It’s December Eve, are you ready?

A picture of handwriting script that says "Planning" in pink fountain pen ink.

You are probably familiar with the retail rhythms of the seasons. You can think of it as what kind of candy you can buy, when chocolate moves smoothly from ghosts to pumpkins to tree decorations to hearts. If you work in any kind of e-commerce, from November to mid-January is a code-freeze all-hands-on-deck experience.

Software marketing also has seasons, times that people look for certain kinds of things. We are just finishing up the September-December conference rush, and you’ve been watching Salesforce, Github, and AWS make big splashy announcements about their new goodies.

There are two essential articles/posts that you need to start working on right now.

The first is the year-in-review. It will have information on what you’ve accomplished. The you in this case can either be the organization, for outward-facing blog posts, or internal, for teams.

  • For the external publication, you want to talk about new features, marquee customers, company growth, and any great stories you have about what you’ve learned as an organization. Use this to recap your own event results, or repost an especially good whitepaper or podcast. This is for your customers, your investors, and anyone who searches on you in the years to come. If you don’t write down when it happened, you will forget.
  • For teams, it’s especially useful to put the numbers together. How many touches, qualified leads, events, pieces of writing, interviews, media appearances, and internal trainings happened this year? This is probably a mix of things that were in your OKRs and some math about how you did as a team. As a company grows, it’s so easy to add people who don’t understand what everyone does. Marketing is sometimes extra hard to understand, because while there are a lot of hard numbers, they are at the end of a long process. So show off some of the things that happen at the start of the process. You’ve worked hard this year, so put this together for the whole company. They’re not coming to your status meetings, and they’re not reading your team reviews, any morer than you’re showing up at sales all-hands or engineering offsites.

The other piece you need is a look-forward piece. You may be wrong. There are few things as hilariously wrong as the look-forward pieces we wrote on the cusp of 2020. But you need to establish a public stance on what you’re going to be working on in the next year. Is it AI? It’s probably AI this year, but you need to tell us what you’re doing with AI. How does it fit into your product, and your story about the product. What can you tease about product direction? What can you gather together from other year-end publications to make a listicle? Marketing is entangled with product, ideally, so you may know more than you should say. But if you don’t know what’s coming, it’s hard to build buzz about it. Be mysterious. Be assertive. Be bold. Give your fans a chance to get excited about what’s coming up.

In the northern hemisphere, we only have a couple weeks before everyone gets to distracted to read this sort of thing, so you want to get the look-back out before the holidays. If your fiscal year ends in January, you can maybe push that a bit, but it honestly feels weird to come back from New Year’s celebrations to talking about last year. It’s so last year. Your look-forward pieces need to fall in the first couple weeks of January.

If you and your team are struggling to add one more thing to your plate, you can contact me at and we can discuss freelance rates for writing these pieces.