If you’re interested in making your business a success, then you should be motivated to do so at any time of the year. While for many people this is the case, others find themselves stuck in the same rut as wannabe ex-smokers and those who promise themselves they’re going to go to the gym three times a week from January onwards. If it takes January 1st to focus your mind and look forward to what you want to achieve, then so be it. Many businesses’ accounts run from January to December, so it is often the most natural time to look at the year ahead, anyway.
What should be the big five marketing pledges you make to yourself, for your business, for 2014?
A plan for the year ahead should always start with a look back on the previous 12 months. If you’re super organized, then you might have already started looking back on your marketing activities in 2013 and whether they were a success or not.
Think about what you would do differently if you were reading this in January 2013, and think about the things that were successful. Remember, the digital marketing industry is fast moving and unforgiving; what worked in 2013 might not necessarily be the best idea for 2014, but you should at least have your successes in mind when planning the next 12 months.
It is one of the biggest truths in the business world that it is one thing to have a plan but quite another to deliver the objectives related to it. We decided against “Have a Plan” being one of the pledges for 2014, because that should really go without saying. The important thing is that you stick to the plan, every day for the whole year.
While you might have certain days where you miss a task and carry something over to the next one, you should always aim to be up to date with your marketing activities. Pledge to make time in your daily routine to put your plan into action, and live your plan in full. If your plan is merely something you look at “when you have time,” you’ll find there is always something else to do and that you never have the time.
Gone are the days when marketing was all about pushing something onto your audience and hoping they’d bite. When you’re operating in any area of marketing today, particularly using online platforms, you are only going to succeed if you take the time to listen to what your audience is saying.
The internet means that all businesses have market research at their fingertips without having to pay for it; all you need to do is log onto a social media website, search relevant terms for your industry and see what people are saying. In the modern world, people are telling businesses what it is that will make them bite. All the business then has to do is show how they can fill this need.
One of the things that draws many people into the marketing industry, whether online or offline is that it is so fast moving and exciting with new things to read about and learn every day. It is crucial that you make the time to read a marketing blog every day, otherwise you could miss something about a key trend or a piece of news that could make a real difference to your business.
Set up an RSS reader, subscribe to email alerts, or simply find an authoritative website that you can visit on a daily basis to ensure you’re staying up to date with the marketing news and opinion that matters most to you.
You probably think it is very easy for us to sit here and tell you to consider paying for professional marketing help, given that we offer those kinds of services. However, ask anyone with knowledge of the marketing industry and you will get the same answer; your return on investment in terms of both time and finances will increase massively if you hire a marketing agency to work on your behalf.
Even if you only take the time to look at the difference a marketing agency could make to your business activities, including how it could free yourself up to focus on your core business objectives, you will see there is huge potential for change.
Make these marketing pledges to yourself for the year ahead, and you’ll find your activities attracting more customers and delivering conversions, whether you’re marketing digitally or using offline mediums.