Dec 08, 2021

Meeting End of the Year Goals, with Josh Dougherty

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Josh Dougherty is the CEO and a co-founder of A Brave New, a Seattle marketing agency focused on helping businesses accelerate their growth through inbound marketing, branding, and web design. He specializes in working with clients to identify barriers to their growth and overcoming those barriers with strategic content and marketing tactics. He has more than a decade of experience in digital marketing and branding.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How to achieve your goals in the final weeks of the year
  • What action items will bring you the closest to meeting end of year goals
  • Should you focus on more direct or indirect marketing and messaging during Q4
  • What ways can you increase the urgency on your website or user journey
  • How to spend the remaining money in your budget before you lose it
  • What can you do to better understand your customers next year
  • How many KPIs should you have each year to get the most reward


Show Transcription:

Intro: Welcome to A Brave New Podcast. The podcast all about how brave entrepreneurial companies are unlocking their business potential using inbound marketing. Here is your marketing expert and host Polly Yakovich.

Polly Yakovich: All right. Welcome back to A Brave New Podcast. I have with me, my favorite special guest and recurring contributor, Joshua P Dougherty. Hi Josh.

Josh Dougherty: Now my middle name is out in the world so everyone can send me their guesses on Twitter of what my middle name is. You can probably guess from the rest of my name, that it isn't that creative, so.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Joshua Peculiar Dougherty, that'd be such a cute name.

Josh Dougherty: That's true. It'd be great.

Polly Yakovich: We're coming at you with a hard hitting content today, of course, but we would love to talk about, okay, so if you're listening to this, you have carved out some small time in a very busy season if you're a marketer and it's the last three weeks of the year, so you have three weeks left. And if we know anything about being a marketer from our last 15, 20 years of experience, it's that you are currently grappling with the trifecta. So you still have goals to meet this year that you're either excited because you've crushed them or you're panicking a little bit, because you have a KPI in mind that you still really want to connect with. You may still have money that you need to spend or lose, and you're probably somewhere in the midst of planning and budgeting for next year, maybe you have a budget already, but Q1 is coming up, you need new ideas. You're looking to meet your new goals in KPIs, you're just sort of in this time where this like golden trifecta of challenge and opportunity.

Josh Dougherty: Joy, of holiday joy is upon you.

Polly Yakovich: Exactly. And you're hopefully in a positive way, grappling with the holidays and all the things in your family, et cetera. We wanted to come at you very quickly today, with six ideas of things that you can do right now to cover something in each of those three areas. We have two ideas per area. We have a couple bonus ideas because we're verbose, as you know, and we also bonus have some resources for you. So we're going to link everything in the show notes. So when we say do this, do that, we have a blog post or a white paper or a template for you on each of these that you can just go grab because obviously time is of the essence right now.

Polly Yakovich: One person I loved, this happened to me early-ish in my career, but obviously Q4 was the most successful time of year. And somebody, when we were giving our financial report was like, "Oh, why don't we see these numbers all year long?" And I was like, "Because it's Q4." Q4 is a thing you can't replicate it always. But there is an urgency to this time of year that I actually love so much, that feels very slice and dice, make the deals, get things locked in before the end of the year, make your goals, et cetera. So hopefully you can harness some of this for fun and enjoy it and carry that energy into the new year rather than feeling stressed and burned out by it.

Josh Dougherty: Yeah. And I think hopefully you can also enjoy this over a cocktail, a hot toddy, whatever your holiday cocktail is of choice.

Polly Yakovich: Yes. I had a hot toddy last night.

Josh Dougherty: This is what you should be doing while listening to podcasts.

Polly Yakovich: Indeed, indeed. As you hear, I have that seasonal cold a little bit, and so I did enjoy myself a hot toddy last night. Great suggestion by someone on our team. So here we go. We have goals to meet this year. So under the goals to meet this year, we're behind, I'm just assuming we're behind in one category or another. How can we make up some of that gap in the last three weeks of the year? Now I know this may sound crazy and you can do this without doing the first part of what I'm talking about. But one of the things that I think is difficult with things, when we talk about things like program optimization and boring stuff like optimization is, it's very incremental.

