Monthly Archives: November 2016

How to Best Spend your Last Marketing Month of 2016

Last Month of 2016

With 2017 almost here, you may be wondering how best to spend your last marketing month of 2016.  Which part of your marketing mix has worked best for you, what seems promising but needs adjusting, and what have you not yet considering doing that may drive revenues next year?  Three ways to get set up for next year:


Decide where best to focus your brand energy and budget in 2017 by figuring out how, where and when to best to talk to your market in the coming year.

Focus includes the ways channels and strategies can complement each other and boost effectiveness.  For example, according to research by Peter Field and Les Binet, an ad campaign that includes TV increases effectiveness by 40%, but one that includes both online video and TV will see an effectiveness boost of 54%.  Online video alone?  Just a 25% boost.

Include long term brand building and short term sales activation — they work together to sustain a business’ income stream.  Digital sales activation tactics’ ease of measurement may encourage marketers to overemphasize them.  Offering a discount promo code and seeing a sales bump may give you great short term ROMI results.  But too much of it may teach consumers that your offering isn’t worth full price, eroding profits over the long term.

Fine Tune

Fine Tune a ViolinNot sure you’re communicating as well as you’d like with the people who buy your product or service?  Now is a good time to reassess your market, especially as you plan to enter a new year of marketing. Are the same people buying your product or service?  Clarify their demographics (age, gender, education, income, geography, profession); psychographics (attitudes about your category, cultural preferences, aspirations); and behaviors (frequency of purchase, social media habits, competitive purchases, substitutions).  Hit the ground running in 2017 by making sure your research and strategy is up to date.  Consider this tool to get organized.


Look ahead to economic, social, technology and business changes that may be coming next year.  With a new administration in Washington and the accompanying policy adjustments, make sure you budget money to keep your strategy and tactics anticipating what’s to come.

Promised spending on US infrastructure may benefit growth oriented businesses.  So plan new marketing investments and include your company in the potential upside.

Freelance strategist and researcher Jennifer Cooper brings insights to food, culture, clothing and other consumer brands, and their agencies, to refine communications, product strategy and user experience.

Photos by Dafne Cholet and Mitch Huang.

10 Freelancer Best Practices for Strategists, Planners and Researchers

freelancer on computer and phone

According to The 2015/2016 Strategist Survey Report, created by Heather LeFevre, Freelance Strategist, freelancers in our field work as many hours per week as they’d like. So for an educated, experienced, working freelancer like the 2556 strategists who took her survey, freelancing meets their career, and life, goals.  How to make it work for you?  Following are 10 freelancer best practices.

1. Find the right amount of independence/support in a team.

Some freelancers want to accept an assignment, work independently, and provide results.  Others prefer to work more closely with a team, collaborating on process, interim deliverables and recommendations.  Either approach can be effective depending on the style and needs of your client.  Just make sure you’re setting and meeting expectations before you start.

2. Communicate intelligently.

Set up times to check in with your client and respond to communications in between.  Sending Continue reading