Even if it’s not broken, you can still fix it.

As we move through the fourth quarter, many businesses are planning for 2012. Typically, that planning includes an analysis of the past year’s performance.

Maybe your organization is doing pretty well. Not great, but not awful. Just kind of moving along at the same pace. Could be worse, right? I mean, there are plenty of companies who would give anything to be doing “ok” in these tough economic times.

So the obvious, safe path is to not mess with it. Keep things how they are. Don’t stir the pot. The temptation is there to simply carry the same plan into next year.

We come across this mindset fairly often when talking to prospective new clients – “Things seem to be working pretty well. No need to change right now.”

And, that way of thinking makes a lot of sense. When things are working, or at least not doing damage, it’s difficult to justify change.

But just because things are going fairly well, it doesn’t mean it’s time to put marketing on cruise control and let it ride.

Never Stop Learning

When your business is doing “ok,” it’s the perfect time to take stock of your marketing. Step back and do some simple analysis.

Are there marketing tactics that are working better than others? Maybe your digital marketing campaign has really started to drive some traffic. Or maybe you are seeing more and more white papers downloaded from your website.

On the flipside, what ISN’T working? Has your company been spending a ton on trade shows, with very little to show for it? Or maybe you’ve noticed that website traffic is on the decline.

Dig a little deeper and see what you find.

When you build a marketing communications program today, you have the ability to measure every element and determine not only what is working and what isn’t, but also WHY.

Why are more white papers getting downloaded? What has changed at the trade shows that has resulted in a declining return on investment? Answer those questions, and you are on the path to improvement.

Make the Right Changes

Once you’ve completed the analysis, you’ll be armed with the insights needed to make the right decisions. These insights can certainly help you improve your communications efforts. They may also impact other marketing decisions, including product development and the way you service customers.

Change isn’t nearly as scary when it can be supported with hard facts. And, the best part is, you are only fixing the parts that need to be fixed. You aren’t scrapping the whole approach on a whim. You’re making justified improvements. Simply put, you will do more of the things that work, and less of those that don’t.

Give this approach a try when you’re finalizing your 2012 plans. I think you’ll find that small improvements can be made, and your marketing will be more effective.