Polly Yakovich: And we have talked about that over time, but one of the things and this kind of borrows from a suggestion we have in another category is, if you can clear your schedule, clear a few people on your team's schedule, there's always this list of things that you know you should be doing and could be doing that would be great for your program. I'm going to balance this with a discipline as well, like you're not going to be able to do everything and some optimizations aren't going to really garner you much between now and the end of the year.

Polly Yakovich: But, I would say, if you can focus on the things that are going to be the highest, highest reward and benefit, and we'll link you to some resources that tell you what those things are and talk about them here as well, clear out your schedules and do a punch it up day, a punch it up half day, a optimization half day and look for all those things that you think would bring you most reward and just knock them out. And do this as soon as possible, so you have the rest of the time to reap the rewards.

Polly Yakovich: You'll want to optimize things that are already going well, so you're not going to want to look for all those small SEO incremental things that are going to really add up over time, but just those things that are hanging over your head. So we have some ideas for you. Josh, do you have anything to add to that before we get into peppering them with brilliant ideas?

Josh Dougherty: Yeah. I guess the only other thing I would say is that a lot of times we think of optimization in terms of AB testing and it's going to really be hard unless you have massive traffic at the end of the year to do some AB testing and get some results.

Polly Yakovich: I don't do that.

Josh Dougherty: I mean, if you have a hundred thousand people coming to your site a day, maybe you can but a lot of people aren't in that reality. And so, what we're talking about here is optimization that you're just going to roll out essentially because you know it's going to improve the results of what you're doing, not necessarily doing something that's going to be a six week return. Now, that might be really valuable as well, but if you need to reap some benefits by the end of the year, it's probably not going to be what delivers.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. So we will link you to a resource on this. We actually have a few and if you've been around us or our podcast for any period of time, you'll hear us talking about ways to punch up the direct response in anything that you're doing. And so a great thing to do in this optimization day is really look for those opportunities to be more direct. Another thing I want to say about that is this is a great time of year to be more direct because everything feels very urgent. People's budgets are ending, the year's ending. People need to do things by the end of the year. Your clients need to spend budgets by the end of the year, et cetera, et cetera.

Polly Yakovich: And so I would say, in this optimization day, do a quick audit and look for opportunities to add bold urgency, punchiness, direct asks. If you are very, very like, Hey, learn more, educate yourself, get in touch when you're ready. If you're very inbound, this is a great time to go through and say like, we have a special offer. Do this by the end of the year, spend the budget, ask again, ask directly. That is a great thing that's going to bring you positive rewards. And people are busy this time of year, so direct response breaks through the clutter in the best of times, but when there's a ton of clutter, it's absolutely necessary.

Josh Dougherty: Yeah. And I want to go back to that concept about the special offer because a lot of our listeners, I think sell something that is, maybe takes longer to sell like six months to sell. It's going to be hard to do that. And so if you've been thinking about what's a special offer that has a lower barrier of entry, that can get someone in the door and give them like a taste of what it's like to work with us. This is a great time to maybe, if that idea is half baked, spent on time making it fully baked, the recommendations coming soon about how to do that and then punch up the direct response. Another idea-

Polly Yakovich: Also like not to-

Josh Dougherty: Go ahead.

Polly Yakovich: ... be a dirty marketer, but do this in an authentic way. We build urgency authentically, but it also doesn't have be like 50% sale off by the next seven days. Like look for what's appropriate to you and build some urgency with folks even if it's a little bit manufactured. You're going to have to balance that a little bit, but you can manufacture some urgency, certainly.

Josh Dougherty: Anyone can. Right?

Polly Yakovich: Indeed.

