2017 What Are You Going to Do Differently?

Forget the resolution posts, and don’t waste your time reading someone else’s suggestions for what you ought to resolve as you begin this new calendar year. The new year’s resolution is an arbitrary effort, suddenly in January of a new year, we resolve to do something that we probably should have already been doing? What I have learned, especially being out on my own, is that you have to resolve anew ever single day, and sometimes every single hour. Moreover, where big things are concerned it is more often about change than it is about action.

What I mean is if you are not acting then you have bigger issues, and being resolute about acting might not make any difference. What will make an impact is taking a look at what is working, what is not and what is missing where your actions are concerned. This is more a matter of course correction than it is soul searching or wish-i-could’ing, it assumes that you have a destination and must recalibrate in order to ensure you reach that destination.

So far be it from me to tell you what you ought to resolve, but here are the questions that I think you should be asking yourself to determine whether or not you need to do things a little differently in 2017 than you did in 2016. And hey let’s be clear here, this is not an annual thing we are talking about here; it needs to be a quarterly, monthly, weekly, and yes daily conversation you have with yourself.

How Much Do I Invest in Genuinely Educating My Target Market?
2017-commitment-hatYou are communicating first with a specific audience that is in a marketplace that you want to sell to. No matter what it is we are selling our marketplace has questions about it. Perhaps we have a different perspective than most in the market, or maybe we have a new approach to the same old process that everyone has been using for years. Whatever the case you need to ask yourself if you are making an investment for the sake of your buyer’s knowledge. If the answer is yes that is great. Do more of it. If the answer is an honest no, then you know where you should begin in 2017.

Do I have a media plan?
In 2017 social media is far less about the social than it is about the media. Now before you get indignant over that statement understand that I am in no way suggesting that the social component of social media does not matter. It matters quite a bit. However, now ten years into the world of social media if you do not have the social down nothing I write is going to make you get better at it.

The media is the thing.

What are you doing to deliver your education, your message, your perspective over all of the multiple media options that you have available? How much video are you doing? Do you produce any content series on a regular scheduled? Have you carved out your channel on some of the more popular media outlets? If the answer to any of these is no then you have another area of focus for your 2017. Consider that never before in the history of media could we own our own slice of the broadcast message. There was a time where trade publications held the gate on perspective and thought, now you are the trade media. Start acting as such in ’17.

Am I Trapped By My Marketing Metrics?
Marketing metrics matter most to one group of professionals, marketers. The most important customer of marketing, sales, could not care less about marketing metrics. Sales care about the number and size of deals closed. This is as true of the SaaS company that seeks to increase their monthly recurring revenue as it is for the professional services company that wants to increase their monthly billable hours. Marketing needs to assist these important sales metrics first and foremost. Too often marketing can become enslaved to an obsessive effort to improve impressions and conversions. These matter only to the extent that they positively impact sales. Take a hard look at what you are measuring and determine if you need to pay closer attention to how marketing is helping actual sales.

How Often Am I Evaluating the Result of My Actions?
As I mentioned earlier, the idea of evaluating the impact of your actions should be a frequent exercise. Take a quick look behind you at 2016 and assess the frequency with which you actively course corrected. You are navigating your business year, and navigation means constantly checking your bearings. End every day with a quick evaluation of what worked and did not work to map out a better tomorrow. At the end of the week do the same taking just a little more time to plan for the following week. End of the month and quarter take even more time. The point is, evaluate where you were, where you are, and where you hope to go. Map out your actions for the destination accordingly.

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