Does this happen to you: You begin thinking about your goals for the New Year and start ticking off all the things you didn’t get done this year? (Ugh.) Then you get bummed out since you were sure you’d get all those things implemented in your marketing plan this year. (…Sigh.)
Relax. It’s normal. (But who wants to be normal?!)
We linger over ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda,’ which is a big mistake.
We’re taught from a young age in school to strengthen our poorest skills. (Anyone who knows me knows I haven’t a chance in the North Pole of improving my math skills very much, but I’ll keep at it.)
On the other hand, researchers and scientists have found the opposite to be true: You should focus far more attention on improving what you do well. If you’re the world’s greatest car mechanic, improve that. If you’re a great writer, work at writing better. You get the gist.
It’s leverage. By continuing to improve your best skills, you improve them at an exponentially greater rate than you can improve your weaker skills.
Therefore, it follows logically then that instead of focusing upon what marketing projects you didn’t get to in 2011 (or didn’t do well with), you should focus on the ones that were the most successful and figure out how to amplify their results.
Quality Not Quantity
If you’ve been diligently assembling a list (like Mr. Claus) of all the marketing projects that should go on your goals list for 2012, it’s time to put the pen down for a minute.
If your list of marketing mediums to use in 2012 is substantially longer than what you used in 2011, what’s your strategy for implementing so many different tactics? Are you launching a major new product line or service aggressively? If so, you would need to plan a major advertising blitz to spread the word. But what if your plans are simply to increase business 10% or 20% next year?
What I’m asking for is your motivation in choosing lots and lots of marketing venues. Sure, I’ve touted the necessity to use many venues to achieve your sales goals, but if you can’t honestly manage the volume, reduce the volume to the most important venues—the tried and true.
Using just a handful of marketing tools well is far more important than random blasting to the marketplace. Quality counts.
Recently I ran across this statistic: In 1965 you could reach 85% of the TV viewing audience with 3 ads. Today, it would take at least 125 commercials to reach the same percentage of viewers. Ouch! Does that make reaching your audience seem more difficult? It certainly makes marketing seem more complicated.
Even if you wouldn’t dream of using TV to advertise your business, the point is that the buyer’s attention is now divided amongst many more mediums than 40 years ago. To reach your target audience you simply must use many more advertising venues to reach your market than you would have had to use 10, 20 or more years ago.
Like Little Johnny and his endless Christmas wish list, if you looked at all the myriad marketing venues with eyes wide and big dreams, adding each to your 2012 goals wish list, you probably reviewed the final list thinking, “How the heck am I going to accomplish all of that???”
You needn’t be overwhelmed by all the options because they aren’t all for you.
The Three Wise Choices
Start here: Instead of putting all your options on the table and wracking your brain to figure out whether or not you should invest your efforts in social media, online yellow pages, or a dozen other marketing opportunities you’ve never tried, review what marketing venues made home runs this year.
Pick the top three. (They should stick out in your memory like those guys on camels with the funny gifts.)
- What specifically made these three marketing events so successful? (Write it down!)
- Did you personally attend or give a seminar that boosted your closing rate?
- Did you give dynamite presentations that cemented your credibility with prospects?
- Were you a great conversationalist on social media, engaging prospects and cultivating fabulous influencers?
- Did you run a display ad with a special offer that generated tons of leads?
- Did the eBook you published generate lots of buzz, going viral in your market?
- Did your last PR campaign provide a needed authority-booster to your business?
These are but a few of the specific questions you should ask yourself about why specific marketing tactics were highly successful. That’s what you want to replicate.
Use this information like the Wise Men used big B-Star in the sky to guide them to their goal:
- If you gave two great presentations generating new business, can you do four of them next year?
- If you sponsored a giveaway or contest on your Facebook fan page that generated lots of highly converting leads, can you double the number of promotions in 2012 over what you did last year?
- If your press releases received lots of page space, interviews and viral spin off, can you amplify your coverage this next year in more places?
I’m willing to bet as I posit these ideas on the page, the wheels in your head have been spinning with fresh ideas. Great!
And here’s the most important part of it: Does this perspective feel like you’re in a stronger position to tackle your marketing in 2012? I hope so.
By planning to increase what marketing strategies and individual tactics worked well for you this past year, you gain greater leverage for success in the New Year by amplifying the best of your achievements.
Sure, your marketing strategy may include 2-4 new tactics you’ve never tried. But you don’t want to put all your bets on the least known horse. (Remember, those guys each carried gifts; they didn’t dump all the gold, myrrh and frankinstuff on one camel. What if one of them got spooked and bolted off into the desert night?)
Deck your halls with lots of already-successful marketing for 2012. Keep the experiments smaller in scale and you’ll be singing Handel’s “Hallelujah! Chorus” for your success.