Through The Looking Glass
By Perry Rearick, Chief Editor, Follow Your Buyer
We will celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States later this week, and other places around the globe too. It is a tradition rooted in agrarian times when families gathered to celebrate the harvest. COVID prevented many of us from getting together last year and I am pretty excited to reunite with my family for the big feast, you may be too.
Connecting with family and friends, especially those we have known a long time, stimulates conversations about the past, changes since we last saw each other, and our hopes for the future. We will be startled at how much children have grown and how much some of us have aged. We will get caught-up on each other’s careers and budding relationships. Hopefully, we can avoid political discussions but will accept having to listen to that annoying brother or sister-in-law who talks only about themselves. Right now, you’re thinking about who that is in your family and if it’s not quickly coming to you, well…every family has one!
Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of our annual season of reflection that culminates with the New Year and a package of things we resolve to improve upon, resolutions. It is fitting that before determining where to go, we spend time reflecting on where we are and the ground we covered to get here. Intentional or not, establishing resolutions each year is a tradition for which you are likely familiar. But have you considered doing the same for you and your team at work?
If you are responsible for a marketing team, this is a great season for examining the past year’s campaigns and results with clarity and fidelity. Think of it as looking at a mirror through a magnifying glass. Consider where you were a year ago, what is your team particularly proud of, what actions delivered impressive results and why, and what did that mean to the business? Inject a lot of “what else’s” at the end of each round of questions. Then transition to the difficult stuff, “what didn’t go well and what will we do about it?”
If you already have next year’s marketing plans in place, no problem, evaluate them using a similar approach. Is your marketing strategy aligned with your desired business outcomes, what might go wrong, how will you detect that something is not working, and will it be in time to get things back on track and still hit your objectives?
I also encourage you to examine team interoperability. Which processes are working well? What aspects of your operations do you want to retain without change because of superb results? Avoid the trap of “we’ve always done it this way!” Then turn again to the more challenging questions. What processes are not working well? Where is the unproductive air in your systems? Are you satisfied with the quality of your work? Where are the opportunities for improvement?
I hope you have a great week and productive reflecting season!