Josh Dougherty: Indeed. I think like another great thing to do is you're thinking about how to manufacture urgency, build in direct responses to look at those best performing resources if you're doing a good inbound program and say, which of these can we kind of punch up and not only how we're developing our offers? So like creating some urgency there, maybe adjusting even titles slightly so there's some timeliness to them. And maybe even it could be as simple as saying like, Hey, we've got a marketing running on autopilot most of the year. These three resources ran the best throughout the year. Let's throw an extra 10 or 15% of advertising budget at them in these final weeks to see if we can get results.

Josh Dougherty: So it's not just about like, I think punching up the offering or those best performing resources, but seeing where is it strategic for us to just spend some more money or to really make us a strong push in social media through organic posting over the next couple weeks or reaching out to influencers if you have them to help share. I mean, just some scrappy things that could be pretty easy to do, but just you don't think about them because you're just running through your program the rest of the year.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. A couple other ideas and I just did some of these recently on our site, but just go through and do like a quick user journey audit. So look for, you know, if people land on your service page, do you have a pop up there that's asking them to get in touch with you? Do you offer a free demo? Do you have a free consultation? Look for all the opportunities on your site for someone to escape you without being asked directly to do something with you and then close those holes up. If you have great resources, make sure you go through, let's just say your best performing blog post from the last year and make sure you have a great popup for another resource or a resource download on those blogs.

Polly Yakovich: That your CTAs are strong, that everyone's getting asked to do something at key moments. Practically, I would say this is a great time of year for a homepage takeover. So, you don't want to do those. Well, it depends on who you are, but for most people we don't want to do them all the time. But decide on what your best offer is, particularly if Josh said you found one with some urgency and you could put it together and do a homepage takeover for the next three weeks. So you're just really in people's face offering them a quick action and something to do and not letting them get away until they've encountered your offer.

Josh Dougherty: If you're sitting there thinking about what offer could I actually use? A brilliant one I saw the other day from another organization was, someone sent me an email and said, we have space for six prospects to do a complete evaluation of their work and to see if we can see how they can improve their program. That's a thousand percent manufactured, but they're using this concept of scarcity to drive you to respond. So you might even think about something like that if you have a consultative sales process, how do you productize your sales process and say, Hey, we have this many slots left for a special consulting opportunity with one of our experts. Dive in and we need people, like this is available through December 31st, but as soon as those five slots are gone, we're done. And that's not very hard to do. It doesn't require any operational changes on your part, but it suddenly feels very different to be like, schedule a meeting with one of our experts, which is far less urgent.

Polly Yakovich: Yep. And then another suggestion and then we'll move on is just to make sure there is a lot of clutter this time of year and people don't remember what you've done before. So make sure you have resends in your email, make sure you're sending it multiple times. Take some really cool social media posts that you might have done earlier in the year and recycle them. Just up your volume, but you don't have to make more of an effort. It's like nobody remembers the cool posts that got a bunch of engagement on LinkedIn six months ago and everyone's looking for a mental break.

Polly Yakovich: So, be really active. People will be like, oh, I see them everywhere. They're just really crushing it this December, and just recycle some of that. Get your volume up. People are dealing with a lot of clutter and so if you haven't hit like the top five posts in your LinkedIn or your social or your whatever, you don't exist. So just keep those principles in mind when you think about human behavior and reuse some great content.

Josh Dougherty: Yeah. E-commerce follows the principle. You can email someone six to eight times a week and they won't notice.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah.

Josh Dougherty: So maybe don't go that far, but like you can dial [crosstalk 00:13:25]-

Polly Yakovich: Has ever bought something from the gappy, you certainly know that's true.

Josh Dougherty: Yes. And I think the other thing to think about, and this is a complicating factor just this year is, you're starting to see the iOS opens, stuff come in where your opens are getting artificially inflated. So one of the optimizations you could do this year is take some time to segment out your iOS users versus the rest of your email list so that you can get a good idea of who's actually opening the emails and then figure out your [inaudible 00:13:57] from there. Because if you look at everything in mind, you're going to be like, well, we have 50%. An email opens. We probably shouldn't be resending this, that's probably not true. So spend some time to segment your email list and then make decisions off that.

