Tinsel glitters, menorahs flicker, and Bing Crosby’s White Christmas fills the air. But when the festivities are over, the decorations have been boxed up, and Aunt Elma’s fruitcake is stored away in the freezer…right beside last year’s… it’s on to a new year. And with a new year, comes New Year’s resolutions.
Besides the promises to yourself for a brand new you, you should be making promises to your brand and how you can rejuvenate it in 2011. While it might seem like a daunting task, the following are five simple ideas that just might give your brand and your business the edge you need.
- Get real! Keep your plans realistic and simple! Chances are you’ve already penned some marketing resolutions for the upcoming year. If you haven’t, stop procrastinating. If you have, whittle your list so it is doable and you won’t get sidetracked. The most well-intentioned plans can quickly be decimated by the excuse machine. Too many ideas become too overwhelming.
- Make social media part of your marketing mix. Clearly no longer a trend, social media is here to stay. Just ask Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, named Time magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year. But don’t fool yourself. Social media is not free. It takes dedicated staff resources to manage it properly. You might not think it’s worth the trouble or the time to jump on board, but don’t jump ship. Research individuals, companies, groups or pages whose followers might be interested in your products or services. Start interacting with those sites. Start socializing.
- Brush up on your brand. What’s your brand saying to your customers? What’s the message your printed pieces and online presence are conveying? Don’t leave your brand’s image to a stroke of luck. Consider your customers, get to know all about them, and make sure your brand is speaking their language.
- Make learning a habit. The world is changing at a speed that’s constantly accelerating. Successful businesses need to keep up with the changes. Sign up for a course in your community, or try one of the many online courses offered by learning institutions from around the world without even leaving the comfort of your favourite armchair. But if you’re not ready to make that commitment, or you don’t have the extra cash right now, commit to 15 minutes each day online. There’s an array of websites offering free valuable business information. It might spark a new business opportunity or strategy.
- Identify a new market for your business. Think beyond the obvious, because chances are your competitors are already exploring those markets. You might consider international markets, but with the steady number of immigrants coming to our country and the face of Canada rapidly changing, don’t forget to look at new sectors right out your front door.
Now, turn your resolutions into a plan. Plan for the year, define the costs and how you’ll pay for the costs, then commit to making your plan a reality each month. Share your plan with your staff and you’ll not only have a better chance of buying them in, but they’ll hold you accountable to making it happen.
Share what some of your resolutions are for improving the marketing of your business next year in the comments.