11_meetingwithmarketingtosetgoalsWhile reviewing a client’s 2015 marketing strategy, I found myself wondering if I was missing anything. Was there an area my team could expand on? Was there a new marketing trend we could add to this strategy that didn’t exist before? I decided to ask the experts and share that information with you.

I asked ten top marketing executives the following questions: (1) what is your top marketing goal for 2016 and (2) how do you intend to reach that goal?

Leeyen Rogers- VP of Marketing, JotForm

My 2016 marketing goals include diving head first into optimization. Everything from AdWords to social media to our website- we’re going to focus on increasing our conversion rates across the board.

Another marketing goal that we hope to achieve is to have our team learn more technical skills to grab data and make more actionable insights.

Penny Wilson – CMO, Hootsuite

My mission in 2016 is to help Hootsuite become more customer centered while still aggressively growing the company; and of course, we will lead using social tools and technology every step of the way. Social media allows us to get closer to our customers, listen to their needs, understand their challenges, enjoy their achievements and ultimately engage in more meaningful ways.

Jennifer Stagnaro – CMO, SugarCRM

In 2016, my team will focus on personalized marketing to our customers – old and new. By harnessing and analyzing all the data customers provide when they interact with our company, we’ll empower every employee who interacts with customers to provide consistent, personable communication at exactly the right time.

Cory Edwards – Head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence

This year Adobe will also focus on paid social and an organic approach that doesn’t rely solely on Adobe-branded channels, but instead looks to employees and in particular Adobe sales teams as appropriate, to help distribute that content. By leveraging the employee base, Adobe will communicate and share content in a more meaningful way with its customers and audience.

At Adobe, we’re creating a more seamless approach to our ‘content velocity’ during the coming year across all our marketing functions. Leveraging our creative heritage, Adobe’s social content efforts are tightly integrated with our creative team. We’re also identifying more opportunities with each social asset to extend the life and value of a piece we’re working on. We’ll continue our experiment with our employee social advocacy efforts in 2016, with an increased emphasis on social selling. We are training pockets of our sales teams and arming them with relevant content for their customers that we’ve either created in our social programs, or have curated from third parties.

Mike Linton – CMO, Farmers Insurance

Overall, we will use all channels to deliver on our Smart strategy which focuses on making consumers come away smarter with every interaction they have with Farmers. We’ll continue improving on customer experience by further leveraging our digital and mobile efforts and continue building
the brand across all available media.

Alicia Hatch – CMO, Deloitte Digital

One of our 2016 strategies includes using existing customer influence to attract new customers by working with them to organically promote the brand, whether through word of mouth, social media, blog content, video reviews, etc. Customers trust the voice of other users far more than third party marketing or advertising vendors, so making the customer the most valued person on your marketing team gives a bump in being relevant and trusted.

Jared Blank – CMO, DealNews

Online marketers have spent much of their time and budget over the past few years on acquisition. 2016 is the year we are going to shift our investments toward retention. Of course you need to continue to feed the funnel through acquisition, but we’ll be looking at how we collect customer data, how we analyze customer data, and how we keep our customers visiting us more while we provide them with more relevant content. That requires investments in analytics – both in technology and people.

Rhonda Moret – CMO, PGA Junior Golf Camps

The PGA Junior Golf Camps is placing a significant emphasis on grassroots marketing to promote its camps at 65+ nationwide locations this coming summer. Ranging from public relations, co-ops with local businesses, direct mail to targeted segments, and even yard signage, as a national company whose success is based on becoming a part of the local community, our grassroots legwork has been in full swing since November. In that we teach 7-17 boys and girls from all walks of life, we need to gain ‘mom’s’ confidence first and foremost and this can best be accomplished via a more ‘local’ presence in each market place.

Brian Kagen – CMO, Medifast

In 2016, I will continue to encourage my team to partner effectively cross-functionally. Marketing touches each function in some form or fashion, so having those solid working relationships makes everybody more effective. While always a challenge, we will try to integrate our messaging across all mediums so we are as consistent as possible. Breaking through the clutter is a monumental task and consistency and integration can really help.

Lori Norian – SVP, Zicam

With the rise of ad blocking and consumer initiated viewing, it’s even more important to leverage micro and macro influencers to share your story. Micro influencers satisfy our need to exploit big data, but in a relevant and connected way while macro influencers drive the buzz that gets everyone excited about the brand. As marketers, we must continue to push for new platforms and partnerships that embed our brand message in unique ways.

The comments collected indicate one thing: the people are the focus. Regardless of what the goal is, all of the executives have a strategy that focuses heavily on people: employees, customers or influencers.

Review your marketing strategy for 2016. Can you say your strategy focuses on people in some way? If not, perhaps you should re-write it.

This article first appeared on Huffington Post and has been republished with permission.