground running in January!
We’re not saying you have to have every single marketing activity for 2024 sorted out before the end of the year, but the next couple of months are when it is best to:
- Set out goals for the coming year and lay out key areas for attention
- Decide budgets
- Bullet point your main activities for the coming year
- Set targets and benchmarks for measuring success
This will set a solid foundation for creating any marketing strategy for 2024. So, where to start…
1. Developing a strategy
Scrutinise your business and what you want to achieve and create a strategy of what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. This will differ for each business depending on products and services, market, resources, competitors and of course budget.
Select achievable, realistic key performance indicators (KPIs) that are meaningful, utilising data from previous years to make improvements. Keep them specific and focus only on what matters. These could be; conversion rate from advertising, engagement on social media, number of press features, performance of content such as videos.
2. Set SMART objectives
All objectives for the coming year should be aligned with your business’ wider business plan and be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART). To ensure maximum productivity, all activities should be tracked and analysed so you can see what is working and what might not be and adjust future activities to suit.
Make sure you know what results you expect from each marketing activity and keep a close eye on the data so you know where you’re at with hitting those all-important KPIs and maximise return on investment.
3. Have a plan but adapt when required
Your marketing strategy should outline all pre-planned activities based on the best-case scenario of how they will be executed but build in contingency too. If the past two years have taught us anything it’s that life can be unpredictable but deciding a plan B will mean you’re a step ahead if the worst were to happen.
Whatever you do, do what works for your business. Don’t jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing something – focus on the activities and KPIs that will achieve results for your business and meet your goals.
Here at Greyhive, we’re here to help with all things strategic. Whether you need to start from scratch or need support executing your plans, we’d love to learn about your business.