As we move ahead in 2012, it's always a good time think about things we can do differently, better and smarter in the new year. As Ben Franklin said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting different results.” But too often marketers become creatures of habit, just turning over the same media plan and changing the year to 2012.
But the new year gives us the chance to start fresh, change our approach and try something new.
So here are some things to consider for 2012.
- Blow up your marketing program. This might sound extreme, but if you're not getting the results you want from your marketing program, wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. The fun thing about marketing is that there's no right answer. If something doesn't work, try something new. Rather than constantly optimizing an average campaign, try coming up with a new big idea. Even if your marketing program is working, there are always components that can use an overhaul. So if a complete blowup isn't in the cards, by all means keep what's working and blow up what's not.
- Dive into social media. Marketers have to commit to social media. It has become too important to ignore or pass off to the junior person on the team. Facebook has 750 million users—that’s one of every nine people on the planet. And 60% of people using social networks write reviews and share them with friends. That should either strike you as a big opportunity or it should scare the heck out of you. Either way, make this the year that you finally incorporate a robust social program into your strategy. But note, social should not be a strategy unto itself (see my previous post, "Twitter Is Not A Strategy"). Rather, you need to figure out how social tools and tactics fit into your overall brand strategy.
- Get mobile. Mobile opens up a world of opportunity for marketers. Consider: 82% of U.S. adults have a cell phone and 43% of them have apps on their phones. No longer are we tethered to stationary desktops or clunky laptops. Mobile devices are more powerful and easier to use than ever before. Whether you’re developing apps for clients or mobile tools for your sales force, there has never been a better time to start exploring how mobile devices can help all your marketing efforts.
- Find some new ideas. Too often we look inward. We tend to focus on our jobs in our companies and we forget there's a whole ecosystem of marketing ideas out there. Many times these ideas might be in other categories but can easily transfer to your business. Plus, you have the benefit of learning from someone else's mistakes. Try to spend some time outside of your company. Go to a conference. Join a local marketing association. Network with the local marketing community. See what's out there.
- Share your knowledge. One of the best things about writing for BtoB's BtoBlog is that I get feedback from marketers around the country. Some agree with my points of view. Others disagree. Some provide alternative thoughts and opinions. But the best part is that we're sharing ideas and insights that will help us all be better marketers. And that’s really what it's all about.
Happy New Year!