res-o-lu-tion (noun) – decision that reflects a determination to accomplish something important to you
Happy New Year 2022! It’s time to leave our shell and enter another that will contribute to our continued growth.
We’re back with an article I wrote several years ago and re-released each year to kick off the New Year! It deals with resolving to grow as marketers to make our marketing matter more.
We hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season—re-engaging with family and friends—and are looking forward to making 2022 your best. Many of us commit to resolutions when it comes to the New Year. Typically, our resolutions are about personal development and success. They’re about doing better in some aspect of our lives.
I resolve to…
- Learn a new language
- Find a new, more fulfilling job
- Finish writing that novel I started several years ago
- Waste less time on social media or watch less television
- Work longer, harder, smarter to earn a promotion
- Complete a triathlon …
and on, and on, and on. We make resolutions, but most of us fail to keep them. That’s because we require constant reminders, discipline, and, probably, a modicum of success to ensure we remain motivated and stay on track. They also require that we take the time, devote the energy, and commit to turning our resolutions into reality. This is particularly difficult given the demands and busyness of life.
One of the areas where high achievers make resolutions is in their work life. But, if you are like most people, you may find yourself so enmeshed in your day-to-day work and family life that you have not had the opportunity to make, or even reflect upon, your resolutions regarding your role as a marketer. Yes, this is about resolving and committing to becoming a more effective marketer. And to become more effective marketers, we need to work at transforming ourselves into lifelong learners, more authentically human, and trustworthy citizens of a global family. Here are some resolutions for you to consider in making your marketing matter more and/or, at the least, committing to achieving a more satisfying and successful 2022 professionally:
As a “marketer,” I resolve to:
Be, above all else, customer-centric by being a faithful servant to my intended target customers.
Resist attempts to reach out to all the customers in the category but, instead, to carefully choose, marshal, and focus available resources against a select segment of customers who believe in and appreciate the values of my brand, what it represents, and, importantly, “why” it exists.
Get beyond defining and engaging these customers based upon superficial demographics, classifications, and stereotypes. Instead, I resolve to truly get to know and better appreciate my customers to really understand and anticipate their needs and serve them better than my competition.
I resolve to become a Marketect, in the manner of the late Steve Jobs, in redefining the marketplace for my customers, to create distinctive offerings that compel customer preference and create brand loyalty.
To create a competitive brand positioning strategy built upon a big, juicy Brand Idea that disrupts the category and use it: a) as the blueprint for directing the organization; and b) to steward brand development by ensuring it is reflected in everything we decide and do, to establish it in the marketplace firmly.
To earn customers’ trust by providing “honest” products at a fair value that balances price with benefits—exercising the highest code of ethics in all decisions and actions.
To devote myself to creating a bond between our customers and the brand based upon my ability to anticipate their needs and delight them in everything the organization does to deliver on the promise embodied in the Brand Idea.
To seek to get beyond “unsights” to discover “legitimate” and “productive” customer insights that reveal deep-seated truths, values, and/or needs, our brand can better satisfy versus the competition.
To transcend product features and attributes and focus on the experience we deliver to customers.
To think differently, challenge the conventional wisdom in where, how, and with what we engage our customers.
To engage in evidence-based marketing and not fall back on eminence-based marketing.
To encourage, seek, and settle for nothing less than BIG Juicy Ideas that animate the brand and its positioning strategy to compel customer preference.
To invite collaboration to generate more impactful outcomes than those generated by any individual.
To do more listening to my extended brand team members and do less talking.
To coach versus evaluate the work of resource groups such as my ad agency to add value to their work productivity and all ideas and tactics we employ.
To take steps to enhance my personal development and capabilities to realize my potential and make a difference for the customer, brand, and organization I serve.
To avoid critical marketing errors of omission and commission that sabotage my marketing.
To embrace kaizen (continuous improvement) in making small, incremental changes to my marketing that contribute to ongoing success.
To measure, analyze, and gain knowledge regarding the effectiveness (impact and ROI) of all the marketing mix elements and tactics I employ to support the brand.
To focus my energies and time on those critical, non-urgent activities that will significantly impact brand development and health versus those non-critical but urgent activities that do little, if anything, to serve customers and advance the brand.
To make my marketing matter more!
While the suggestions mentioned above may appear to be far too many resolutions than any one of us can handle, they focus on several critical and interrelated areas. Specifically, they deal with:
- Being customer-centric
- Thinking like a Marketect
- Building and marketing healthy brands
- Providing customers with a positive experience
- Championing BIG Ideas
- Marketing responsibly
- Engaging in evidence-based marketing
- Embracing kaizen to improve personal and brand development continuously, all to make marketing matter more
Come to think about it, this is more than a set of resolutions. It could serve as an operational code of conduct for brand marketers that marries aspirational intentions in serving customers with imaginative and thoughtful strategies and actions founded in evidence-based marketing.
It might be a good idea to select the three you believe are most critical that you are currently not addressing and adopt them as your resolutions for this New Year, 2022. Consider sharing this with your team and gain their input. Importantly, commit to achieving them on both a personal and organizational level.
Thank you for your continued interest in DISPATCHES and Marketing Matters, and your productive relationship with us at BDNI. We look forward to growing our mutually productive relationship in this new year.
Are you interested in making your marketing matter more? Read Richard’s most recent book, AVOIDING CRITICAL MARKETING ERRORS: How to Go from Dumb to Smart Marketing. Learn more here: http://bdn-intl.com/avoiding-critical-marketing-errors
Happy New Year, and best wishes in all you choose to do and be in 2022 and beyond!
Richard Czerniawski and Mike Maloney