It always catches me off guard. Labor Day in the US is celebrated the first Monday of September, and it signals the clear end of summer. And when you work with global teams, everyone is back from the summer holidays and ready to work as well.
Compounding matters, it also coincides with almost the end of the 3rd quarter if your fiscal year matches up with the calendar yea. And it’s make or break time on driving business in the current year. And you have to start planning for the next year, and, and, and, and!
Personally this year I took an unexpected vacation the week before. One of those, the calendar gods aligned and the weather in Boston was brutal so why not head out of town, NOW vacations. And one of my key marketing directors also resigned at the same time. Talk about the perfect storm!!
But what does that extended whine have to do with marketing globally? I also use this time to reflect on what worked in 2010 as we think about closing out the year and planning for next year. I started out the year by saying that our operative model was to Focus Focus Focus. You can read my take on the strategy in this post.
In this area, we wound up doing a decent job, but still took on more than we could realistically manage so things were not as connected as we would have liked. Our Cloud event series was highly successful overall, but each event felt like a discrete event, rather than an ongoing program. We are working on using the LinkedIN Cloud group we created as the glue, but it takes time to build that community and have it truly bear fruit.
The other thing that is clear is that our true target audience is really hard to reach through traditional channels. We do the webinars, events, telesales etc, but we have to consider the target “yield” against the actual attendees for everything we do. Improving that will surely be a major focus for 2011.
Another area that went well in 2010 was opening up the UK market. But now we have to replicate that success in two other countries in 2011, and that will prove difficult when accounting for language alone.
But really when we take stock of 2010, it was a good foundation year, but success will be measured by what happens in the next 2 months. As for now, I have to run, one of my sales directors just sent me an IM titled “need more leads!”