res-o-lu-tion (noun) – a decision that reflects a determination to accomplish something important to you
Happy New Year 2k23! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a terrific year full of hope and optimism—despite continued challenges close and far from home.
This article is a repost of one I wrote a few years ago, edited, and shared at the start of each New Year. When it comes to the New Year, many commit to resolutions. Typically, our resolutions are about personal development and success—doing better in some aspect(s) of our lives.
“I resolve to…
- Lose those COVID 15 pounds I haven’t been able to drop
- Learn a new language
- Find a new job
- Finish writing that novel I started several years ago
- Waste less time on social media or watch less television
- Work longer, harder, and smarter to get promoted
- Create my own business
- Complete a triathlon”
and so forth.
We make resolutions, but most of us fail to keep all or even some of them. That’s because we require constant reminders, discipline, and, probably, a modicum of success to remain motivated to stay on track.
They also require that we take the time, devote the energy, and commit to turning our resolutions into reality. A resolution is nothing but intent without the requisite action to activate and achieve it. However, acting consistently on our resolutions is particularly difficult given the demands and busyness of life.
One of the areas where high achievers make resolutions is 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 transform ourselves into better human beings, authentic citizens of a global family, and professionals on a lifelong learning journey.
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 2023 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, 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 on superficial demographics, classifications, and stereotypes. Instead, I resolve to truly get to know and better appreciate my customers so that I can truly 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 firmly establish it in the marketplace.
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 brand 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 different, challenge the conventional wisdom in where, how, and with what we engage our customers.
To engage in evidence-based versus eminence-based marketing (i.e., how we’ve always done it, standard category practices, or what our bosses accept prima facie).
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 coach versus evaluate the work of resource groups such as my ad agency, to add value to the productivity of their work, and all ideas and tactics we employ.
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 employto 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 of us can handle, they focus on several critical and interrelated areas. Specifically, they deal with the following:
- Being customer-centric;
- Becoming a Marketect;
- Building and marketing healthy brands;
- Providing customers with a positive experience;
- Championing BIG Ideas;
- Marketing responsibly;
- Engaging in evidence-based marketing; and
- Embracing kaizen to continuously improve personal and brand development, all to make your marketing matter more.
Come to think about it, this is more than a set of resolutions. It is more like 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.
If we marketers can adopt this operational code of conduct, we’d achieve marketing excellence and make our marketing matter more.
However, we can’t achieve all these resolutions overnight. Accordingly, it might be a good idea to select the three you believe are most vital that you are currently not addressing (or addressing them entirely) and to adopt them as your resolutions for this New Year, 2023. Consider sharing this with your team and gaining their input. Importantly, commit to achieving them on both a personal and organizational level.
If you found this article helpful, please encourage your team to subscribe to and read Brand Development Network International blogs, DISPATCHES, and MARKETING MATTERS. They provide thought-provoking information that can help bolster your team’s performance. Subscribe at www.bdn-intl.com.
Also, consider following me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/richarddczerniawski/ where I share my perspectives from 50 years of successful worldwide brand marketing experience in my blog THINK ABOUT IT each week.
Are you interested in making your marketing matter even more in 2023? Please read my 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. It shares many of my learnings to help you avoid critical marketing errors and suggests actions to take your marketing to the next level.
Happy New Year, and best wishes in all you choose to do and be in 2023 and beyond!