Polly Yakovich: I know that seemed like a hundred things, but technically our second thing under goals to meet this year is don't do everything. So, if you have a particular goal that you're really trying to meet, or you're close to, or it's going to be negative for the organization if you fail in this regard, get very brutal about laser focusing on that particular goal and deprioritize other things. You can do everything. You can do everything in the last three weeks of the year with holidays and vacations and things and whatever and attention. So just really get laser focused. I'm going to try and do this one thing, I'm going to optimize and audit all of the things in this area. I'm going to put all my attention around beating this goal. I know it sounds overly simplistic, but it's the best way for you to focus.

Josh Dougherty: Yep. And I think the big thing here is to not give up when the Christmas holiday starts coming around, because whether you celebrate that holiday or not yourself, like that's a big milestone where people think, oh, the year's over. I'm done. And the reality is that next week has a lot of opportunity. Even if you aren't an immediate revenue organization, there's a lot of people who are trying to get caught up on stuff may have time to have conversations they hadn't the rest of the year. Maybe willing to read some content, maybe willing to do anything. But the key thing is you're thinking about this is as you're being laser focused, be laser focused on stuff you can carry through for the rest of the year, even if you're going to be out.

Josh Dougherty: How do you schedule out in a proactive amount of outreach or social post or campaigns that are happening in that week as well? Could you even come up with some creative messaging for that week that drives some emergency and builds some attention, all kinds of things. It's a weird, I don't know a weird dip in between Christmas and New Year's where people think nothing can get done. But I know almost every executive I talk to is like, yeah, I'll be working that week. It's my favorite week to work in the year because I finally have time to think about things. So how do you become one of the things that they're thinking about? That's your real job.

Polly Yakovich: A hundred percent. Yeah. I love it. Okay. Next category of opportunities is you have money to spend or you're going to lose it in your budget. And sometimes I know, we think like, oh, we should have sorted that before the last three weeks of the year. But budgets are fluid and something sort out one way or another and you might have a little pile of cash, and so we have two suggestions. There's infinite ways, obviously you can spend the money. The first is really building off of what we already talked about. You will know from doing the things above where your funnel needs a boost. Do you need more leads? Do you need more... Do you need more people that are interacting with your resources? Do you need more people in your demos? Like where is it that you are looking for that boost? And then spend some money in digital, again, laser focused on that, just one thing.

Polly Yakovich: I need more people in the top of the funnel. I need more people coming in, downloading content more in the middle of the funnel, wherever that is be like, okay, I have this chunk of money and all I'm going to do, obviously do your ad testing and iterations or whatever, but I'm only going to run resources. I'm only going to run ads to my top performing resource that I have short up and has such a punchy ask and is such a great offer. Solamente with my chunk of money between now and the end of the year. That's a great [crosstalk 00:17:42]-

Josh Dougherty: Yeah, because no one's going to fucking notice that you turned off everything else for a week.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah.

Josh Dougherty: They're just going to notice-

Polly Yakovich: So-

Josh Dougherty: ... that you got 20 more MQL's that they were hoping you would get, so.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Just be really, again, brutal and focused on that one gap that you have and solve your problem. You can go back to brand building, you know, January too.

Josh Dougherty: And then there's a chance to use it or lose. I'm mean a lot of us are also coming in with like a $20,000 chunk in our budget and saying, oh shoot, this is going away tomorrow or in two weeks. You could get a project going, it's actually like spend it, "right now," and be working on that project into January. A big thing that people struggle to get funding for is video that can be a lasting asset for your organization. And so maybe this is a chance to say, oh, we had $20,000. We thought we were going to spend on the website.

