Ah, a new year! Which means it’s time for a little reflection on the previous 365 days, and a little projection for the days ahead. Many of us set resolutions at the beginning of the year, and then abandon the new habits just a few weeks into January. Resolutions don’t work for me either, so I set goals instead. I use a quick 4-question survey to look back on the previous year, and make a plan for the next year. No pain, no fuss. Just four questions. When I’m done, I have a simple action plan to make this year successful.
This survey works great as a way to examine your marketing plan for your company, too. Let’s walk through it together and see where you want to spend your marketing time and energy this year.
- What did you learn last year?
Look at your marketing activities from last year and see if you can identify any lessons. What campaigns generated more sales, or brought more potential customers your way? Was there a particular message that customers really responded to? If you found some success, do you need to do more of the same this year? You may find the lesson learned is what you shouldn’t do when marketing your company. Maybe it was the wrong audience or the wrong message. That is a valuable lesson, too.
- What made you thankful last year?
I love this question, especially when it’s applied to business objectives. There are clients and projects that made me very thankful last year, and I want to spend more time on those kinds of projects with those kinds of clients. Identifying the projects and persons for which you are thankful can motivate you to seek more of the same kind of work, or even the same kind of clients. You might be able to establish your ideal market for future success.
- What will you stop doing this year?
It’s time for a critical review here. Is your social media campaign really producing the results you wanted, or are you spending more time than you anticipated with less reward? Or are you simply stand at the door waiting for customers to find you? If so, it’s time to stop the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again without the results you need. Instead, spend your time and energy on more effective strategies.
- What will you start doing this year?
It’s possible once you identify what activities you want to stop doing, start doing exactly the opposite. For instance, if you want to stop waiting for the phone to ring, start making it ring with direct mail, email newsletter, or another outbound marketing campaign. Maybe you want to try a completely different marketing strategy — like online video, training seminars, or coupons. It could be time for a little experimenting.
Review often and adjust as needed. Here is the key — successful goal planning isn’t a “once-a-year” phenomena. You’re more likely to reach your goals if you keep track of where you are in the process and take corrective action when needed. Sometimes the goals weren’t realistic or even relevant in the first place, and they need to be adjusted. It happens. Adjust them and move on. You can take this survey more frequently to help you stay on track, too.
Now that you have your answers, print them out and post them somewhere you can read them every day. And let me know what you’ve got planned. If you have a new marketing initiative planned, Giba Group can help you reach your goal. Let’s make 2013 your best marketing year yet!