2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year for marketers. With the economy expanding, new opportunities are opening up to expand brands, gain market share, and do some interesting creative. Trend like mobile are rapidly transforming marketing, making it a wonderful time to try new things. So how do you meet the new year with all its new challenges? Some simple tips can skyrocket your productivity:
1. Measure Better: Swear off “vanity metrics,” like (usually) bounce rates. Also, know that different campaigns require different metrics, and familiarize yourself with them. For instance, B2C campaigns can be measured in impressions and direct conversions, while a B2B campaign needs to be measured in leads, size of leads, and lead quality. Measure these things and you’ll have an efficient dashboard.
2. Go with Your True Style: “Square peg in a round hole creative” is what I call creative done in a style that is not authentic to its creator. Whether you’re a writer, visual artist, or front-end developer, or lead a team of all of the above, you know it’s a sad thing when you create something alien to your aesthetic. Worse, it takes a long time and it looks mediocre.
3. Strike when Inspiration is Hot: You are 5 times as fast when energized by a fresh, good idea. So plan your work, when possible, to take advantage of that energy. Install the WordPress app on your phone and jot down thoughts on the train. Do you have your best ideas at 7am? Then it’s a good time for you to get stuff done, even if nobody else is around.
4. Don’t Be Wishy-Washy: You get asked by a client or stakeholder to do something that is a waste of time. This happens to marketers a lot, based on outdated information or urban myths of marketing or personal taste. Inexperienced marketers tend to go down wrong roads because they were told to. Experienced marketers have the confidence to say no to fads, failed strategies, and fictions. Smart people will respect you more when you offer guidance, rather than just execution.
5. Keep a Neat Workspace: This may be a small thing, but investing in organization will save you hours. Grandmother was right.
6. Have Days When You Work from Home: Offices are wonderful. There’s opportunities to share ideas, camaraderie, and free coffee. But as more marketing is focused on in-depth, artistic-quality creative, you need to focus. Set aside some time to retreat to your home office, library, or even behind a closed office door if you have one and write, design, or code.
7. Talk and Listen to Salespeople: They are on the front lines, and for a B2B operation to work, you need to get raw insights from talented salespeople. They know what the customers want, they know what the competition is doing. They can give you the invaluable qualitative data on why a specific type of lead converts well, making it easier to shape messaging to grow leads. By the same token, a good sales process needs to be a closed loop with marketing to make leads pay off, with tight alignment on messaging, good lead followup, and a willingness to share. When you work hand in hand with sales, great things happen, leads stop “leaking” and start converting, and revenue grows.