As this year comes to a close, I’m reading a lot more posts and articles about the “best” this and the “most” that of 2013. And yet, rather than reflecting on the astounding advances of the past year, I find myself looking forward. And hoping.
With that in mind, here are my top 5 resolutions that marketers – of all sizes – might consider in the coming year. If you’re a mom and pop shop that’s embraced marketing on any level, or a mega marketer that has a department full of b-school overachievers, or a business to business service provider that’s retooling…here are some idea-starters for moving your brand forward in the coming year.
The First Resolution: I Will Get Integrated.
I know, you’ve heard this one before. But I’m not talking about integrating digital with your current TV and radio campaign. Or adding a url to your print ads. I mean really integrating everything – reorienting everything you do – around your brand and the promise it carries. And remember that can mean way more than advertising. If your brand is about fun, then make sure your office is set up for FUN! Or if your brand is all about design superiority, then pull that superiority into EVERY communication piece…even if it’s some mundane necessity, like an inter-office memo, or a fax cover sheet. (Remember those?)
Integrating your brand means looking at EVERYTHING you do through a different lens…through YOUR lens. Just having the conversations with your internal teams about what that might mean will be valuable indeed.
The Second Resolution: I Will Get Visible.
If you’re not advertising, please start. We are far beyond the era of marketers who will be able to say “it’s amazing…we’ve gotten really far without advertising at all.” The truth is, the brands that win are typically the brands that advertise (in some way.) Do you ever wonder why ad budgets go up every year for most companies that are advertising? Usually because it’s WORKING. Even if you have a modest presence, or you’re outspent by your competitors, being visible still creates opportunities that invisibility simply precludes.
The Third Resolution: I Will Get More Social.
Just recently, I heard about a midsize company who refused to embrace social media, despite having a membership-based audience, because they were afraid that someone might hijack their feed with some negative commentary. The category leader was social. The flankers were social. But this brand refused to get on board for fear of one potential dickhead who might take to the Twittersphere with some grade-school gripe. Instead, they’re missing out on having any number of conversations that might lead to deeper brand involvement, or maybe even more sales. But a fear of what might go wrong is preventing that brand from reaping all that might go right.
The Fourth Resolution: I Will Get in Bed with Data.
There are so many amazing things evolving in the analytics realm, it’s hard to consider developing a program without talking about the various incarnations of data tracking that may result. Just think of the audience data. Just think of the site tracking. Just think of the…wait, I’m going full geek. Oh, hell. I am a geek! And I love data.
Think about setting marketing objectives. Then start thinking about setting data objectives that run alongside those: what do you want to LEARN today? Build that into your next marketing program, and you’ll be surprised how fun it is to hang with the geeks. PS – it’s also a great way to build accountability: from your creative team, to your media buys to your ecommerce providers…a strong set of data objectives is where the feet meet the fire.
The Fifth Resolution: I Will Get More Creative.
Despite the fact that data is driving the marketing bus these days, there is no better time than 2014 to get full-on creative. Give your agency or your in-house team or that freelancer you’ve been avoiding a little slack and let them run with an idea or two or three. And the bigger the idea, the better. Why not a rock tour? Why not the side of a building? Why not get a million people to sign up?
Sure, build in some responsibility markers, and don’t let them do anything that might be considered rude or insensitive, but let’s let ideas fly this year. Write a jingle. Listen to an idea from an unlikely source. Just because you’ve been “doing it this way for years,” doesn’t mean you can’t try something new. You might have an opportunity to become your very best. And it might be this coming year.
What are YOUR marketing resolutions for 2014?
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