Josh Dougherty: Let's reallocate it to that video we've been wanting to make. There's some formats even if you're using a tool like stream yard that you could create some streaming quick panel video that could even be produced by the end of the year because streaming tools today allow you to produce a video that's pretty high quality, add in lower thirds, add in bumpers and you're ready to go quickly with minimal editing. So you could do a number of those quick and get some assets that are really going to, I think, start you off for success in 2022.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. I think you're going to... If you have a bigger video animated video, video shoot, et cetera, that's going to probably be hard to produce in the last three weeks of the year. But people will love to take your money now if you want to pay for it up front, and then it will feel great to know that you're hitting the ground running in January with an asset that you can really spend extensively. And video is not going away. People are consuming more and more and more visual content, so we're just going to need more of it. And it's still hard to budget for unfortunately, but it's an absolute necessity.

Josh Dougherty: I think there's less hungry freelancers right now than there have been in the past for, I mean, marketing town is hard to come by, but there's a lot of good animators that aren't going to turn down a $15,000 project to create some video right now. This is the benefit of contractors. I know we're all seeking more balance, but they're going to be like, okay, how do I have my holiday balance and make cool extra $15,000 this time of year, so.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. And I'd really encourage you, if you do feel like you could use it to go the animated route and do an explainer video or demo your product, et cetera. Okay. So you've solved your problems magically. You-

Josh Dougherty: ...

Polly Yakovich: ... spent the... You're so welcome. You spent the money you had left in your budget. You crushed that goal that you were a little behind on and now obviously you've probably already budgeted for next year. But this is also when we start thinking about like, okay, the president, the board, whoever arbitrarily increased my KPIs across the board 20%. Now you have to make sure I have a really good plan in place to hit my goals next year. Hopefully it was a conversation, but I don't think any of us are like, Hmm, let's plan for a flat next year.

Polly Yakovich: So this is the time of year where we're like, what new ideas do we have? What things could be really excited? How do I really lay myself out for a good start to the year, et cetera, et cetera? So we have two ideas for you. One is, and we have a really great resource download for you. So we're going to link to this in the show notes. We have a free template and it's really about SMART goal setting. And I think all us are super familiar with SMART goals and probably we think they're too simple and they're sort of beneath us, because we are such advanced marketers that we've moved on to more complicated things.

Polly Yakovich: But the reality is that I think most people would benefit from SMART goals. So what Josh and I think about when we think about planning in this way is we think, typically you should have three to five high level KPIs that you're really aiming at for the next year. Key performance indicators, that are keys to your program moving forward, and you accomplishing your goals, whether that's, I mean, it's always going to be the same things, more leads, more revenue. So if you take each of those KPIs, you can break them down into a SMART goal.

Polly Yakovich: And if you're not familiar with the acronym or it's been a while since you've been out of business school, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. So you can start to see how this would actually be quite helpful. And when you download our template and use it, you could take each of your KPIs and you can build a SMART goal around it. What am I going to do in the next 30, 60, 90 days? That's specific, that's measurable. That's time-bound that moves me closer to this particular KPI. How am I going to do it? What activities am I going to do? How am I going to measure them?

Polly Yakovich: How am I going to see what's working? What am I going to trial, et cetera? And so I think this is a really great thing that you could be spending some of your time, the last three weeks of the year doing is really breaking down those KPIs into an action plan. And it needs to be simple. We make things so complicated and then we can't really answer to people about what's working, what's not, how we measured it, how we're making decisions. And most of us are doing great in some categories and then sort of have a dark secret category that's kind of falling apart.

Polly Yakovich: And so really brutally do this to everything and make sure you have a really great plan in place. It's also really excellent to walk people through your plan and gives them a lot of confidence that you have a plan you're working it. This is how you'll measure it. Not everything's going to work, and this is how you're going to keep the program moving toward those big goals over the course of the year.

Josh Dougherty: And I think our biggest deal for us as we've done this with client is figuring out what the correct timeframe and that time-bound cadence is like, are you a small enough team where you can meet every 30 days and, or evaluate the goals you've and made progress? This is typically what I would recommend because it's going to allow you to make the most pivots throughout the year, because the benefit of this approach is you can pivot. You can respond to how things are working. If you're have a little bit more red tape in how you're doing things, you may only be able to do this quarterly, but then you're going to have more SMART goals to be able to hit the KPIs at the end of the year, if you're only looking so up quarterly.

