Have you made your resolutions for 2010 yet?
Maybe you’re not the type that makes resolutions, or maybe you’re afraid to do anything that looks like a plan coming out of a year where everything changed and plans were scrapped in the Q1, 2009. Whatever your feelings about the year behind and the one ahead, there are things you should do to market your business and move forward. Here is my top 10 list of things to do to move forward in 2010:
1. Stop hiding. I know it’s scary out there but trying to hide from a bad economy is like lopping off a limb in hopes of losing weight. It makes things worse. Every month you are not out there promoting your company is another month you fall into obscurity.
2. Avoid the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mindset. This new economy has changed everything. If you don’t change you will be left behind.
3. Try something new. A logical step after #2! Even if you don’t have much of a marketing budget, you need to do something. Start a blog, get out on social media, or create an email newsletter to engage your customers.
4. Give new marketing time to work. It’s important to have a plan going into any new process. This goes back to the best practices of direct marketing that apply to most marketing – set something up to succeed: develop, test, learn, change, and repeat.
5. Get out of the one or two marketing media rut: I read recently that the winners of The Effie Awards (http://www.effie.org/ideas_that_work) this year used an average of 7 media in their advertising and marketing mix. They all work together. Email, direct mail and advertising push out to drive business to Web sites, social media and mobile. And with the advent of QR barcodes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuVSpG-ZdkU) and other new developments the lines have blurred between old and new media – between print and electronic interaction.
6. Create continuity with your brand across media. If you are doing less marketing it is more important than ever to be an advocate for your company brand and make sure that everything you do is true to your brand look, tone and personality no matter what marketing or advertising media you choose.
7. Start fresh – update your brand. Does your logo look older or reflect a previous era? Or maybe you need to update your collateral with the new products or services you’re offering? Then it’s time for an update. If you’re rebranding, refreshing or refurbishing, just choose your palette carefully and don’t use the year’s trendiest color. There are a lot of great colors in the world, so please, please don’t choose turquoise as the agent of change in your logo this year. Not unless you want to hear (in a year or two) wow, that logo color is so 2010 (or 1990’s).
8. Conduct a customer survey. Sure, every company has weaknesses, so why not find out what they are so you can do something about it? Find out what your customers really think. Not just what you think (or worse, hope) they think.
9. Commit to being great in your job, continue to learn. Whether you are in a lower-level job or CEO, commit to being the best you can in your job. There is so much out there to learn and multiple media to incorporate into your marketing plan. Jim Collins, in his book “Good to Great” starts the book with one of the best lines I’ve heard: “Good is the enemy of great.” This is a year to learn, grow and take your marketing to the next level.
10. Go forth and make yourself proud. 2010 will be another year of change. Embrace it, get out of the “prevent defense” and go on the offensive. Learn, grow and kick some butt. You’ll look back and be glad you did, I just know it.