• Laura McDonald

5 Questions to Guide Your End-of-Year Marketing Wrap-Up


All good things must come to an end, right?


As we head quickly toward 2020, it’s easy to immediately start the planning process for the projects you want to complete and goals you want to achieve in the coming year. However, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on this year, using your reflection to guide and shape your marketing activities for 2020.


Here are a few questions to consider as you reflect before you prepare for 2020:


1. What worked?

Start by thinking through your successes from 2019. If you had a particular mailing that increased sales or donations, be sure to note the mailing content, the design and the timing. If a certain social media post reached exponentially more people than your typical posts, consider introducing more of this style into your 2020 social calendar.


When considering what worked, we often have to understand the numbers associated with a given marketing effort. Consider:

  • Social media: reach, engagement, page or account likes/follows

  • Email: open rate, click through rate

  • Website: page visits, link click through rate

  • General: sales, donations

Knowing what worked will help provide a starting point for 2020 considerations. While we always want to be innovative and creative, there is no need to completely reinvent the wheel if something worked well.


2. What didn’t work?

Some content falls flat. Some email subject lines just don’t encourage your audience to open them. Revisit the numbers mentioned above to see what didn’t work. As you begin to strategize for 2020, you’ll want to test some of the areas that didn’t seem to work in 2019. For example, maybe the content you created was great, but the day or time it was distributed wasn’t ideal for your audience. These are elements you can easily test and perfect next year.


3. What didn’t get done?

We start the year with extensive plans, but the available resources and competing priorities sometimes knock our plans off track. Revisit your 2019 marketing plans and make note of items you weren’t able to tackle on your to do list throughout the year. Take it a step further and visit your email folders and inbox to see if there are any projects that were started and not completed, or suggested but not started that you may want to consider for your 2020 list. This is a freeing exercise that helps you decrease your mental load by getting your tasks on paper instead of relying on your memory.


Important note: Just because it was on your list last year, does not mean it has to be on your list for 2020! If it wasn’t a priority to move toward completion in 2019, consider if it should be a priority for next year, or if you should remove it from your list.


4. What new (or new-to-you) techniques or emerging trends are on your mind?

Each year brings new ideas, techniques and best practices, especially when we consider the fast-paced digital space. Think about these innovations, and consider if they might be a fit for your brand.


Some of the elements may not be completely new to the marketing space, but may be something you haven’t yet added to your marketing toolkit. For example, the power of video on social media channels has been undeniable for the past few years, but if you haven’t yet implemented a video strategy, 2020 may be your year.


5. What resources are needed to make 2020 your best year yet?

After you’ve considered what worked, what didn’t, what you didn’t complete and new items you’d like to consider adding to the mix, think about the resources you will need to make it happen. Some resource elements to consider:

  • Do you have the necessary knowledge or skills, or do you have team members with the needed knowledge or skills?

  • If you don’t have the knowledge or skills, can you easily access it?

  • Do you have the necessary time to complete the task at hand?

  • Will your budget allow you to complete the task?

By spending time answering these questions at the end of the year, you will help prepare yourself for success in 2020.

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