With the change of the calendar, we often focus on making changes in our personal lives to improve ourselves. Many of us need this type of reset to begin eating healthier, exercising, and even reading more books. But visit your local gym on February 1 and you find that not many people have really developed consistent new habits.
Marketers are constantly in review mode throughout the year as they measure the success of campaigns, as well as reporting on weekly, monthly, and quarterly metrics. So the question is what can successful marketers do that can improve their results in 2019? I’m not a fan of resolutions, because they rarely change behavior, but there are several things for marketers to consider in the new year.
1. Clean your desk
While it is important to review your past successes, if you clean off your actual desk and file those things that have been stacking up, you can move into 2019 without anything weighing you down. Metaphor? Sure, but this literal way to think about the future as a clean slate can give you fresh insight into what you are currently doing. And get rid of those ketchup packets in your desk drawer while you are at it.
2. Review your audiences
There is nothing about marketing that should be set-it-and-forget-it, but that is especially true about your audiences. Even if nothing has changed about your products and your offers, this is a great time to review what was successful and with whom. You may find that a particular message really resonated with one segment of your audience. Try to understand why, so you can focus more on that audience. This type of analysis may lead to refining your target audiences and taking specific actions with regard to each group.
3. Prioritize activities
Looking forward in the new year is not just about refining and doing more of what worked, but it is also about doing less of what didn’t work. There are some campaigns and marketing activities that just don’t yield the results that you hope for. Take those out of the plan for this year. Maybe you can reconfigure them with new offers or new messaging, but non-performing activities should not use up your resources in the coming year.
4. Think about metrics in a new way
Your metrics and your dashboards may have been set up for a while, but are the numbers you are tracking still the most relevant? Tracking revenue is always going to be the most critical, but most measurements are backward-looking. They tell us what happened. What if you think about tracking metrics that are forward-looking? Are there metrics that can help you predict what is going to happen? Are there certain customers or activities that you can track that are more likely to lead to certain outcomes? Learning to predicting the future is better than reporting on the past.
5. Begin an experiment
Many of us have been doing a lot of the same basic things for a long time. Start this year by thinking about something that you have never tried before. Carve out a little time and a little budget to experiment with new marketing tactics. Learn as much as you can and set realistic goals before beginning the experiment, but even a failed experiment helps us discover things that we might not have known before.
These are some simple things to consider as you start the new year with an eye to growth and improvement over 2018. Marketers don't stand still and we are expected to achieve more each year. Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn what you are doing to succeed in 2019.
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