Every January, there’s plenty of buzz about New Year’s resolutions. But the truth is, you can set new goals any time of the year, and I’ve even found that short-term quarterly resolutions can be much more effective than long-term annual ones. This is because you significantly increase your chances of success if you split big (read: intimidating) resolutions into smaller, more manageable chunks, and you increase the opportunity to course-correct as things change (as they inevitably do)
To help get you started, here are six marketing resolutions on which I feel you and your team can start working–and likely achieve –in Q2.
Rethink the customer journey. Buying behaviors have changed dramatically over the past decade, and it’s clear you’re really not selling business-to-business; you’re selling business-to-individual buyer. Use Q2 to start honing in on relationships with your customers, influencers and prospects. Make it a priority to create customer experiences that are ongoing, consistent, meaningful and mutually rewarding.
Focus on big small data. There’s no doubt about it: data is your most valuable asset . . . and you must use it to develop and nurture the business-to-buyer relationships described above. But don’t get overwhelmed by how vast your data can be. Instead, concentrate on the data that’s most relevant. Make sure your data sources – sales, marketing, accounting, press/analyst relations, executives – are consistently capturing information in the same format; it’s much easier to work on clean data up-front, than to stop and undertake a huge data cleanup effort down the road. Start small and expand as you gain experience and produce results.
Worry less about channels, more about customers. Stop feeling flabbergasted by all of the available channels, platforms, devices . . . Keep this top-of-mind: you don’t need to be in all places at once. You simply need to be where your customers are. Find them. Connect. Engage. Listen. (And then repeat that sequence over and over again.)
Assess your mobile capabilities. Forrester calls it a “mobile mind shift” and says that customers now expect that “any desired information or service is available on any appropriate device, in context, at their moment of need.” If you haven’t already done so, Q2 is the perfect time to determine customer preferences and evaluate your capabilities. Is your content mobile-friendly, consistent across screens, localized and relevant?
Use data to find an audience that’s fragmented across multiple channels and platforms. Your customers are telling you where they are, how they’re doing, what they like and what they don’t. All of that information is locked up in the data they’re generating. You need to ask the right questions, gather the right data and apply the right analytics to attain the insights you need to create more personalized and compelling customer experiences.
Call the CIO. Data is now the lifeblood of marketing, and that means you need to collaborate with IT –and across the enterprise, as well. Over the next few months, make a special effort to open up communication so you can start developing a comprehensive, shared data strategy. You can’t move forward unless everyone is pulling together.
Who needs New Year’s resolutions and all the fuss of noise-makers, party hats and confetti? (Some estimate that as many as 90% quit on their goals by the end of January, anyway.) Let’s celebrate the beginning of Q2 with a little less fanfare, and a little more determination now that spring is here.
So tell me, what resolutions will you be making in the coming months?