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Punch December in the Face: Year-End Marketing "Musts"

Okay, maybe not square in the face. But, there are only THIRTY-ONE days left in 2023 and it's time to Get 👏 Sh*t 👏 Done. Between office parties, fruit cakes, nervous breakdowns, and that awkward black abyss of time from Christmas to the New Year, time is precious...and it is a wastin.' So, without further adieu, here are our top 5 Year-End Marketing Musts for closing out 2023.

1. Skip the cheesy holiday posts, but keep it "reel."

I hear you. "But, but, but, we have to post on all the religious holidays because everyo.....shhhhhh. No. No, you don't.

Cause-related marketing is a scam UNLESS you are actively doing something to support it. In this contrived effort to please everyone, we often dilute the authenticity behind cultural holidays. Proclaiming inclusivity with stereotypical stock photography and meaningless greetings screams disingenuous. Authenticity rules.

Instead, keep the holidays “reel.” Have your content team explore the varied holiday traditions with team members or clients, and how they celebrate during this season. Document their stories with video and share their stories on social.

OR, record Patrick losing his marbles at the Potluck Party in the break room. We want to see Daphne from the executive team orchestrating client gift delivery like a symphony. Show us your office gift FAILS. Karaoke Christmas Carols, anyone???

2. Dish the deets with a deep data dive and end-of-year reporting.

We love data, but it also makes us cry. There is sooooo much, and if you don’t have goals and monitoring in place this can seem like a very daunting task. But data dives and reporting are absolutely imperative to proper planning organization-wide. All of the secrets to your success and failures sit in your MarTech dashboards. Here’s what you should be looking at:

Key Learnings and Annual Highlights. This includes things like YoY trends, ROAS and site traffic, attributed revenue, and leveraged learnings. When Bob from finance asks over drinks at the company cocktail hour, “Hey, what was the ROI of that {fill in the blank here}, you can pop on over to this bucket and provide a snapshot. Because you’ve been capturing critical metrics like clicks and conversions in your reporting. Right? Riiiigggghhht? Ok, cool.

Attributed Revenue. Bob replies, “well I don’t know anything about marketing but $550 for the year should cover it right?” Oh, Bob. {Deep breaths.} The year-end attribution identifies high-performing marketing tactics, strategies, audience channels, segments, and devices. And justifies to Bob WHY you need to add three zeros to the end of his number. Don’t forget to compare metrics to last year's data to reveal marketing wins and losses.

Marketing Channels and KPIs. Show Bob the marketing channels broken down so he can understand the contributions to the overall strategy. Like social media, email marketing, paid advertising, SEO and content marketing, and direct/referral traffic. Gather the KPIs by showing metrics like engagement rates, impressions, reach, and conversions. Did Bob just go back to the bar?

Audience Data. Demographics and behavior patterns show how your audience interacted with your brand throughout the year. Bob is not interested anymore, FYI. From income and location to gender and age, this data gives you keen insight into how well you know your people. If you are surprised by this data at the end of the year, recognize this as a misaligned buyer persona. It’s more common than you think. More on that in the new year.

3. Audit your playlist and get feedback.

Unpopular opinion: We don’t care for Spotify. We're more of an Amazon music fan. However, we are talking about content here, because as you all know…enter doves and choirs singing: “Content is King.” We love that song.

Anyhoo, what did you “play” a lot? In other words, where did your content resonate with your audience? Consider making those elements evergreen, or building on the idea. Better yet: ask your listeners. Sending out customer surveys to see how they feel about your brand is crucial to staying connected to the morphing needs of your buyers. What emotions and thoughts come to mind when they see your logo? Do they see you as a transaction, or is it a relationship? Do they want more or less?

Tell us what you want, KAREN!!!

Then put that in your new year calendar.

4. Clean house and cut the cord.

I just deleted nearly 50,000 emails dating back to 2011. Yes, I have a problem. And it also creates a problem for finding important digital conversations quickly. Plus, it takes up a ginormous amount of server space. It’s dead weight.

And so are a lot of marketing materials. Maybe they are outdated or unused, or Kevin from Operations thought it was a good idea to make the logo yellow for Safety Week. Whatever the reason, don’t keep dusty print collaterals or failed digital campaigns within reach. Dump them. Clean your files. Make space for the newness of the year and invite room for creativity!

5. Turn things off.

Listen. NO work task, marketing-related or otherwise, is more important than time spent with family and friends. The holidays are maniacal! Deadlines, planning, budgeting, approvals, reviews, bonuses, raises, parties, gifts, luncheons – and that is just work! At home, there are school recitals, plays, gift buying and wrapping, family dinners and gatherings, traveling, and oftentimes missing someone who is no longer here to celebrate.

In marketing, it’s no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell. Same in life, my dudes. Be sure to make some of your own. Close the laptop. Drink the eggnog. Feel the magic of the season. That’s the biggest data point of the year.

Current celebrates Christmas, and we will be closed from December 18 – January 3 to take time with our own families and prepare for the new year ahead, which by the way, will be AHmazing!

Now go punch December in the face. Power down your marketing and get ready for a fantastic 2024!

And, keep Bob away from the conference room tequila.

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