Every new year is a new opportunity for reflection and a fresh chance to reach your desired goals. In life and, of course, in marketing. Now is the time to take a focused look at the past 12 months and build a list of resolutions for the next 12. Industry publications will attempt to do this task for you. They will bombard you with listicles, each one outlining what you need to do to follow the marketing trends and succeed in the coming year. It may be tempting to look to each article as your yearly marketing bible, but we encourage you to resist the temptation.
Sure, many of these resources will offer great insights, but it won’t be the perfect advice for you. Why? Because those resources have no insight into your specific brand experiences from the past year. They won’t address your unique strengths or pain points.
That is why you have to take a look at your year in marketing. And yours alone. Push all of the noise aside and reflect on what your company, your brand, and your team did this past year. It’s time to create your own resolutions that will help set your brand up for a successful year and guide you through the coming months.
Get your entire team on board. CMOs, marketing managers, assistants, social media coordinators, sales personnel, etc. Anyone who had a hand in creating and implementing your marketing. Marketers in different roles will view the past year through a unique lens and will likely bring valuable insights to this process. A sales manager may have a different perspective on how leads interacted with marketing materials than the marketer who created them. A collective brainstorm will help the whole team understand why these resolutions are in place. With that knowledge, you can can all work together to complete these resolutions as the year progresses.
Ask your team two important questions. The answers to these two questions will help reveal what strategies you need to improve on and which ones to return to moving forward.
What were your greatest successes and wins?
What were your top setbacks and moments of frustration?
To answer each question, think about each facet of your marketing strategy, from content marketing to SEO to social media to analytics, to design to new business to sales. Did your content marketing campaign increase your ROI by your goal? Did your sales team gather and close the desired amount of targeted leads? Did your design team successfully rollout an updated brand identity? Did your entire team embrace a Modern Marketing methodology?
Successes and setbacks can be small details or big picture items. It’s up to you to decide what’s relevant to your team, your brand, and your future.
Next, for each win and setback, outline the elements that could have led to that outcome. This exercise will help you realize where you can begin to make changes in the New Year.
If your brand identity refresh wasn’t received well by your target audience, brainstorm potential explanations. Were you targeting the wrong audience? Did your content miss the mark? Did your sales team let leads fall through the cracks?
After exploring each win and misstep, resolutions will start to become apparent. For each success, your goals will be to capitalize on what led to that success in the New Year. For each setback, pick out one or several things you can improve to ensure you optimize your outcome the next time around.
By thinking about your year in depth, you’ve already done the hard part. Now, it’s time to form actionable goals and resolutions for the coming year. Your list should include goals to help you improve over last year and move your team in a positive direction. Make sure your whole team can visualize completing each goal—while it’s nice to have big dreams for the future, unrealistic expectations can be daunting. Use these resolutions as a guide as you formulate your marketing strategies for the new year. Come back to the list throughout the year to stay on track and remind yourself what you’d like to accomplish before next December rolls around.
Your list of resolutions can be as long, short, detailed, or broad as you choose. This list is yours and not one pulled from your RSS feed, so you can create one that feels attainable and truly represents who you are as a unique brand and marketing team. Because these goals are tailored to you, completing each one will be in a positive step to improving your brand and successfully leading you through the new year.
If you’d like a hand in developing or completing these resolutions, contact us, we may have a tip or two to keep you on track.
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