In addition to these exciting developments, the new year is, of course, a great time to take stock and make some resolutions to help everyone improve in 2020. What did the marketing landscape look like just a few years ago, and what new goals and skills should we be exploring in 2020 and beyond?
Out with the old…
In 2016, I made a few marketing resolutions. How are they holding up against the inexorable measure of time? Let’s check it out:
- Use videos, GIFs, memes and other supplements in engaging marketing materials. Check. ✅ This may be increasing in importance for marketers moving forward because there’s more media out there than ever before. You may not be a Star Wars fan, but Baby Yoda has had more organic impact on people’s hearts and minds than any recent paid marketing campaign. And there’s innate value in that.
- Try to avoid buzzwords. This is difficult nowadays, but I think content is coming back around from its buzzy heyday. Your customers and prospects are inundated with long-winded messaging every day. If you say what you mean, in straightforward language, your customers and peers will thank you.
- Make sure you know where your customers are. And where they’re not. For example, if you’re a more traditional B2B company, Snapchat might not be the right channel for you. But what is? There are so many new things to explore, from live video to chatbots. What channels are going to be key for you this year and into the future?
- Talk to your clients and customers more. I like this one so much, I (*spoiler alert*) included it in this year’s resolutions as well. It’s time to get out there, have conversations and set new goals for more improvement in 2020 and beyond.
- Post more frequently on your blog and reuse original content. It’s great to create awesome content once—why not use it on multiple channels to maximize its impact? But let’s take this a step further in 2020 and talk about how you’re reusing content and how that maps to your ideal buyer journey (more on that below!)
…in with the new!
In light of what we accomplished in 2016-2019, what should be our focus in 2020 and beyond? It’s a fresh decade, and I’d argue that marketing and sales are more important to organizations than ever before. Here are the marketing resolutions that we’re hoping to focus on—let us know what you think of them in the comments, or give us a shout on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook!
1. Check in on social media: You’ve heard it a hundred times, and we’ll say it again; social presence is important. And for execs, it’s often easier to adopt a “do like I say, not like I do” approach. But on the executive level, social is a critical piece of being a true industry thought leader. If you have something to say about your growing industry, exciting new product or terrific people, social media is one of the best ways to get the message out.
2. Make sure your content is aligned to your buyer journey: The buyer journey isn’t going away; in fact, it’s getting increasingly more complex. As seen in the graphic from Gartner below, it’s a complicated process to look across all of your marketing and sales efforts to parse out exactly what your potential customer is seeing and doing. Are you considering all channels? What are the touch-points for each of those channels, and how do they intersect? Is your customer getting snagged up at form on your website, or are you delivering the wrong content to the wrong audience?
We don’t have the easy answers to any of these questions (and we doubt anyone does), but just asking the right questions about the journey can begin to help you support your customers in reaching their destination: purchasing the right product for them when they’re ready.
3. Look to the new tech on the horizon, but don’t lose sight of your goals in favor of “shiny objects”: Technology moves pretty fast, and it’s true that if you don’t pay attention, you will get left behind. (Just browse through the haze of 2020 technology predictions, and you’ll see my point.) These are exciting marketing times, but don’t miss the forest for the trees—it’s easy to get caught up in the latest snazzy trends to try and garner clicks and interest, but your core message shouldn’t suffer. Your customers do need to know that you are knowledgeable about what’s happening in the industry, but they also need to know that you have the stability to ride out the tech winds of change as they ebb and flow.
4. Have a conversation: You’re busy. We get it! And we’re guilty of this sometimes, too. But through the floodgate of work and higher priorities, it’s always important to take a step back and reassess. Can you do a check in with your clients to see how things are going, or if there are other ways you can help them? Or should you check in with your people to see where they’re at in their goals for the year? Communication goes a long way toward ongoing improvement for 2020 and beyond
5. Measure the results and adjust accordingly: You might have the data, but what does it mean? You might be churning out content at a rapid rate, but if you’re not revisiting it periodically to check on how it’s performing, you might be missing out on some key opportunities to optimize. We recommend doing a content audit at least every other year; taking into account all core content, blogs and other pieces by topic and stage of the buyer journey. There are a hundred ways you can slice it once you know what content you do have, and it presents a critical opportunity to re-purpose, fill in missing topic gaps, or brainstorm fresh ideas.
Will it be the “roaring 2020s” for marketers this decade? Leave us a comment and tell us your biggest marketing new year’s resolutions!
Author: Audrey Pennisi, Outlook Marketing Services