5 New Years’ Resolutions for Marketers

Time to ring in another year!  If you're the resolution type, you might be mustering the willpower to hit the gym or say no to the last of the Christmas cookies.

But what about your marketing program?  What can you commit to doing differently to up the ante in the coming year?

We'd suggest considering the following 5 resolutions as you look at ways to elevate your results:

Resolution #1: Be more data-driven.

Measurement has long been a challenge for marketers. As Henry Ford famously said,

"Half of my budget is wasted... I just don't know which half."

But this is 2016, and that statement is no longer acceptable for modern marketers.  The good news?  We can quantify our results in marketing and sales more than ever before.

What you track (among the seemingly endless number of metrics to try to move the needle on) should map directly to the goals you're trying to accomplish.  Ask yourself "what am I trying to achieve?" and "what data indicates that it's working?"  

Want to measure brand awareness? New website visitors, social followers, and "shares" or "likes" on your content may be things you should report on monthly basis.

Focused on upping prospect engagement? Time on site, bounce rate, number of leads generated per channel might be worthy to target.  

In looking at what CAN be measured, be sure to understand WHY you're measuring it.  Map the metrics you gather to your specific initiatives and objectives for the year. 

This may sound obvious, but we've seen many a marketer fall into the "paralysis by analysis" trap brought on by the sheer volume of data that is available to sift through.

To Do List

Resolution #2: Connect marketing metrics to business results.

If you're reporting up-the-chain on the success of your marketing program, the data you need is a little bit different than some of the examples shared in Resolution #1.  (I have yet to meet a CFO who is impressed and seized with passion around looking at their company's bounce rate, although it's an important metric to improve marketing results.)

Some of the data points that might be better suited for this audience include:

*       Cost of customer acquisition

*       # and $ value of opportunities generated by marketing sourced leads

*       Marketing contribution to sales revenue

*       How exposure to various marketing touchpoints impacts close rate, pipeline velocity, and other sales outcomes

*       Return on investment associated with particular channels

Resolution #3: Invest in your own education.

Change is the only constant in digital marketing, and the tools we use to reach our audience are always evolving.  In 2014, Oculus was just an SAT word - now it's anticipated to become a groundbreaking new platform in Q1 of 2016.

As marketers, the rapid pace of change means we can never be complacent.  We have to be constantly innovating and ensuring that we're staying on the cutting edge.

Resolve to make time to learn about new trends (and make sure the agencies you partner with are doing the same).

Blogs, podcasts, webinars, conferences - there are no shortage of tools out there to help you keep up with the latest and greatest in the space. It can be hard to commit the time and budget, but those that don't will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

[Shameless plug for our seminar series - be sure to sign up for our newsletter in the form at the bottom of the page to recieve new event invites!]

Resolution #4: Spend your dollars wisely.

I'm just going to come out and say it: a lot of traditional advertising is a waste of money.  I'm not alone in thinking this.  In fact, in Hubspot's 2015 State of Inbound Marketing report, companies identified print, TV, billboards, and the like as their "most overrated marketing tactics" today.

These may not be "overrated" in ALL businesses, and there is certainly a time and a place for traditional media. 

But with so many new ways of reaching customers, it may be time to take a closer look at that tradeshow that "we've always done" or other legacy activities that might not be as effective as they once were.

Resolution #5: Get in the content marketing game. 

If you've thought about adding more inbound marketing tactics to your marketing mix - like blogging, social media, etc. - the time for fence setting is over.  Lower costs per lead, better SEO results, and more brand awareness are just a few of the benefits being realized by companies embracing content marketing. 

As the clutter of traditional advertising grows, customers have gotten incredibly effective at blocking out traditional messages.  The sexiest creative doesn't win the day anymore.  That victory goes to content that's actually useful to your customers because it is increasingly more successful at commanding attention and opening wallets.

"But no one's blogging or reading blogs in my industry," is a common objection we hear.  But if that's really true, it actually increases your chances of success, because you're filling a gap in the market space and have less competition as you seek to position yourself as a thought leader.

Making 2016 Your Best Year Yet

These 5 resolutions are a place to start, but with all of the changes and opportunities swirling in the world of digital marketing, there's no shortage of ways to improve your marketing results.

Want a fresh look at your current marketing tactics and results?  Contact us for a free marketing audit and we'll share some recommendations on where and how you can elevate results.

 

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