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  • Writer's pictureChris Bowler

Resolved for 2019

5 practical suggestions for digital marketing success in the New Year

Like clockwork, the season has arrived for marketers to post their predictions for the coming year. These invariably cover common grounds such as emerging trends (ie AI, AR/VR, Voice, etc), major issues of the day (ie privacy, regulation), and new platforms (ie Vero, Tik Tok).

I always find these posts super interesting, but on the downside, not really very applicable to the day to day business of creating successful digital marketing programs. So, rather than piling on, I'll take a different tack. Tearing a page out of the New Year's theme of 'Resolutions', here's a bit more helpful approach. If you are a marketer on the client side, or with an agency, here are 5 resolutions to take to heart for 2019.

  1. Get back to basics - Starting out the new year, it may be beneficial and insightful, to reevaluate some of the long-standing goals and metrics for your digital marketing programs. This can be done quickly with an audit of, say, your KPIs, your cost efficiency calculations, or even a pin-point analysis of one of your key channels (ie Search, Social) that may need attention. Stepping back and looking at the basic components of a program will yield fresh thinking and ideas which sets you on a new path forward. Resolved: To audit an existing channel or program for improved performance.

  2. Take a new look at staffing - You already know that your team is your most critical asset. Talent managment should already be a high priority if you are a senior leader. But what are ways to go beyond the typical HR process of performance reviews, feedback, promotions, or the necessary dismissals (ie 'weeding the garden')? Take a new look at your staffing plan and your current line up of talent and decide to make one major move by the end of the year to improve team performance. That could mean a shift in reporting, a new hire, increased incentives - a move that will have real impact on your business. Resolved: to focus on one major move in staffing by the end of 2019.

  3. Get close to a new customer - We are in the service business and our customers and clients are our life blood. No doubt you are already customer focused, especially if you are operating in the marketing communications area. But you can always get new insight from customers. So, if you are on the brand marketing side, get to know a new major account or customer. If you are on the agency side, pick a client that represents a growing portfolio of services. Get to know them by visiting their offices, go out to lunch, or even better, offer them something of real value (ie present best practices in digital / social / media etc). Don't let economics or politics get in the way - just do it for the sake of good customer relations. You'll get some valued insight in return. Resolved: Forge a new relationship with a client or customer in 2019.

  4. Target a new industry event - Yes, there's a plethora of conferences and summits out there, but making new connections is a vital part of the marketing world. Pick a conference and commit to making it the best experience you can. Attend the entire schedule of events, swear to not multi-task during the sessions, promise to make 5-10 new introductions. Even better, make this a team event where more than one of you could attend. Better yet: pitch a speaking role to raise your visibility even further. Resolved: Commit to one new conference or industry event - and do it well.

  5. Explore emerging tech - This is a common goal, but it's tricky as there are so many different pathways (rabbit holes) that one can take. So the advice here is to just pick one and do it right. That starts with identifying an applicable tech to your business and getting familiar with the space. The best way to do this is to invite 2-3 vendors for a visit with the team, to learn about their perspectives and actual business examples. Unlike established tech vendors or media publishers, you may need to provide an incentive to spend an hour or two with your team. Buy them lunch in exchange for their time, or offer meaningful follow up to make it worth their time. Resolved: To identify and explore one, new emerging technology applicable to my business.

That's it. Do these five resolutions and you'll be on the road to improved marketing success. I wish you all the best in 2019.

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