Back to school – focusing on Q4 marketing planning

September always feels like a new, fresh start to me.  I think that even now, I still remember that back to school feeling, I loved the feeling of freshness and excitement of choosing a new pencil case, notebooks and pens! Now is the perfect time to start to focus on your Q4 marketing planning, to put you in a great shape to finish the year as you had planned and achieve your business goals and ambitions. By putting in some work now it also allows you to start to consider what 2022 will look like.

We might take some time to review our marketing strategy, plan our content over the final few months and maybe make adjustments to our plans, to reflect the changes in environment, competitors or situation. As many also return to the workplace this week it will be different. There is a lot of discussion in the media about defining what a “hybrid” way of working may look like. As many of us have undergone very different journeys over the last 18-months or so, I suspect that this model will look different for everyone. For some, they will be delighted to make a return to the office and others will be filled with dread.

Where do we start?

So where do we start?  Start by reviewing your marketing strategy, if you do not have one then, it is a good place to start, CLICK HERE to read our definitive guide which will walk you through step by step what you need to do. Or of course if you need a little more help, check out our 9-module online programme.

How do we get our energy back? This one maybe a little more tricky, as many of us have enjoyed looking after our children over the last few weeks. Try to take some time away from your desk and give yourself permission to let your mind wander and reflect on the way forward.  Based on the foundations of marketing – the “Four P’s” – I wanted to share some thoughts on things to consider to get your imagination running and kick start your thinking:

  1. Price (monies charged for the goods or services). As you review where your business is now, it might also be worth taking some time to consider if your pricing is right or does it need to change? This is a difficult one as if your pricing is too high then you will potentially have limited demand and if it is too low the revers maybe the case. Often you will get a sense of if your price is too high or too low, it is also worth checking out what your competitors are up to, to give you a benchmark and help steer you on what to do next.
  2. Product (goods or services offered by a business). Consider what the demand for your product is like – if you have high demand, fantastic. If the demand is slowing down or you are not generating enough sales, you may wish to review the product or service that you offer. Is it time to review and update your business packaging and do something different?
  3. Place (the media that takes the product or service to market). For sure as a small business owner, we need to include our harvest media eg: website, blog email and social media marketing activity, but what other methods to market might we consider. We recently shared a guest blog by Kath Harlow from the Advantage Card programme, here, where she explores the options a little further. Partnerships are also a great tool to use, by collaborating with similar like minded businesses with a similar audience, it can help extend your reach of your business.
  4. Promotion.  Once you know what you wish to promote, who you are talking to and if you are making any changes, then you need to consider how you take it to market.  The creative look and messaging will need to be finalised to enable us to do this.

In addition to the traditional four P’s you could also include people and processes. There is lots to consider here when thinking about your Q4 marketing planning, if you would like some help in kick starting your thinking this autumn, please get in touch to arrange a no obligation discovery call.

Sophie Comas

A highly successful self-motivated and results driven, senior marketing professional. My passion lies within developing and delivering marketing solutions which make a difference in today's complex digital market place. A marketeer with a strong academic background and broad ranging level of experience working with small businesses and in the travel and hospitality sector, across the Thames Valley, I love a challenge!

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