Marketing Resolutions: Hold your horses!

The start of a new year often sends people into a frenzy of accomplishing a slew of goals and resolutions. The same often goes for companies at the start of a new quarter. From a total refresh of the brand to more “simple” marketing initiatives, companies often set numerous goals for their marketing efforts that they want to achieve sooner than later. While productivity and moving forward are great things, trying to do everything at one time can end up being counterproductive if you’re not careful. Here are a few things to consider before diving headfirst into changes in your marketing.

Why are you doing what you are doing?
So you have your goals and your strategy all set. Make sure you know why you’ve planned the changes/updates that you have in mind for your marketing. It’s important to be sure you and the rest of your team are aware of what the light at the end of the tunnel is for your brand. This will help to put things in perspective as you set out to tackle your goals.

What are your priorities?
There may be ten things that you want to accomplish in a year; however, in reality only three of them may be able to be done and done well. Figure out what your priorities are. This way you can give those things the attention and resources that they need to be done well. The other things don’t have to be put on hold completely, but they shouldn’t be tackled as aggressively as your main priorities.  This will also help you establish the look/feel/tone for your most important projects so that your smaller projects can follow suit. It will also help avoid total confusion from your team about what the REAL priority is. Just remember, if you overbook, you’ll never be able to fully commit and execute to the best of your ability.

What do you have resources for?
Take a good look at your manpower, your financial situation and any other resources that you may need to accomplish your marketing goals. Maybe something that you thought was a priority isn’t financially feasible. Before you go for broke, analyze your entire situation to be sure you are making the best decisions for your company. Perhaps you can push that more expensive goal back and instead work towards accomplishing three more affordable ones.

What makes the most sense?
Maybe this new initiative is cool, but doesn’t necessarily make sense for your brand at that moment, or maybe it doesn’t make sense at all. Look at your goals and determine what makes the most sense, that way you don’t mistakenly put off another priority or waste resources.

What is your strategy?
How exactly do you plan to institute your new initiatives? What is your timeline and how will you handle transitional phases? These are important things to consider. For example, if you will be getting a new logo, what promotional pieces will you update first? If you have labels, when will you be due to print your next run? Will the new logo be ready by then? If labels still have old logos, will other direct product-related items continue to carry the old logo until the new logo is used?

Is everyone in the know?
Are all of your team members aware of your company’s goals and the ones that are being prioritized? Will these new goals dictate changes in individuals’ workload or in the focus of their day-to-day? Make sure everyone knows the overall goals, the why, the priorities, the resources that each is to be allocated, and the method in which these new initiatives will be realized in the company. This is absolutely crucial for consistency and for a true company-wide effort to push your brand forward.

Everyone gets excited about achieving new goals and beginning new initiatives; however, make sure you think things through thoroughly to avoid as many fires as possible and to create as seamless an experience as possible for your end-user.

Do you have goals for the new year or the new fiscal year? How do you approach tackling them? Please share in the comments!


I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy New Year to each and every person whose eyes lay on my blog. I wish you a prosperous year full of joy and positivity.  -Archele


Image via Barbara’s HD Desktop Wallpaper

Keep your marketing fresh in the New Year

With the New Year approaching, many companies will soon begin their “New Year, new _____” promotions. While that is totally season-appropriate marketing, maybe it’s time to deliver the same message internally. Start-ups have the benefit of having a clean slate with regard to their brand’s identity, values and approach to marketing. Seasoned businesses, which often have seasoned members of the company and decision-making positions, don’t have that benefit. For those businesses, the threat of growing stale or stagnant with regard to their marketing grows larger with each passing day.

Has your business been around for a while? What are you doing to keep things fresh? I drew several parallels between marketing and dating and this is one that I neglected to mention. Just like you have to keep your relationships fresh in order to prevent them from dulling out, you have keep your marketing/engagement with your consumers fresh as well. While the identity and essence of your brand should essentially remain the same, if fresh ideologies don’t present themselves, it’s very possible that your company’s marketing will start to speak to only the people in your company. Here are some suggestions for ways to keep your company’s marketing fresh.

