Finishing Strong in 4th Quarter

It’s almost fourth quarter. That time of year when your calendar winds down and you start hustling to close one last deal, secure one last win or even start in-depth planning for your next calendar year. While marketing activity might simmer down for some around November, it can often feel like the start of fourth quarter is the busiest time of the year.

In my humble opinion, Fourth Quarter is the perfect time to break away, plan ahead and find innovative new ways to keep your marketing push strong and target audience engaged.

Use It Or Lose It.

While it may be rare, as the year is wrapping up, some marketing departments find themselves with additional budget dollars allocated, and nowhere to spend them. With the “use it or lose it” policy found in most organizations, department managers start looking for opportunities to accrue for extra budget and spend those excess dollars before it’s too late.

If this scenario applies to you and your organization, prove your worth internally by keeping your marketing efforts active inspiring cool ideas that can be used by your department heads to help justify budget spend. Include value-based bullet points that highlight achievable results for your current year, and then show how the work you do now can extend into next year’s plans. Project positively for what could happen next.

Make Your Case.

Meetings are happening, minds are churning, and research is frequent as department heads look for ways to get the biggest bang for their buck through the end of the year. Ensure you make the budget “wish list” by planning smart marketing campaigns that focus on product benefits, target audience pain points, and promises of quantifiable ROI and future success. Leverage ROI tools, or offer a cost/benefit analysis to help your department heads justify the additional spend. Provide case studies and customer testimonials to prove past successes and increase credibility. Consider a gap analysis while you weigh your projections against actuals to identify where you can truly make a difference.

Finish Strong Like a Champ.

Set realistic goals. Create well-defined, measurable targets (if you haven’t already) for October, November, and December. Adjust your goals so they work for you. Be ambitious, be decisive, be realistic. Welcome the challenge. Identify what might get in your way. Prepare for the expected and unexpected roadblocks. The best athletes in the world want the ball when the pressure is at its highest. Professional golfers welcome the 10-foot putt to win the Masters, even though the world is watching and judging. Tennis players aspire to serve out the Wimbledon championship match. Champions live for this moment.

Concentrate. With your Q4 objectives tucked under your arm, identify goals for each day and week of the month. The 4th quarter is no time to be timid, fearful, shy or doubtful. Good fortune favors the bold.

Talk Their Talk So They Don’t Walk.

Keep communicating with your target audience to avoid missed opportunities. Keep your communications consistent, and your messaging clear.  Make sure your messaging hits home by segmenting your database and communications to closely target areas of interest and tap into the customer’s needs and expectations. Continue to nurture campaigns to those prospects who are qualified but haven’t necessarily bought in yet. Tailor different messaging to those customer segments with the greatest potential for cross-sell or upsell messaging.

Treat your database with respect and avoid communications that can be perceived as intrusive. Deliver targeted custom content that offers your audience something meaningful, like a topical whitepaper, webinar, or product demonstration.

Jumpstart Next Year.

Whether you’re looking to wrap up the year with a win, or get a head start on the year to come, remember to keep your marketing efforts strong all year long. Be in the right place at the right time through ongoing, consistent communications with your customers. Always stay true to your value proposition. Focus on your strengths. Focus on your core business. Focus on your best customers or clients. Focus on your expertise. Focus on what made you who you are today. This clear vision should carry you successfully through first quarter of next year and beyond.

Stacey Grant, Founder + CEO

Stacey’s past experience includes working in the Ad Agency world and building her own Digital Media Company, Grant Consulting, where she launched and managed successful business social media campaigns and created corporate videos for various small to mid-sized companies. Prior to that, she was a proven success at Biotech, Pharmaceutical and Commercial Printing Sales for fortune 500 companies.

Stacey is a member of Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors, volunteered and sat on the Board of Directors for Family Lives On Foundation. She recently achieved the Mary Murphy Award recognizing an individual or organization whose philanthropic work improves the well-being of grieving children and the NAPW Award for Outstanding Excellence and Dedication to Her Profession and the Achievement of Women.

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