It is the dawn of a new year, and with it comes a new lease on life, new gym memberships and new plans that will surely make this year better than the last. No matter your region, gender, ethnicity or job title, there will always be a level of hopeful optimism when looking to the new year. Wherever you were, whatever you accomplished in years past, there will always be room for improvement and opportunity.
Have you ever scrolled down the page of a website, just to find that the further down the page you travel, the smaller the scrollbar gets, almost as if the page never ends? When it comes to technology, this metaphor is especially apparent. With each passing year (or each passing day when talking about technology), something new is introduced that marketers must master and integrate into your strategy to maximize your brand’s success. Just when you think you have a keen grasp, the page of technology development loads and the scrollbar grows smaller.
A sliding scale from one point to the next.
How does all this relate to your new year goals and hopeful accomplishments? With each new innovation in technology, your brand can either adapt and find opportunity or fall behind.
Dave Edington, Senior Vice President at Epsilon and insurance strategist, recently spoke about this sliding scale for marketing. Edington tells us that every brand must determine where they fall on what he calls the “data continuum.” From traditional marketing practices to cutting-edge streaming technology, every brand falls somewhere on the sliding scale.
There are a slew of reasons that an organization may not adopt new marketing technology, but one of the greatest challenges of them all is acknowledging that your brand’s placement on the scale, and the scale itself is fluid. Your brand may slide further toward the more digitally savvy side of the scale after tackling a new marketing automation technique (see Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation) only to hear that there is a new marketing channel on the rise that makes the scale grow, and in effect, slide your brand position on the data continuum back down.
But don’t get discouraged. This is a new year and the time to be optimistic, right? To be successful, you have to first know where you are on the scale and then develop a strategy that enables your brand to grow bigger, faster, stronger, and more effective than ever this year.
A clear idea of your place on the spectrum
It’s hard to see the forest through the trees. I’m sure you’ve probably heard it time and time again, but the idiom holds true. The fact is, sometimes you are too closely involved with your brand to see it how your customers do, notice the emerging challenges you may soon face and detect where you can improve.
How others perceive your brand is not always the same as what you know the brand does from a perspective within the organization. The only way to accurately understand how your marketing efforts are performing is through reliable data. Tom Pick of Webbiquity evaluated the vast number of monitoring, listening and analytics tools available online to capture the results of marketing and PR efforts. Pick narrowed his findings down to 12 apps, BuzzSumo leading the way with BuiltWith and Alexa following in the second and third spots respectively. We recommend you start by using analytics to discover where you are so that you can engineer a strong marketing strategy going forward.
Create a roadmap for success
You know your brand better than anyone else; where it is, what hardships it encountered last year, where you see it going in the future. Take advantage of this new start and take the time for internal reflection. Gather input from key stakeholders, use your findings to supercharge your goals, develop a blueprint for success, and make it your mission to take action.
Mission statements are nothing new and can be the missing piece of the marketing puzzle that gets your campaigns up and running as efficiently as possible. By writing a mission statement for the year. your initiatives will be serving a purpose that helps to accomplish your overall goal.
Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group wrote an article on how brands are adapting their marketing strategy to adhere to their mission and achieve a lift in marketing success. In his article he stated that Joe Pulizzi, self proclaimed content evangelist and founder of Content Marketing Institute, created his own “Content Marketing Mission Statement that defines your target market and what you want to help them achieve.” Brenner later mentioned that during his time as VP of Global Content Marketing at SAP he defined his mission as: “To become a destination of insights for business professionals looking to understand how technology and innovation can help them grow their business, out-perform their competition and advance their careers.”
The statement started with a broad goal to become the destination for insights and then narrowed the focus to help brands do three things: advance their business, be better than their competition and grow their careers. Having a formal strategy to approach the new year can lead to a more concentrated overall roadmap steered around the marketing goals you want to accomplish for your brand. And maybe that is why with this mission, SAP went on to become an award-winning “Business Innovation” website.
Set and reach your goals
Where does your brand lie on the marketing spectrum, and what tools are you currently using to better align the evolving technology landscape with what you plan to accomplish this year? Do you have a clear idea of where you want to be and how you will get there?
It’s a new year full of opportunity. You just have to know how to set and reach your goals to make this year better than the rest.
About the Author
Alex Navarro comes to Distribion with a background in developing and executing national brand awareness campaigns. His passion is creating personalized marketing strategies and watching them come to life. Alex studied advertising and marketing at Pepperdine University and has enjoyed working in the field ever since. He also loves meeting new people – connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.