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Jun 27 2012

5 Marketing Resolutions for 2012

m not the biggest fan of New Year’s Resolutions. For one thing, they tend to be super vague. “I want to make more money.” Awesome, do you plan on selling more product or just robbing a bank? They are also, often, very unrealistic. Either people set too many at once (do you really think you can loose weight, quit smoking and be a better parent all at once?) or they set goals they aren’t prepared to accomplish. I did this last year when I resolved to write a book. Its a lot harder then it sounds, my friends. So this year I changed my resolution: take a class on how to write a book.

Despite my disdain for New Year’s Resolutions (or NYRs as I like to call them) I do love the hope and excitement that accompany every January. And I’m a firm believer that now is a great time to set some specific and realistic goals for your personal and professional life. To help you out, I created a list of 5 marketing NYRs for 2012. Don’t feel like you have to tackle them all at once. I put them in order of importance so you know where to start. I recommend doing #1 and #2 in January and then doing one a month from that point on. Some of them may appear a little vague, but don’t worry, we’ll be going through them in detail over the next couple of weeks so you know exactly how to accomplish each goal. And as always, if you have questions, write them in the comments below and we’ll discuss!

1)  Set a marketing budget that allows you to consistently market throughout the year. The New Year is a time of hope and lots of enthusiasm. As you gear up for a better business year, it will be tempting to dump a bunch of money into your marketing strategy right away. However, it is much better to put a little bit of money towards marketing every month, rather than blow it all in the first quarter and have nothing left for the rest of the year. Take the time now to set a realistic budget that allows you to consistently market, in the same ways and to the same people, throughout the year.

2)  Create a marketing schedule. Consistency is one of the most important elements of any marketing strategy. To help you maintain consistency throughout the year, set a marketing schedule now. Determine how often you will send out direct mail pieces, how many times you’ll write a blog or newsletter article, how many times you’ll send an eblast, etc. Don’t just say “I’ll send an eblast every week.” Instead say “I’ll send an eblast every Friday at 10am.” Then schedule each action in your calendar. It’s possible that specific days and times will change, but getting in the habit of consistent marketing early will ensure success throughout the year.

3)  Set specific goals and track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By setting specific goals, determining which marketing strategies will accomplish those goals, and tracking the effectiveness of those strategies, you can determine which marketing strategies are most effective for your business. Then you can stop some strategies and add others, to ensure every marketing dollar is providing a great return on investment.

4)  Create a new brand or refresh your current brand. If you have yet to create a brand for your business, make 2012 the year of the branding. Just having a logo isn’t enough. You need a color palette, specific font type, and on overall distinctive look that sets your company apart. If you have a brand that feels outdated or boring, designate some marketing money to refreshing that brand, or creating a completely new one.

5)  Try at least one new social media marketing strategy. We’ve said this so many times but it’s worth repeating: Fish where the fish are, and the fish are swimming in social media. Don’t like Facebook? That’s fine. Check out Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, or WordPress. Find something you like and that you’ll be able to use consistently throughout the year.

Any other resolutions you’d like to add? 

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