It won’t have escaped your notice that the new year has arrived!
For many, January is a month of recovery from the excesses of Christmas, a time to regroup, recover and hunker down in front of a blazing fire until the longer spring days arrive.
For others, it is traditionally a time of resolution and planning. According to Wikipedia, a new year’s resolution is a tradition most common in the Western Hemisphere; in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
For many organisations and individuals; the pressure of affecting a sea change in behaviour can be just too much to contemplate, and can quickly result in procrastination a best, and often complete inertia.
But January doesn’t have to be so daunting. While, new year’s resolutions clearly aren’t for everyone – before the year gathers momentum – make use of the slower pace the new year offers for many SME’s, to think about resetting your marketing for the coming year.
Traditionally a quieter business month, January is a perfect month to review business achievements from the previous year as well as measure their success.
Review how closely your marketing and promotional activity matched plans developed at the beginning of 2017. Take time to analyse and appraise any quantitative or qualitative data you have gathered to measure the successes of any tactical outputs. Reflect on any successes and challenges against your original plan. Gain feedback where there are gaps in your knowledge so that your reflection is as detailed and useful as possible.
The beginning of the year also offers a perfect opportunity to consider what direction you want to steer your business going forward. Identify any unfulfilled plans from 2017 you might want to review or bring forward for the coming year. Take time to ascertain any new, overarching business goals you may have, and to isolate what measures you need to put in place to achieve those goals throughout the year.
This doesn’t have to be a fully developed marketing plan at this stage unless you have time to develop one. A review of last year’s marketing strategy, together with a fully considered list of new goals for the coming year, along with an overview of some suggestions of possible tactics to achieve them, is the objective here. Most new year’s resolutions fail if they are over ambitious. Make yours realistic and attainable – taking time to reflect on marketing goals at the beginning of the year, can really help to shape achievable objectives and guide your business into the coming year.
Now you have formulated a clear set of marketing and business goals for 2018, it’s important to communicate these out to your team or wider colleagues.
Make best use of any internal communication channels you have in place to communicate with them, and use these to reinforce your plans. However formal or informal –perhaps at as a weekly or monthly catch up meeting, a drink after work, or over a lunch meeting. Or in a more formal fashion, such as via your newsletter or intranet – the objective here is to make sure key goals are clearly communicated so that the wider team can start to retune their thinking for the new year too.
There you have it, three simple steps to begin to reset your marketing, which will really put your business in a great place to begin the year. If you’d like help in developing achievable goals for your own SME, or if you need help in putting together a more comprehensive marketing plan, please do get in touch.
In the meantime, I’d like to thank my colleagues and clients for all the support in 2017, and to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.