Josh Dougherty: So figure out what that right cadence is. And then the reason why I like the 30 day cadence is you can have one or two things that you're working on really specifically for a month and then shift to something else as you learn. Another great resource for this, which we'll put in the show notes is the growth driven design course in the HubSpot Academy, which all about this thought process of like, we don't set a goal and then just work blindly towards it. But we spend time adjusting every single moment of the year to make sure that we're hitting the goals because your SMART goals are going to change based on the performance you're seeing, based on how the market shifts, based on major things that happen in your industry.

Josh Dougherty: All these types of things are going to influence how you're approaching your SMART goals throughout the year. So you need to have an agile system. If you go through that certification, there's also a great template for running a growth driven design, kind of like a results tracking dashboard over the course of a year. They talk about in the context of website, but you can pack it pretty quickly to use it for your marketing program overall.

Polly Yakovich: Yeah. Not that we speak from experience, but we totally did and we use it and it's great.

Josh Dougherty: We've never borrowed something to use it.

Polly Yakovich: No. Never. All great marketers borrow, not saying that we're great marketers.

Josh Dougherty: But we do borrow.

Polly Yakovich: [crosstalk 00:25:47].

Josh Dougherty: So we must have something in common. The other major thing that you can do, and you could even do this in December. If you have downtime, speaking of that last week of the year. If your team is magically while working for some reason, which isn't highly likely what could happen. We [crosstalk 00:26:03]-

Polly Yakovich: I think you can plan for this in early January, put on your calendar the last week of the year when they're all out and surprise them.

Josh Dougherty: Is this concept of an intensive workshop? There's a blog post on our LinkedIn, in the show notes where I talked about this extensively, it's a tactic we like to use. But especially as you're a smaller team that has a lot of pressures on you, carving out one day to ship one thing can be really valuable process. And so really in this approach, what we're saying is you probably have, I don't know, five initiatives that you knew were super important to you, that you never got off the ground this year. And so set a day in January and decide we're going to block out the time. Our whole team is going to lock ourselves in a room, whether digital or physical, you can do whatever you want based on what your company's doing.

Josh Dougherty: And we're going to commit to shipping something related to that initiative by the end of the day and get it against the world. And so I walk through this in depth in the post, but really the key steps here are first unblock the time, then determine your desired goal and set SMART milestones, again, SMART goals. Sorry. We like them. They're good.

Polly Yakovich: It's okay. You got a template?

Josh Dougherty: [crosstalk 00:27:21] SMART goals for the day to say like, by 10, we want to be here by noon. We want to be here by two, when you want to be here so that we can actually ship. Then after you've done some planning together, figured out how you're going. You're going to develop a work plan and define specifically the work to be done and then split up and work on it in small groups or individually grab some times throughout the day to come back and check in, talk about what are the barriers you're facing, but then commit to shipping at the end of the day.

Josh Dougherty: This could be a tool that's used to maybe launch a new webinar series or launch a new piece of functionality that you wanted to do on your site. If you have developers on your team that can help develop as you're working on stuff. It could be to even say, if you were even starting from scratch with your marketing, and you want me to launch a new newsletter to a new segment of your audience. You could use this to design the new newsletter, create the content for the first quarter of newsletters and be able to get a jumpstart into getting something out the door. So lots of things you can use this for, but really it's about carving out that time-bound space to be able to deliver and deliver well.

Polly Yakovich: Also side benefits include, your team feels incredible because things hang over your head and you never get to. And when people want to and they're are important projects, but when you block out a day and really get something done and don't have to worry about some so, and so's reviews and they're in meetings all day and whatever, and you can just like get stuff done quickly. It feels so incredible. And in fact, a lot of teams operate on this sort of like sprint and methodology all the time, but it is really satisfying. And I think it can be really great for your team.