Bring in new talent
I agree with promoting from within and rewarding those who have stuck with your company and performed well; however, it is important to have a team with a diverse background so that you can get a wide variety of ideas and concepts. Look at JC Penny. The department store retailer brought in an Apple exec to take over the reigns as CEO. The company soon after instituted the ‘shops’ concept , which is modeled after the worldwide electronic and software corporation, Apple. The new concept brought in by a person from a completely different retail background has proved to be innovative and successful for the department store, and even competitors, like Macy’s are taking note.

Get external trend and market reports
If you have a larger company, I’m sure you already have a person or team in place to do research on trends, consumer behavior, etc; however, who’s to say that your internal research personnel isn’t relying on the same data, day after day, month after month, and year after year. Consulting with an outside agency could allow your business to tap into new resources from which to assess and plan your marketing strategy.

Get feedback on your marketing materials
Whether you gather your own focus groups or call on the marketing and advertising departments of universities, get your ads and campaigns in front of people to see what they think about them. Do they find them boring? Do they leave a lasting impression? This type of feedback can be helpful information to help you move forward in a positive direction. You could also consider emailing your consumers a survey with incentive, say, maybe 10% their next purchase. The survey could ask questions that gather information about the best place and approach to presenting your marketing efforts.

What do you do to make sure you keep your marketing fresh? Do you agree with my suggestions above? Do you have any of your own? Share your thoughts in the comments!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s December and most everyone is in full holiday mode, including retailers. Perhaps the most significant cue that winter and the holiday season are near, is the appearance of ever-so-familiar holiday commercials from various brands. The sentimental value placed around the holiday season makes it perfectly okay and almost heartwarming to see brands share holiday wishes with commercials that are not only familiar to the consumer, but also help stir up a warm sense of nostalgia. I wanted to share a couple of my holiday/seasonal faves with you all. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite holiday/winter commercials? Share in the comments!

Marketing mediums that shine during the holidays

It is every retailer’s favorite time of the year – the beloved holiday season. And as we wind down what has now become Black Friday “weekend,” there are some mediums that I feel are helpful in keeping consumers in-the-know about sales and such at the most appropriate times.

That’s right, I said it. Radio, which many marketers feel is a waste of budget, is helpful during the busy holiday season. People are in their cars, in and out of the stores, with making purchases on the brain. They want to get the scoop on where they need to be to get the best deals. For larger companies, radio ads during peak travel hours can be a good way to reinforce the TV spots and circulars that you’ve been pushing out. For smaller businesses, a radio spot during the holidays can be a great investment to call attention to the great items that you have to offer, along with any promotions that you have.

Online – SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
The internet has become a HUGE resource for the holidays. From gift ideas, to hunting down gifts, to pricing them out, people are using the internet like never before. Increasing your website’s visibility in search results can mean the difference between a consumer turning to you or a consumer turning to your competitor.

Online – Social Media
Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow marketers to promote posts so that they appear in consumers’ feeds. This presents a great opportunity to meet your consumers where they already are so that you can let them know how you can help them with their holiday shopping.

MobileSMS and MMS (Short Message Service and Multimedia Message Service)
While I personally struggle with the intrusiveness of mobile marketing, I cannot deny that it is a great opportunity to reach consumers and deliver relevant, location- and time-appropriate messages through a medium that is more times than not guaranteed to get the message through. For the holidays, I’d focus particularly on SMS and MMS with concise, hard-hitting messages that get the point across. Tell the consumer what he or she wants to hear, for example – “Save 50% on the entire store Thursday – Sunday at all North Carolina locations.” I would also provide users with the opportunity to “unsubscribe” to text messages to avoid the risk of running off those who are uncomfortable being reached via their mobile device.

This time of the year brings millions in front of their TV screens with prime time TV shows well into their seasons, holiday specials, and countless NBA, NFL, NCAA Basketball AND NCAA Football games showing all day and night. TV ads, of course, are very expensive; however, if this is a medium you can afford, this is definitely the time of year to use it. Be smart in your media buying and select programs that will reach your target audience and deliver quality content.

What mediums do you think are most effective for marketing during the holiday season? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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