By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
With the holiday marketing season closing, many performance marketers have already turned their attention to 2013. Inevitably, their thoughts turn to what they should do to finish the current year on a strong note and ensure the new year is an equal success. Here’s a checklist of what you should do:
Finish Q4 2012 strong. Lead-generation marketers must ensure their budgets have enough leeway to meet seasonal offers for the holidays. The holidays are the best-performing season for cash-advance offers. It’s important to keep existing clients happy, as they will undoubtedly present additional budgets at the last minute. Lead-gen marketers need to do their best to meet clients’ year-end demands to ensure inclusion in advertisers’ 2013 budgets.
Assess staff and optimize processes. As the year closes, and more people tend to take time off, now is the time to ensure your org chart and process are maximized. If you are able to move the business forward without some of your employees, then you need to cut ties or upgrade their positions. If you can’t succeed and are inundated with tactical maneuvers, then it’s time to get job specs together for the positions you need and seek out the right staffing level.
This is a great time of year to make sure you have the org chart laid out with positions, descriptions and your ideal model. While working on this, you should simultaneously be ensuring all processes are running smoothly. Whether it is establishing weekly meeting agendas, sales processes, offers set-up, or just basic document storage, the quieter, post-holiday weeks are the time to review your plans and processes in preparation for a successful 2013. Lead-gen marketers don’t necessarily need to be in the office to conduct these audits.
Plan for Q1/FY 2013. It’s just as important to capitalize on Q4 2012 as it is to plan for Q1 and FY 2013. Review your financial projections for 2012 and plan realistic goals, month-by-month, for 2013. Once the numbers are planned, it’s critical to outline how you plan on hitting these numbers, such as staffing, advertisers, and potentially acquisitions. Q1 requires specific attention. Typically, the year starts off slow aside from Affiliate Summit West in mid-January. This can make January a challenging month to produce significant revenue. There are good offers to take advantage of, such as tax season and auto insurance, to help offset some of the slowness and set the proper tone for revenue success in 2013.
As unpredictable as the performance marketing space can be, a solid amount of realistic planning is critical to ensuring you have goals to manage your lead-gen team for a successful 2013.