How to conduct a mid-year marketing checkup - SmartBrief

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How to conduct a mid-year marketing checkup

Mid-year marketing checkups are essential. After the challenging past six months we've faced, that's especially true. It's time to assess your overall B2B marketing health and strategies. SmartBrief's B2B demand gen marketing team explains how to do it.

6 min read

MarketingMarketing Strategy

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What is a mid-year marketing checkup?

A marketing checkup isn’t unlike your regular twice-yearly dental checkups. If you’re more of a fan of acronyms, think AAA: audit, analyze and action. You’ll take an inventory of all your marketing programs and campaigns run to date: The content you’ve created including assets such as emails and landing pages. Then you’ll analyze what worked and what didn’t.

 When that’s completed, you develop action items to better set up your team for success in the second half of the year. Ideally, a marketing checkup should be done six months after the start of your fiscal year. Even if it’s past the six-month mark, that’s OK. It’s never too late to do a marketing review.

Benefits of a mid-year checkup

If this already sounds like it’s going to take time and resources to complete, we won’t lie. It will. But it’s worth it. Buying habits and industries are constantly changing. In 2023, we’ve seen inflation, a looming recession, layoffs and budget cutbacks. That’s why it’s important to invest some time and energy into doing a marketing checkup. You’ll know what’s working but, perhaps more importantly, you’ll know what’s not working. Then you can make changes.

Reporting and analytic tools take you only so far. To continue the dental analogy, daily brushing and flossing help keep your teeth clean, but a visit to your dentist can reveal much more and keep your mouth healthier overall.

8 steps for a six-month marketing review

There are myriad ways to tackle a mid-year marketing checkup. Depending on the size of your business, the checkup could take several weeks or several months. It’s important to get buy-in from your marketing team. Get them excited to do it. Gamify it, if you can. Here are some steps to guide you through the process.

  1. Pull out your marketing plan

Remember that marketing plan you put together for the start of the fiscal year? Have you looked at it recently? It’s probably changed a lot since you created it. Are you on track to hit those goals or do you need to revise them? 

  1. Discuss internally with your team

You’re probably meeting regularly as a marketing team. Do you work with any other teams? Whether it’s product, content, design or sales, it’s important to take a pulse on how other teams are doing. Their plans and goals for the year might have changed, too. A realignment might be necessary. Moreover, if there are projects on which you’re collaborating with other teams, it’s time to take stock of how those are progressing.

  1. Update your buyer personas

When was the last time your buyer personas were updated? Buyer personas should be updated at least annually. Sometimes buying habits change quickly and dramatically. (Hello, pandemic.) It’s always good to revisit the qualities that define your buyers.

At SmartBrief, we serve more than a dozen industries. Many of the personas we serve have overlapping characteristics, but each industry has subtle nuances that make a big difference. Each industry has its buyer persona, which rolls up to a buyer persona for the whole company.

  1. Leverage customer insights

Occasional feedback from customers is helpful, but you’re never going to know what they think until you ask them. Create a survey. Ask key customers what they think you do well. What could you do differently? Their responses might surprise you. 

  1. Lead audit

Have you run any lead gen programs this year? Forget quantity, how’s the quality? If it’s not quite what you wanted or expected, maybe the targeting is off.

At SmartBrief, we have more than seven million decision-makers in more than a dozen industries reading our news briefs every day. Targeting a specific audience is what we do. We let clients know if their targeting is too narrow or too broad. Since everyone is ever mindful of budgets, it’s important to look at your cost-per-lead, too.

  1. Refresh content

A comprehensive custom content strategy is an important part of any marketing plan. Gather all of your original content. Review it with your updated personas in mind. If your buyers’ buying habits have changed – and they probably have it’s time for a content refresh. Some of your content might be woefully out of date even if the topic is still relevant.

For example, we created a whitepaper called The Media Consumption Habits of the C-Suite. Last year, we updated it. Our SmartStudio team can help guide you through the custom content process even if you don’t have any. (Check out the SmartStudio media kit.)

  1. Research competitors

Do a deep dive into how your primary and secondary competitors are doing. Notice any new content they’ve produced? Maybe they revamped their websites or did a complete rebranding. If so, it’s most likely they did a marketing checkup first. Taking cues from competitors can help the way you tell your company’s story and what makes you different.

  1. Take action!

After you’ve completed your marketing checkup, it’s time to put your findings into action. Make a to-do list, choose priorities, give the plan to teams with whom you’ll work, create deadlines and ask the team to judge the checkup process. For example, are extra steps needed or steps in a different order?

The first time is always the hardest, but you’ve got this!


SmartBrief’s demand gen marketing team is Jared Stearns, Gabriella Clark, Emily Snyder and Melinda Hansbury. Check out more free content written by B2B marketers for B2B marketers.

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