Polly Yakovich: We suggest, and we are going to actually try and do this ourselves next year, because marketing gets kind of elusive. It's not like a true sprint, certain kind of marketing functions lend themselves to sprints a little bit more. But if you do this once a quarter and tackle a bigger project, I think that you'll find that, not only do you get something done that you might not have gotten done otherwise, but your team is going to also feel great.

Josh Dougherty: And this might be a really great connection point. I'm a little bit old fashioned here thinking like in-person doing this is like the best thing to do.

Polly Yakovich: I miss old fashioned, we're old [crosstalk 00:29:50]-

Josh Dougherty: ... from our offices, which is the worst thing ever to do this.

Polly Yakovich: Terrible. It's so sucking.

Josh Dougherty: All alone. But I think the benefit, like as we head into the new year, based on how vaccines are going fingers crossed, we're starting to get out of where we've been over the last couple years. This could be a big celebratory event to do a first one of these altogether. Go get dinner afterwards, actually enjoy some time together because all those side connections are also so massive for the productivity of your team, whether it's two people or whether it's 10 people. So try to take advantage of that.

Polly Yakovich: And this is perhaps the key to hybrid work and a different conversation for a different day. But if you can, as somebody said recently, Robert Rose, when we were listening to him speak at a conference, he was like, these imperson things are fewer and far between, but so much more special now. And so if you can find these punctuated times, work on something together, achieve it, celebrate together and the rest of the time your team's remote. It really just does build that culture and that those relationships for the zooming from your office alone at home or wherever you are.

Josh Dougherty: So it is now bonus hour where we're going to get into bonus ideas [crosstalk 00:31:09]-

Polly Yakovich: We wouldn't be us if we didn't have some bonuses that we couldn't fit into, our preconceived six ideas, two per category. We like to break [crosstalk 00:31:19]-

Josh Dougherty: Two per category, 17 sub points.

Polly Yakovich: Exactly, exactly. We're marketers. This is like part of the magic that makes us, us. We got some-

Josh Dougherty: [crosstalk 00:31:26].

Polly Yakovich: ... bonuses for you.

Josh Dougherty: Can I run through like, just give a quick summary because we did cover a lot of what we talked about.

Polly Yakovich: Yes. Do it.

Josh Dougherty: So, our six things today are, our first do a single day optimization jam before the end of the year, so you've areas that most impact and spend a day getting those things done. Second, don't try to do everything. Be honest with yourself and laser focus in on stuff that's going to drive the best results for your objectives through the end of the year. And then, third thing, this is in the money to spend or lose category. Do something like the capital project or a larger creative asset to spend money on. If you have leftover money, whether it be video or something else that's going to cost more. That's hard to justify budget for. Forth, if your funnel needs a boost, really put some money there, add some urgency and deadline, but like map out what, where the funnel is most falling apart or where your flywheel is and put some money there to, and [crosstalk 00:32:30]-

Polly Yakovich: We need money into media. Yeah.

Josh Dougherty: Yeah

Polly Yakovich: Digital media.

Josh Dougherty: And then the fifth idea is to use SMART goal setting for your planning for 2022 and then families [crosstalk 00:32:40]-

Polly Yakovich: Handy dandy template that's free.

Josh Dougherty: Exactly. And then check out my blog post on the one day intensive workshop and schedule some of those for the coming year to be able to launch some new features more quickly so that you can have more impact. Okay. Back to you. Sorry.

Polly Yakovich: Bonus round. So here's-

Josh Dougherty: [crosstalk 00:33:02].

Polly Yakovich: ... some bonus ideas. They're not going to be punchy the last couple weeks of the year, but we think that they, well, some of them are. The first is not, but it is to plan for research. This is an often skipped moved out of the budget. Maybe if you've met all your goals and you have extra your budget, you could prepay some research. But let's think about first party research, real research, audience interviews, panels. If you haven't talked to your customers directly in a long time and rely on your sales team to talk for them, you are missing.

