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auditThe dog days of summer are here and this time of year tends to be a bit slower for many. While a lot of people have their sights on beaches or preparing for back to school, the next few weeks offer a great opportunity to evaluate how your various marketing and communications campaigns are preforming. Taking stock of what’s working and what’s not can ensure that you’re leveraging your resources as best as possible. So before you start thinking about planning for next year, spend some time now reviewing how campaigns have performed thus far and make adjustments as needed.

Here are five great ways to maximize extra time in August to conduct a summertime marketing audit and position your organization for success during the remainder of the year:

  • Revisit Your 2016 Plans: Dust off those plans from January and take a look at how your strategies are faring thus far. Even if your company conducts monthly or quarterly reviews of strategic plans, it can be helpful to set some time aside to spend analyzing your plans. You may discover something that you missed in the rush to prepare for other reviews. Having time to thoughtfully consider a plan’s effectiveness can yield unexpected discoveries.
  • Review Metrics: As you review your current plans, take a closer look at how you’re measuring the performance. Are sales up? Have a target number of new clients been secured? Is web traffic higher than last year? Are more followers engaging with your organization on social media? Regardless of the metrics you use, review all of them in July or August to give you a holistic picture. This also is a good time to consider if additional metrics should be incorporated into your review.
  • Adjust Budgets: Don’t be afraid to adjust budgets for campaigns as you review their performance. If you find that one strategy is working well, consider putting more resources behind it. Perhaps a campaign from earlier in the year delivered the best results. It’s better to shift money now on a proactive basis than wait until the end of the year.
  • Update Editorial Calendars: As you conduct an audit of your marketing and communications efforts, don’t forget to have your team update editorial calendars. Many publications shift editorial features during the year and these calendars are likely to change. Plus, some publications will begin to release their upcoming calendars in late summer and early fall, so you can get a head start on identifying upcoming opportunities.
  • Track Award Nominations: Similar to editorial calendars, award nominations will pick up in the fall. Set up processes to track for relevant awards and end-of-the-year lists.