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Marketing resolutions for the new year
As a new year approaches, it brings with it a multitude of new opportunities and a multitude of problems. A new marketing year is thrust upon us, one that deserves more immediate attention if we are to position ourselves for the future. How do we cope with our downsized marketing department? What's happening to profitability? Should we advertise on the Web?
Now's the time for some reflection on the year ahead, even time to make some commitments to it. Just as many of us pause to formulate New Year's resolutions in our personal lives, perhaps we should apply the same thinking to our marketing effort. Only we should take the one step further and truly achieve what we set out to do. To get started, here are some suggestions for your New Year's Marketing Resolutions.
We will use at least one new marketing tool or one new marketing method in the new year.
Our business world is changing dramatically and our marketing efforts must change simply to keep up with the increasing competition. We could introduce an interactive Web site. Or begin distributing news releases electronically. Or publish an electronic version of our catalog. Or conduct the research that proves our marketing communications are effective. We will break out of the same old marketing rut of the past two years, enhancing our sales, increasing our profitability, and strengthening our market position.
We will emphasize and expand decision making based on solid research data.
Understanding why customers buy and what they buy will lead to new products and services. Knowing our competitor's strengths, weaknesses, and directions will help us be proactive, anticipating rather than reacting. Measuring the effectiveness of our communications allows us to more efficiently use our limited resources.
We will make a true effort to fully understand our customers and their needs.
Customer visits, surveys, panels, focus groups, database marketing all
provide the information we need about our customers. Armed with the correct
information, we can
better understand the communications media they will respond to. We can focus on developing the products and services they need and will buy. We can develop long-term relationships with our customers that are profitable for both of us.
We will focus our communications on our customers and prospects and not on ourselves.
The prospect is interested in one thing: what's in it for them. Forget about how great our company is, but concentrate on the benefits the customer receives from our products and services. Identify the customer's problems and show him how our product or service solves these problems. The next step to purchase comes more easily and quickly.
We will promptly and completely follow-up on all prospect inquiries generated by advertising, PR, trade shows or word-of-mouth.
We spend thousands of dollars on generating these inquiries, but too often fail to tend to the prospect's query. Qualify the inquiry, send the proper information, make the necessary sales call. And, do it all before the competition does.
We will emphasize content over design and technology.
Fancy design may attract attention, but remember, it's information that sells. Real-time video and audio can be effective in promoting the product, but only if the prospect is willing to sit through the long downloading times.
Perhaps one or more of these resolutions will fit your marketing plan. If not, develop your own using these as starting points. Make some resolutions. Set some goals. Commit to accomplishment. Then at year's end, when you review the results, you can celebrate with a sense of accomplishment and progress, ready to make a new set of marketing resolutions for the next year.
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