It’s all in the timing.

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You know the drill: by November of each year, you’re exhausted. Then, things slow down during the holiday season, what with Thanksgiving and various December festivities. It becomes remarkably easy to say, “That can wait until after the first of the year.” We’ve all done it. And it’s a huge mistake. Come January, you’re re-energized and there are sales kickoffs, work in the pipeline, and goals to set and meet. And if you’ve waited until the calendar page turns to start creating you marketing materials — never mind your strategy — you’re already behind, and you may have missed the boat on budget.

On the other hand, if you do the bulk of the work in Q4, when January 1 shows up, you’re ready: to kick off that new sales campaign, to arm the PR team, to execute on your marcom plan — all in sync. You’re ahead of the game, and you’ve got a leg up on the competition. You’ve put more time into strategic thinking, so the quality of your strategy is solid. You were more methodical, so there was less room for error. You kept the big picture top of mind.

And consider the cost of waiting, dollar-wise: you may be in a “use it or lose it” situation when it comes to marketing spend. If you don’t spend your budget by the end of the year, and wisely at that, it might not be there next year. Also consider that your vendors may be booked when January rolls around, and any work you need to complete in an accelerated timeframe may be much more expensive. If that’s so, you could find yourself with empty pockets come Q4 next year.

We know it can be tough to focus when the turkey is calling your name, but focusing in Q4 is worth it. Besides, there are always leftovers.

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