5 Marketing Resolutions to Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever.

2014 Resolutions for Marketing“If it doesn’t get planned, it doesn’t get done”. Each year on New Year’s Eve, we all have such great intentions for the coming 12 months. While the goals are always well-intended, they’re usually not well-planned, and therefore once the reality of our lives crashes down on us around January 3rd, we find that we are not well-equipped to achieve them. The problem is: we didn’t do a very good job of planning our resolutions into our actual daily lives.

So in order to ensure that our business goals don’t fall into that trap, here’s a guide to the easy-to-implement plans to help you put these marketing resolutions into immediate action.

Resolution 1: Plan for Success.

Why it’s important: If we just start ‘doing’ without physically writing out a plan for how, why, and when we are going to achieve specific goals; we generally end up sidetracked and ultimately we fall very short of our potential achievements.

How to Plan your Marketing for 2014:

  1. Review your 2013 and 2012 results: where did you achieve success? Where did you fall short? Why? And where should you focus attention in 2014 to multiply your successes? Put all of this in writing and refer to it throughout the year. You’ll be amazed at those opportunities you’ll now be able to jump on or immediately dismiss now that you’re more aware of how they’ve worked in the past.
  2. Write an Editorial Calendar. This is huge, and one of the most important areas we focus on with clients. A calendar of important topics that are of interest to your customers throughout the year will help you stay focused and will make it much easier to come up with ideas that are more relevant to your audience, and therefore help you achieve your goals.

Resolution 2: Learn from the Best.

Why it’s important: there’s always something we can learn that will help us to see our business in new ways. You never know when that amazing idea will hit you.

How to Learn in 2014:

Register for one or two industry conferences and schedule them into your calendar for the year. Register for at least one seminar or workshop each quarter in your local area. Purchase at least 3 books to help you achieve your goals (I prefer audiobooks, which I listen to in the car while commuting). Not sure where to start? Check out Amazon.com’s Top 20 business books here. 

Resolution 3: Create Unique & Memorable Content.

Why it’s important: we could write a book on all of the reasons that creating content is the MOST important tactic to add into your marketing mix. But to keep this brief: creating new, unique, and interesting content is the most important factor affecting your organic search engine results, AND will help you to pre-sell new customers by positioning your organization as the expert in your field, and will build brand awareness for new prospects.

How to Create Unique & Interesting Content in 2014:

  1. Blog well and blog often. Be sure your blog is embedded into your website so that you keep the search engine credit for your content.
  2. Submit articles and press releases to the media and to PR directories.
  3. Shoot videos. Not necessarily the expensive ones that require a production company; but the quick ones you can upload to YouTube or Vimeo to position your brand.
  4. Take pictures, create images, and post them everywhere. Visual content is the goldmine of marketing tactics to build attention and traffic for your brand. Use them well and you will reap the benefits.

Resolution 4: Collaborate to Achieve More.

Why it’s important: Attempting to be the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ has been the downfall of many great companies. But by partnering with the best complementary product or service providers, you will be able to offer your clients more than your competitors can; while keeping your focus on your own best strengths. And typically this will lead to those partners sending more business your way throughout the year. It’s a Win-Win.

How to Collaborate in 2014:

Consider the leaders in businesses that would be great complementary products or services for you. For instance: attorneys and CPA’s offer complementary services to the same buyers, but don’t compete with each other; so they work together well. When you’ve defined your list, think of what you can offer them to start to build a relationship; and schedule some informal meetings to discuss those opportunities.

Resolution 5: Track Your Successes. And Failures.

Why it’s important: if you don’t know what worked, and what didn’t, in black-and-white numbers; you will never understand how to build on successes and avoid pitfalls in the future.

How to Track your Successes and Failures in 2014:

Use tools like Salesforce to measure sales; Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of your website, Facebook Insights, Hootsuite Analytics and Email Marketing reports to measure the effectiveness of subject lines, topics, and timing of posts. Ask customers how they found you, and keep a log of their responses. Repeat the tactics that worked, and change or eliminate those that didn’t.

Focus on these tactics in 2014; and you can ensure that not only will this be a banner year for your business; but that 2015 will be off to a great start by year’s end.

Happy New Year!