The New Year isn't just about replacing the wall calendar and sauerkraut and sausage. It's also about making resolutions, reexamining goals and redefining futures. As a marketer, it's important for you to spend time evaluating last year's progress to determine what you can do to make 2011 even better. The following five New Year's resolutions will help you increase sales and grow your company this year.
1. Try something new
If it's not broke, don't fix it. We hear that all too often. Instead of relying wholly on old standbys, try something new this year. I'm not suggesting you stop doing what has historically worked for your company – definitely not. But I am suggesting that you can increase your customer base by seeking new marketing avenues. Have you ever launched a direct-mail postcard campaign? Now is the time. Or maybe you should develop a bookend campaign (postcard/e-mail/postcard). You can also test new markets by developing new uses for your products and services.
2. Host a seminar
How much face-to-face marketing did you do in 2010? A little? None? No matter how tech-savvy consumers become, the value and power of in-person meetings will never be trumped. Develop a free seminar that targets a specific segment of your customer base. Make sure you have plenty of valuable information to share. Invite guests with printed invitations and make sure each attendee goes home with a sales kit, brochure, booklet or catalog. Don't forget to hand out your business card!
3. Ask for help
Many marketers pride themselves on “knowing how to play the game,” but as recent history has taught us collaboration and young talent can bring fresh ideas that contribute to sales growth exponentially. This year, swallow your pride and ask others for marketing ideas. Start with your customers – ask them how they would like to be approached with new products and services, deals and discounts, and other promotions. A good postcard/response card campaign can accomplish this.
4. Try something other than Adwords
If you engage in search marketing, you probably purchase PPC or CPM via Google Adwords. Try out some of the other ad networks, such as Bing, and see what Facebook and other ads can do for you. Also, don't rule out self-maintained advertising sites. Look for online magazines your target audience reads, and get your ad placed prominently. Measure your results.
5. Be aggressive
Last but not least, be aggressive in your marketing. A down economy presents the perfect opportunity for long-term sales growth. Your competition is holding back to reserve funds, so go after their customers with a vengeance to leapfrog the competition when the economy turns.