New Year's Resolutions for Marketers


It is that time again when one year comes to a close and another begins. There is no surprise that people have decided to use this time of year as an opportunity to reflect, learn and set the way forward.

In this piece, I have decided to put together a small list of new year's resolutions for the marketers of the world. It is important to step back momentarily, taking note of what you achieved in 2016. Then it's time to keep what has worked, let go of what didn't and look ahead with the positivity and energy that a new year brings.

These are a combination of some of my own resolutions and some things that the Mind Methods team have already adopted that have worked quite well for us. I hope you enjoy the read but mostly, I hope some of these get you off to a flying start in 2017!

  1.   Don't isolate your “digital marketing strategy” 

  2.   Find and listen to good podcasts

  3.   Master the art of your own email

  4.   Take every fitness opportunity

  5.   Read, research and grow (and know Philip Kotler) 

  6.   Get out there and meet people

  7.   Give back in your own way

  8.   Optimise your agency support

  9.   Consider data sharing to access target audiences

  10.   Value your time



Don't isolate your “digital marketing strategy”

The time for talking about your digital marketing strategy as an isolated entity is over. In 2017, talk about the way that you will build and deliver your overall marketing strategy within an increasingly digital environment. Ensure that your organisation is equipped to run integrated campaigns across all channels and can measure the effectiveness of each of the underlying tactics and activities. Stand firm internally about the opportunities presented by the increased adoption of digital and support your strategy by illustrating the rapid changes occurring from social media to the primary usage of mobile in 2017. 


Find & listen to good podcasts

This year, get inspired and feed the mind. Podcasts are a great marketer's companion if you commute or when you are engaged in simple tasks that don't stop you from listening. Find the topics that inspire you and have your chosen podcasts downloaded and ready to go. I listen to them on trains and when I'm mowing the lawn. Others listen whilst putting their children to sleep or doing the dishes. Whether they are related to a particular interest of yours or are specific to marketing or business, podcasts are an easy way to absorb information without having to read or stop what you are doing. I've had some great ideas after listening to podcasts, influencing my day by inspiring me into action. Here is a link to our Best Podcasts of 2016 and below I have listed three others that we like:


Master the art of your own email

This is a personal favourite of mine, so I've mentioned it early. I can't explain just how significant it has been to master the art of email. One of the key factors in mastering email is in achieving what is known as "inbox-zero". This means having a clear inbox (yes it is possible to maintain), although zero really means around 5 to 20 emails. It requires a sensible and specific folder structure and a "deal with it daily" attitude, but when you achieve it, the sense of freedom is far beyond what you would expect. The other trick to mastering email is gaining military precision whilst writing emails, ensuring that you are being very direct and clear with the purpose of your email and what action, if any, you are looking for from recipients. This article simply nails it. Mastering email, I can't rate it highly enough!


Take every fitness opportunity

Yep, this is one I really want to nail in 2017! There are stairs everywhere. Lots of cab trips can be walked if you prepare in advance. Even general chores around the house can be exercise opportunities. If you work hard and struggle to get enough exercise in each week, try to use as many other mini-exercise opportunities as possible and you will be surprised with the results you can gain. It has been proven that exercise helps both physically and psychologically, so it's worth the effort to make it happen.


Read, research and grow (and know Philip Kotler)

When you do find the time, it is important to keep on top of the marketing industry by reading a range of materials across the discipline. From blog articles to industry publications, reading and researching the latest thinking on both strategy and implementation will help you stay relevant and knowledgable in a rapidly changing and dynamic environment. And yes, get to know the Godfather of marketing, Philip Kotler, as his principals and general ideas about how marketing plays a critical role in economics are still as powerful today as when he first wrote them.


Get out there and meet people

We can all very easily get stuck behind the desk, pounding away at the keyboard, but it is equally important to get amongst it and stay in touch with your contacts and your industry. Say "yes" when those opportunities arise to connect with other professionals and peers, even though it is often easier to stay in your comfort zone. There is nothing that replaces a good old-fashioned relationship and getting out and about increases the chances that you might meet someone that you connect with on both personal and business levels. From industry events and awards nights to networking groups, conferences and social events, make 2017 the year that you say "yes" more and see the results at the end of the year.


Give back in your own way

This is the perfect time of year to be grateful and to consider what you can give back to the community in the new year. As marketers, we have some highly valued skills that can truly support a range of causes who need every bit of help they can get. Partnering with a non-profit organisation can be a great way to give back and your organisation may have a few preferred groups already. This can truly be a win-win scenario, as your support will not only go a long way to helping the non-profit organisation, but will also help to increase the profile of your brand. Here's an example of how we gave back in 2016 by donating our skills and services to a local community organisation. 


Optimise your agency support

The start of the year is a great time for marketing teams to take stock of their external agencies. In a rapidly changing marketing environment, it is more important than ever to ensure that your agency partners have the attributes you are looking for to support your team and their efforts in 2017. Consider the things that are most important to you about your agencies. Is it their structure, their views on the future of marketing or the experience and background of the agency's owners? Ask yourself what you value most in an agency and then assess your current partners with a view to keeping the good and upgrading those that are not working for you. Here are some thoughts we put together on assessing if agencies are ready for the future of marketing.


9. Consider data sharing to access target audiences

Getting access to your target audiences can be difficult, but there is huge potential in partnering with organisations that have a strong presence with a particular audience that you are focussing on or even struggling to engage with. The beauty with data sharing partnerships is that the consumer is also delivered a better experience when implemented correctly. This year, consider data sharing as a potential new approach to reaching new audiences.  This article is a great read on data sharing partnerships and how an appropriate mix of user data across sites can help to deliver a better overall digital experience for consumers.


Value your time

Finally, I wanted to throw in a final resolution that has been growing in meaning and importance to me over the years. Regardless if you are an owner, shareholder or employee, it is critical to value your time as a marketing professional. In 2017, be critical about how your precious working time is invested. Place a dollar figure on it of need be, but the most important thing is to remain conscious of how your time is spent and the value you are creating. The more efficient you become with your time, the more you will achieve in shorter spaces of time. This perspective will help you manage the fine balance between perfect and good enough so that you keep creating momentum and improving over time. This year, regularly ask yourself, "how much time I am willing to spend on this and what value will it create?"


So all the best in 2017 and this year, see if you can be the exception, not only setting your new year's resolutions, but staying committed to them in order to give yourself the best chance of having an outstanding year ahead. And the best part is that the areas you'll improve the most, will be the ones that meant the most to you at the beginning of the year!