Are you a New Year’s resolutions person? I am! But I’m a little bit weird, and I do my personal goals and resolutions in September when my kids go back to school. I’m usually feeling refreshed after the summer and I’m ready to make some productive changes.
January is my time for professional goals and resolutions. I’ve learned over the years not to go too crazy with it, and not to get caught up in comparison with others. I usually start in November with a review of the year, an evaluation of what worked and what didn’t work. Then I set some goals I think are reasonable and doable. Will they all get done? Probably not, but some of them will and that’s a lot better than NONE.
This year, I’m sharing these goals with you! Not because I think you need to have all the same resolutions I do, but because, if you’re feeling stuck, these might give you some inspiration and get you thinking about specific ways you can improve your marketing in 2022. Let’s Go!
Resolve to keep contacts organized and up to date
You’ve heard me say this one million times, the effectiveness of a targeted marketing strategy depends on an accurate list! Whether you are using direct mail, email, SMS messaging or phone calls, you need to make sure you are hitting the right audience with your message. If you do not have a contact relationship manager (CRM) make this the year you get one! Consolidate all of your clients, leads and contacts in one place where you can easily update their info as needed and pull specific segments for specific campaigns.
How OSS Does It: Currently, we use ZOHO CRM for all of our contact management needs and we love it! In 2022 we will be adding SalesForce as a tool for managing contacts in our other departments.
Resolve to learn more about the audience
In addition to knowing who your audience is and how to reach them, you need to know what they need, what they like, and how they want to interact with you. You discover this through market research. Market research can be a formal survey you send to your clients, or a focus group you organize. Ask your customer service and account reps to track certain information about leads and clients in a CRM. You could also do online research about common traits and behaviours of your key demographic.
Market research can be as extensive as you want, any increased knowledge of your audience will help you create more effective marketing strategies.
How OSS Does It: We created a free survey using Google Forms and emailed it to our email subscribers. Their responses have helped us determine some new types of marketing we need to add to our strategy in 2022.
Resolve to track campaign effectiveness
There are so many ways to track the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns, and we highly recommend doing some research on the best ways to track the types of campaigns you are running (we wrote this article for direct mail marketing). But here are some general questions to ask to determine a campaigns effectiveness
- Is my campaign being seen by the right audience?
- Is the audience responding the way I want them to, i.e. by visiting a website, commenting on a post, placing an order, contacting our company?
- Is the campaign making more money than what it costs? (Note, not all campaigns have the goal of direct profit. Some campaigns are meant to build brand awareness and may cost more money than they make, but will increase profits in the long run.)
- How does this campaign compare to your other campaigns? Is it more or less profitable? Is it increasing brand awareness? Is it less effective than other campaigns, it may be time to stop it and invest time and money in other campaigns.
- How has this campaign been performing over the long term? Are you seeing a decline in engagement or sales from this campaign?
How OSS does it: We track our web traffic through Google Analytics to see where our visitors come from. We also ask new clients and leads how they found out about us and track their response in our CRM. We also track social media engagement to help determine what type of content is most effective.
Resolve to plan ahead
One of the biggest obstacles our clients have to successful marketing is lack of time. They are busy running the day to day of their business and, understandably, they feel they don’t have time to do marketing. The best way to overcome that obstacle is by planning ahead. You can plan for an entire year, a quarter, a month or just a week, but set aside time on a consistent basis to plan the content and execution of your campaign.
Planning ahead also allows you to batch tasks so you aren’t overwhelmed with daily marketing tasks. For example, you might decide that the first Monday of every month you will create all your social media posts and schedule them for the entire month. Or you may decided that the first week of every quarter you’re going to write several blog posts that you can schedule to publish throughout the next 3 months.
How OSS does it: We use an amazing tool called Monday.com to plan out our marketing strategy. We do general planning by the quarter, but more specific planning by month. We also batch our content creation, creating several social media posts, blog articles, emails and new products in one day and scheduling them to be published throughout the month.
Resolve to try something new
Marketing trends change all the time, and it’s important to adapt in order to keep up with the times. That being said, it’s impossible to try every new trend that comes around! And to be honest, not all of them will be good for your business.
When you resolve to trying something, or several things, new in your marketing strategy, consider these questions:
- Is your audience hanging out in a different space? Are they on a new social media platform? Are they working at home instead of the office?
- Does your audience have new or different problems that need to be addressed?
- Is your audience responding better to different channels? Is it now easier to reach them via text than email?
Also, consider up and coming trends. Maybe you notice something that is starting to pick up momentum and you want to be an early adapter. Or maybe your business is positioned to be a trendsetter, with a new service, technology, solution, or message that no one else is discussing. Your something new this year could be something new for everyone!
How OSS does it: This year, our something new is to produce short videos for TikTok and Instagram Reels. We have noticed that our clients are creating and consuming this type of content, and it’s time for us to get on board!
Resolve to improve on something already being done (and that is working!)
Hopefully, you’ve been tracking your marketing strategies and you know which ones are working well. Resolve that in 2022, you are going to make those strategies even more effective!
Of course, the specifics of this are going to vary widely based on your strategy, industry, business and audience. Search for new ideas by looking at what your competitors are doing. Look to trustworthy marketing experts to see what they recommend. The change doesn’t have to be major, sometimes just simple design tweak to your email newsletter, a slightly different call to action on your postcard, or increasing the amount of times you post to social media can make a big difference.
How OSS does it: Our monthly newsletter is a marketing tool that works well for us. As mentioned earlier, we sent out a survey to all of our newsletter subscribers to see what new things they’d like to see in the newsletter. In 2022 we plan to cover a wider range of topics and to add video!
Resolve to ask for help
Oh this is a hard one for so many of us! Many business owners, entrepreneurs, and just plain hard workers tend to take on more and more responsibility throughout the year. We see something that needs to get done, and we do it! As you start 2022, think very seriously about delegating and offloading certain tasks. In particular, look at the tasks that you have streamlined enough that it would be easy for someone else to take over. Asking for help with the simple tasks frees up your time to execute new strategies.
How OSS does it: Over the past two years, our marketing coordinator has created most of the graphics needed for social media and emails. This is primarily because she does everything at the last minute, and the graphic designers can’t meet her last minute requests, haha. But because she has been working on planning ahead and streamlining content creation, she has been able to ask one of our production designers to help her create graphics for digital marketing.
Need help putting some of your marketing resolutions into practice? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk it out!