A new year can only mean one thing: resolutions left, right and centre. But how can you make sure your marketing resolutions don’t meet the same fate as that ambitious gym membership that is normally dead by February. We believe the key lies in focusing more on what not to do! These are just a few of the goals we think you should ditch.*
*But be warned, it might buy you back some free time to put that gym membership to better use!
1. DON’T produce more content.
Of course we’re not arguing that you shouldn’t produce thought leadership on a consistent basis – there’s no better way of positioning your business as an industry expert, and leaders in content marketing tend to get almost 8 times more website traffic than competitors. But, as you search desperately for relevant blog content you may find it becoming less and less bearable to read. No one wants to read a blog about how they can ‘leverage’ your product (and can we please stop using that word?). Instead, take the opportunity to not only do less but to do it better. It’s remarkable how much more effective a well-executed and cleverly scheduled monthly blog post can be WHEN YOU:
- Peek outside your organisational preoccupations and take inspiration from what’s trending in the world.
- Before you even start to write your post, subject it to the “so what?” test.
- Be brutal: if your idea doesn’t pass, move right along.
And none of this is wasted effort: great content not only helps your cause the first time around, it will also stand up better to re-publication. After all, there’s no shame in some clever re-purposing.
2. DON’T slavishly plan the whole year in January.
We like a bit of planning with the best of them, but with customer needs changing more rapidly than ever you need to be adaptable. Our suggestion? Get your planning fix by balancing the strategic with the tactical. We swear by the 80/20 rule – mix in the planned with reactive campaigns as you need them. So you can keep an eye on the strategic end whilst being able to adapt and respond as real-time opportunities demand.
3. DON’T streamline.
Now don’t get us wrong – we live for simplicity. And we know that too many cooks can spoil that delicious marketing broth. But too much streamlining can sometimes translate into giving total power to one small, central team – and that can spell disaster if you’re a global brand. Your brand needs to be global and local. Expecting this to come from a centralised team is a big ask. Generate the big ideas centrally for brand consistency – yes – but we passionately believe in giving your regional teams the responsibility of localised marketing initiatives. Make the most of having lots of voices by celebrating diversity through your communication and create an innovative, richer marketing flavour.
4. DON’T be better friends with the sales team.
Let’s be clear: we’re not inviting you to go all Sharks and Jets with your sales team. But this commonly cited resolution to get on better with the sales team is problematic. It makes it sound like the sales team are the cousin that marketers always resented having to socialise with at family parties. Don’t just force yourself to ‘get on better’ with the sales team – BE the sales team. As Claire highlights in her article ‘The Art of the Positive No’, stop ‘putting up’ with your sales team like that door handle that always falls off in your hand but you’ve never got around to fixing, and start working as one.
5. DON’T think product sales alone will build your business.
No longer content with just having a one-size-fits-all product foisted onto them, and with a marketplace in rapid change, clients are looking for partners with a real purpose. One that links back to their own goals and objectives and that demonstrates a vision and values greater than just the products you sell. In fact, increasingly we are all searching, consciously or not, for true purpose to be embedded into the products we buy. Take Dove, for instance, an ingeniously built brand, whose ‘Real Beauty’ campaign resonates far above and beyond just gels and soaps by altering people’s mindsets about their bodies, rather than just drawing them in to buy one and get one free. It’s time to start a purposeful dialogue with your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and show them the outcomes you want to help them achieve, not just what you want to sell them. They’ll appreciate that personal approach which is a key differentiator.