Well, another year is in the books. How did 2012 turn out for you? Whether itImage Credit: Bostinno.com was a wonderful year, or a trying one, it’s important to reflect back on it and make note of the lessons learned in order to improve for the future. And since the world didn’t end (thank goodness!), there is a future to look forward to. A common exercise at this time of the year is to generate a list of New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps you have done so in your personal lives before – I certainly have (despite the extremely low completion rate of my plans). As I look ahead to my next year here at Quaero, I thought it might be useful to share my plans to become a more effective marketer in the New Year. So, here are 3 New Year’s Resolutions that I believe will improve your marketing in 2013:

  1. Make Marketing More Accountable – Ever heard of the old saying, “Half of my marketing is working, I just don’t know which half?” It was a humorous (although disturbingly accurate) portrayal of the world of marketing. Attribution was extremely difficult for most marketers, if not downright impossible. Well, that is no longer the case. Marketing Automation tools such as Neolane, Marketo, Unica, and Eloqua (just to name a few), allow you to create complex nurturing streams that will push your leads through the sales process, and keep track of their progress. You can see what content is most converting into sales opportunities. Free tools such as Google Analytics can also be applied to determine how impactful various pieces of content are on your site, and which keywords your customers are searching for. I’m not arguing that attribution and calculating ROI on your marketing activities is at all easy, to be sure, it is not. However, with the technology available to marketers today, there is no excuse to be completely in the dark about what is, and isn’t, working for you. The key to remember here is that you don’t need to be perfect. It will take time to develop a well-oiled marketing machine. But if you make it a priority to improve your current processes, you should consider yourself a success.
  2. Do Something Unique – Maybe, GULP, you might even do something crazy like re-embrace snail mail! I know, I know, it sounds like horrible advice, but indulge me for just a moment. How many emails would you say you are bombarded with every day? And how many display ads do you encounter on every website that you visit? Clearly, the trend of increased digital marketing spend is going to continue (as it should), and the move toward mobile ad technologies and the concept of the ‘2nd Screen’ are going to prove exceptionally important in 2013, but as marketers continue to abandon some of the more ‘traditional’ marketing staples, that means that those who do utilize them will appear a bit more unique. Again, let me reiterate, I’m not suggesting that you stop investing in digital, not for one second. But as marketers, look for ways that you can burst through all of the noise that everyone is constantly engulfed in, and you will be more effective at getting your message across. You might just find that it is easier than you think to appear different and interesting.
  3. Remember that “No One is Going to Die” – A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of attending a speech by Jeffrey Hayzlett, a seasoned marketing expert and bestselling author of “Running the Gauntlett” and “The Mirror Test.” Perhaps the most compelling piece of advice that he shared came at the end of a story about a massive marketing failure he had experienced in his career. He said, “I just told my team, don’t worry, no one is going to die from this.” Which I thought was a tremendous way to look at business. At the end of the day, it is not the end of the world if a mistake is made, if you aren’t making mistakes than you aren’t growing as a person, as a marketer, or as a business. Of course, that is not to say that you should conduct your business with reckless abandon, and that people should not be held accountable for their mistakes. But at the end of the day, it isn’t the end of the world if something goes wrong. More often, it is an opportunity to learn for the future.

There you have it, my 3 New Year’s Resolutions for marketers! There are many more we could add to this list, and I hope you will add yours in the comments section below! Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, and profitable 2013, from myself and all of us here at Quaero!