Don't hibernate through Q4. Instead, work toward next year.

There’s been a common theme in our conversations with financial clients over the past several weeks: As far as marketing is concerned, it seems you can’t wait till the year is over. That’s because market volatility has the power (understandably so) to put us all in a reactive mode. We get it. Those responsible for financial brands and marketing are being pulled away from their strategic marketing and brand building to deal with each week's market events, and are challenged by organizational retrenching.

Regardless, you still have things to do … lots of them. At Carpenter Group, we’re the type of people who learn from everything we see. This week, we were inspired by the natural world, and how it innately prepares for changing seasons. Put more simply, we think you can learn quite a bit from a squirrel.

Don’t ignore what’s coming.

No, the year isn’t over — no matter how much you wish it was. Market volatility doesn't just require responsive messaging, but sometimes a longer-term recasting of product positioning to regain lost ground and move forward. Don’t hide from it — instead, get ahead of it.  

Lay the groundwork for next year.

No matter what happens with the markets, most of us have a good sense of next year's initiatives. Anticipate the marketing campaigns to come, and do your planning now. Get buy-in on your ideas, identify resources and create the framework for your approach. That way, you can hit the ground running in January.

Build your reserves.

With the resources and time you have left, be strategic and proactive. Instead of scrambling, create a cache of market-response content and thought leadership that can be a messaging arsenal, helping you quickly communicate as market and business changes occur in the next few months.

Make the fourth quarter matter. Whatever you do, realize that there’s still an opportunity to strategically increase your marketing impact, and to make an investment that will pay off next year. So, in a nutshell (sorry — we just couldn’t resist), don’t lose momentum, don’t stagnate, and don't waste valuable time. Make the fourth quarter matter.

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