Marketing Resolutions Worth Keeping in the New Year And Beyond

I will believe that conventional wisdom can be sexy. Even with new, emerging and “sexy” marketing technologies and techniques, we must remember fundamentals such as: know your customer, positioning, WiiFM (“what’s in it for me” benefit-oriented copy), KISS (“keep it simple stupid”),plan the work-work the plan, etc. These seem simple, yet they seem to be absent more often that they should be. Conventional marketing processes are necessary to make the new, sexier marketing activities perform also.
I will make friends with IT. These days and into the future, without information technology, marketing is dead in the water. Bake cookies for the IT team if you have to! In an increasingly competitive market and certainly with the economic downturn, the fates of marketing and IT are tied together now more than ever.
I will test, test, test. Set aside 10% of your budget to test new opportunities. This will alleviate the numerous two-hour long meetings speculating about which marketing ideas will work. Also, using the “Opportunity vs. Effort/$” internal method of prioritization helps get things started. Remember this, “It is only expensive if it doesn’t work.” So, determine the cost-benefit relationship of media by testing.
I will have a dashboard. How many active customers do you have? What are your top 10 selling products? Who are your top customers? What is your gross margin? What is your current customer satisfaction rate? When everyone on the team can recite key performance metrics at a moment notice, you have a fine-tuned marketing machine! A marketing metrics dashboard that pops up on your computer everyday is a goal we believe all marketers should achieve. If you already have one, we say, “Bravo!” Other important concepts that should be top of mind so they can guide all decisions include: your organization’s mission, core values; and positioning statement.
I will avoid “needy greedies.” Tortoise or the Hare. Or a different version by Jim Collins, the Fox or the Hedgehog (Good to Great). Even in desperate times, the steady, focused approach is the successful one. Brandishing discounts, sales, and other “bribes” to get customers may help in the short run. However, knee-jerk reactions may lead to near-term decisions that may hurt you in the long run.
I will use a synergistic approach to marketing. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” By ensuring that you use Synergy in planning marketing campaigns, your overall return on investment (ROI) can be higher. Each one-shot activity yields limited results. By having all related activities well-coordinated and well-timed, each email, web banner, TV advertisement, magazine advertisement, and direct mail piece will not have to work as hard when they are accompanied by the other activities.
I will swallow my pride. When you’ve tried to optimize everything else-media, creative, offers…maybe it is the your product your service that needs to be reconsidered? improved? shelved? Also, instilling a culture of “which” idea instead of “whose” idea also helps. This mantra has served us well, “It is not about being right, it is about being successful.”
I will finally keep this year’s resolutions. Like our New Year’s resolutions we make in our personal lives, the challenge is to keep these marketing resolutions beyond March 2009. By adopting some or all of the above resolutions, you may benefit from staying strong in down cycles.

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