Most of us make personal New Year’s resolutions as we look to the year ahead. But your marketing teams and organisations as a whole can also benefit from declaring (and sticking to!) some intentions as you prep for an undoubtedly busy and equally unpredictable 2016. To find success, stick to these four plans and promises.
- Be agile
Remember, every company – and company’s journey – is different. As the new year kicks off, be ready to roll with the punches (and rest assured, there will be punches).If we’ve learned anything from 2015, it’s that modern marketing is no longer about quick, short-term triumphs. Shrewd marketeers must be broader-minded and have short-, medium-, and long-term aims for their marketing efforts. For marketers, this means not only being alert to and embracing change but also being responsive and proactive rather than reactive. Indeed, reactionary tactics can be detrimental to longer-term objectives. And this isn’t just down to the practitioners. It also means developing and having business processes in place that are agile, too.
- Learn from previous mistakes
Conduct a post-mortem on 2015. Really take the time to look at what went wrong over the past year – and why. Sure, you took some risks – you have to! – and with skill, strategy, and a little luck, some of those – we hope – paid off. But others may have ended in disaster, or at least not as you’d hoped. What can you learn from those blunders? Where can you do better next time? How can you fix what’s broken? Then, adjust your marketing plans when you see they’re not working (see ‘Be agile’, above).
And let us help you avoid another costly mistake: Don’t just look at and talk internally about your errors. Ask your all-important customers where you can do better.
- Get to know your audience even better
In our increasingly customer-centric marketing landscape, it’s likely you’ve gotten better at this in 2015. (If not, please refer to #2, above.) But when it comes to getting to know your customers, there’s always room for improvement. Strive to build on what you’ve learned this year:
- Leverage your CRM software.
- Study your analytics. Who’s engaging with you? How are they engaging? When are they engaging? And so on …
- Engage with your customers. As we mentioned above, ask them directly.
- Look at history. What have they done in the past? What are they likely to do/need/want in the future?
- Ask your sales and customer-service teams what the customers are telling them.
- Once you understand what they really care about, provide them with content, products, and services that are valuable, appealing, and relevant.
- Celebrate your successes! Given the speed at which and degree to which the industry is changing every day, recognise that this marketing stuff is hard. So make sure you take time to pat yourselves on the back when things do go well. Also, take some much-deserved downtime over the holidays to relax and recharge you batteries. You’re going to need that boost to tackle 2016. Happy New Year!