It’s official: the new year is here. And for nearly 92% of Americans, that means making resolutions that you will fail to keep. But, let’s be honest - we’ve all been there, whether it’s the unrealistic weight loss goal or the vague plan to triple your company's profits. Don’t let the statistic discourage you, though. By creating the right kind of B2B New Year’s resolutions—specific goals that you can measure—you can join the elite 8% who ring in the new year with resolutions that stick.
Why you don’t keep your B2B New Year’s resolutions
Your intentions are good. Unfortunately, intentions aren’t enough to ensure you meet your goals. As you catapult into 2017, here are some New Year’s resolutions you should make (and keep!) to drive your B2B marketing campaign forward and meet your goals.
Create (or define) your brand strategy
If you don’t already have a brand strategy, it’s time to create one. By setting specific goals to build your brand and executing the right marketing techniques as part of an optimized marketing campaign, your brand can enter 2017 with great expectations for success.
Give your marketing campaign a facelift
A new year is a great time to reflect on the successes (or un-successes) of the year. It’s also the time to revamp your marketing “look." Take stock of what you’ve been doing and how effective your marketing process has been. Think about how you can kick it up a notch to keep up with rapidly changing digital trends. The more updated your style, the more relevant—and interesting—you will be to your consumers.
Always have a plan
Defining where you’re going and how you will get there is the first step to any successful and lasting change. A S.M.A.R.T. plan of action can help you get there in a more streamlined way—saving you and your team time and stress. Creating a focus can help minimize distractions and keep you flying forward. Remember to clearly identify your brand strategy, then make sure that your S.M.A.R.T. plan zeros in on it so that you stay relevant and eliminate wasteful, ineffective spend.
So how do you create an intelligent marketing plan? Glad you asked.
- Specific: What is your goal? Increase sales? Increase followers? Generate more awareness or social shares? Know what you want.
- Measurable: Set a number on it so you can monitor your success and tailor your marketing techniques to achieve it.
- Actionable: The incoming data must be able to help you rethink or revise your techniques to achieve your goals.
- Relevant: Make sure that your plan is actually relevant to your specific audience and your overall brand strategy. Otherwise, it simply doesn’t make sense.
- Time-bound: Declare the span of time you expect to see your specific results. Leaving goals open-ended never achieves what you want.
Invest in digital marketing techniques
The marketing world has experienced a serious shift in the last few years, and digital is where it’s at. To their detriment, many B2B businesses are still convinced that old-school marketing techniques and tactics like billboards, television ads, and banners are still effective ways of reaching their target audience. Outbound marketing may still yield some results, but there’s a wealth of opportunity and leads within reach for businesses that integrate digital inbound marketing techniques into their overall brand strategy. Inbound techniques generate 54% more leads. That number speaks for itself. Plus, it’s measurable, so you can easily implement it into your S.M.A.R.T. plan to organically generate more leads and give your marketing campaign ROI a serious boost.
Contrary to what some marketers believe, email is alive and thriving, and a winning strategy for connecting with your customers in the digital world. Tried and true, it continues to be a key player in successful marketing campaigns. Buying decisions aren’t usually immediate. Automating your marketing through email lead nurturing keeps consumers in your funnel, and according to a Gleanster report, eventually converts 15-20% of opportunities who aren’t ready to commit on the spot. Millennials also tend to have a preference for communicating through email—just in case you were wondering.
It’s no secret that keeping your business and data organized is one of the top ways to de-clutter your mind and tap into the creativity (and time) to achieve your goals. But if you don’t stay on top of it, it can easily pile up to overwhelming proportions. So why aren’t you doing more of it? Getting (and staying) organized is an age-old problem that gets the best of the best of us. By keeping ideas and data organized, you can streamline efficient communications with your teams and collaborate more easily on projects that require input from multiple people. The big-picture view will help direct your brand strategy in a more effective way as you develop ongoing proven and innovative marketing strategies.
Create stellar content
A solid inbound digital marketing campaign should include a mix of relevant curated content, as well as your own savvy, compelling content. This is your chance to organically inform and engage your audience, highlight your expertise, and eventually convert—so do it right. Create a content strategy that makes sense for your overall brand strategy. Unique content is crucial, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reduce the workload by creatively reusing and recycling your content. Rework your ebooks into a series of blog posts. Pair excerpts from your content with engaging images to create shareable social snippets of wisdom. The results are only limited by your creativity, so get the creative juices flowing and set a content strategy that can drive your marketing campaign.
Learning promotes a fertile breeding ground for success. It’s no coincidence that the most successful people also challenge themselves through higher education, workshops, reading, and asking questions to feed their minds with new ideas. By stepping out of your industry comfort zone (or simply staying on top of the latest industry trends), you can gain new perspectives that keep ideas fresh and creativity flowing. News, podcasts, industry trends or new activities can add a pep to your business step and launch your thinking to the next level. Change begins in the mind—expand your horizons to achieve new heights in business and in life.
Every day is an opportunity to mend what’s not working and market smarter. But honestly, is there any better feeling than starting the new year with a plan that sets you up for success? It’s time to make 2017 the year of the resolutions that stick.