How To Winterize Your Marketing
In its simplest form, winterizing is preparing something for the cold. Just like people prepare for the cold weather in winter, marketers must do the same as well. Whether that’s an economic winter that happens in your business, a budgetary freeze that hits marketing first before other areas, or a chill in the air about your company’s long-term prospects, there are several things marketers can do to insulate themselves.
Keep marketing strategies tied to business goals – are your marketing goals still tied to business objectives? This is important when macro-level changes happen in your industry or even in your business. Being near the front of change and pivoting to where the business is going will help marketers be at the forefront and not in the background.
Measure your results and report on them (especially the good ones) – measurement is a big deal and winters make a viable return on marketing investment model all the more important. Show in quantifiable terms what is working and be proud of it.
Be a good steward of your resources regardless of the forecast – prove the usefulness of marketing over time and show value for what you bring to the organization. Make sure you are measuring your budgets and finding improvements all the time and not just when it’s getting cold.
Be proactive about cuts so they don’t cut into the muscle – in conversations about cuts, provide thoughtful recommendations rather than just have them handed to you. Be clear about what you can get away with and what will really hurt the company in both the short and long-term.
Reset the thermometer once the change has happened – once the cold has hit, make sure you are clear about what’s happening, the steps that have been taken and where things are headed. If you can’t see a goal, your teams won’t see it either which will lead to longer-term challenges so be sure to emphasize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
If your forecast is for a cold winter, even if it’s just for a quarter or much longer, think about what you need to do to get through it and come out the other side with the prospects of green grass and warm winds. A little bit of care and preparation in your marketing adjustments will go a long way.