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Jan 01

A new year is a great opportunity to raise the bar and start as you mean to go on. I’ve always been a big advocate of new years resolutions on both a professional and personal level; in fact I opened the doors to my marketing consultancy on 1st January 2015 for that very reason – a fresh start and all that!

It’s probably not a big surprise that about 60% of new years resolutions fail, psychologists put this down to a number of reasons, including the fact that many people set unrealistic goals and expectations in their resolutions. I also believe that if you set yourself too many resolutions, they become unmanageable and you end up cherry picking – doing the easiest ones first and then leaving the more difficult ones behind.

To make resolutions work it involves changing behaviour and doing things differently, so why not set yourself some resolutions for how you market your business, service or product differently in 2016. But, rather than bombard you will a list as long as your arm, I am going to provide my top 5 resolutions for making your marketing efforts more effective – then I’ll come back with another 5 resolutions for making 2016 your best year ever I am going to provide my top 5 resolutions for making your marketing efforts more effective – then I’ll come back with another 5 resolutions for making 2016 your best year ever in July….

  • Make sure your marketing objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed) – could you do with smartening up your objectives? All too often I see business or marketing objectives that are fluffy and vague, if you make them SMART it is easier to determine a strategy for delivering against them and measuring if your strategy has actually worked. Here’s an example of a SMART objective: ‘increase your  customer frequency of purchase by once a month to twice a month, by the end of June’.

 

  • Create an annual marketing activity calendar & keep it as a ‘live’ planner – I am a big advocate of critical paths and project planning, so I like to apply this kind of approach to my marketing communications planning – I use a simple excel activity calendar that provides a snapshot of my annual marketing plan in an easy to digest format.  Not only does this planner keep you on track in terms of implementing the right things at the right time, it also allows you to stay focused and avoid being persuaded into “great deals” by media owners that actually might not be aligned to your strategy! For my free downloadable marketing activity calendar go to: http://theprogresslab.co.uk/free-downloadable-annual-marketing-activity-planner/

 

  • Be customer centric and listen! – what better way to enhance your marketing efforts than to really engage with your customers regularly. Ask them questions, find out what they like / don’t like about your brand, get their thoughts on new product concepts or names, ask for feedback on colour or flavour options – create brand advocates by talking to and listening to your customers, making them feel involved in your brand and responding to their needs.

 

  • Analyse, understand, learn and react – be close to your marketing metrics, review them monthly and look at what is working, what’s not and decide what you need to do differently. For example, monitor and gauge how your followers on social media platforms engage with your content and respond to it, if you run a competition and get very little entries, ask yourself whether the prize was interesting enough or did you flag up “free / competition” early enough in the written post? Take the learnings and strive to improve next time…

 

  • Allow yourself creative thinking time – great ideas seldom come when you are forced to come up with them, instead they are more likely to arise when you clear your thoughts and allow your mind to wander… I have come to realise that there are certain times of the day or activities that are conducive to allowing me to escape from the busyness of the moment and to enable better clarity of thinking, that’s when those light bulbs moments happen. Figure out when your moments of clarity occur – it may be when you are out running or when on a long train journey or simply just taking a shower, whenever they are, use this time to come up with content ideas, new product concepts or innovative marketing campaigns. I always find jotting my creative thoughts down in a notebook or typing onto the notebook on my phone if I am on the go.

 

I hope 2016 turns out to be your best year ever, if you need some help in devising a marketing strategy that will help your business unleash its true potential, then contact us to discuss how we might be able to assist you: joanne@theprogresslab.co.uk.

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