Polly Yakovich: Like for sure, definitely. And people always think like, oh, we know them well enough. And I guarantee you don't. I absolutely guarantee it. So plan for research next year. That's a bonus idea. If you have more money or if you have some planning time, think about how you can incorporate research, you will improve your marketing efforts. A hundred percent guarantee if you talk directly to your audience.

Josh Dougherty: Second bonus idea takes some time to feed yourself and do some learning. We all move so quickly throughout the year and this is a time if you are happen to be working over that last week of the year, it might be a little quieter. You might have a chance to maybe go to the HubSpot Academy, check out this certification you've been wanting to do. Maybe go to that App Rush Academy [crosstalk 00:34:25] are free.

Polly Yakovich: If you haven't been to the HubSpot Academy... Yeah. They're free and they're so good and you should not be recreating the wheel. All the time we're telling our employees to carve out time to spend time in the HubSpot Academy and in sending them to do it. And certainly many of the questions that they have are solved there and better by people who literally created the software and manage it. So make sure to spend some time looking for some of those free resources and just becoming a better smarter marketer. You'll have great ideas after you go through those.

Josh Dougherty: And I would say, certainly don't follow the thing that I this week, which was take four courses over again to re-certify or take four exams without going over the course to re-certify. I think as experienced marketers, we often think that we don't need to do the learning because we already know it, and it's just about checking off the box. But there is this thing about learning that if you take the time, even if it's stuff that you've thought about or learned about before, you're going to make new connections. So be willing to give yourself that freedom to say, Hey, I actually know a decent amount about this, but I need to think differently about it. And maybe spending some time learning about it will help me make new connections.

Polly Yakovich: I think there's always like at least a nugget always. And then our third one is really just truly, I know we're always talking about work and goals and this and that, and it's a high pressure time of year, but it's also a beautiful time of year. And we all have different and complicated family situations and feelings about the holidays. But I would say, try and take some time to enjoy the season, whatever that means for you. Work is not everything. I think that the last couple years have really like slammed that into our face more than ever, and the resignation is really an acknowledgement that work isn't everything.

Polly Yakovich: Our lives are really important and they're short and they're so valuable. So we really just want to say, take some time for yourself, take care of yourself, do something nice for yourself, do something that... If you hate the holidays, do something that you enjoy. That's special that you don't take to time to do, whatever it is, just really take that time for yourself and spend some time with your family. Hopefully you get some time off this time of year and use this time to rest and reflect on how you want next year to be for you. What are your personal goals? What do you want to accomplish? So if you need anyone's permission, should we want to give it to you today?

Josh Dougherty: Yep. I'd even like to give you my therapist permission for you to be able to do this. Because my therapist, or as always talking to me about, you only have one chance to be present in a moment. And so I think like take that to heart, it's really true if you start thinking about it. So be present.

Polly Yakovich: Absolutely. We appreciate you so much. Thank you for listening. In addition to all the resources that we're going to link you to, we also are happy to connect with you. So we're going to put a link to our calendars. If you'd like to book 30 minutes with either of us to talk about next year, brainstorm around a topic. We love to do that. It's our favorite thing to do. If you talk to Josh, I'll need an hour, but for me it'll only take 30 minutes.

Josh Dougherty: I'm very long-winded, I guess.

Polly Yakovich: You just have more ideas.

Josh Dougherty: I don't know what that means.

Polly Yakovich: I'm just teasing you.

Josh Dougherty: Yeah.

Polly Yakovich: Thank you for listening. Hope some of these suggestions were helpful and hit up the site and download all of the resources that will help you absolutely crush the last three weeks of the year.

Josh Dougherty: Right. See you everybody.

Outro: Thanks for listening to this episode of A Brave New Podcast. Go to for more resources and advice. If you enjoyed this episode, show us some love by subscribing, rating and reviewing A Brave New Podcast whenever you listen to your podcasts.


Polly Yakovich

Polly Yakovich



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