Try Some New Marketing Resolutions in 2019

If you resolved to lose weight, save money, or committed to any of the other popular New Year’s resolutions for 2019, you might be doing it wrong.

We all know that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to achieve. Indeed, some research suggests that only 8 percent of people keep their resolutions. I think this is because there’s a negative stigma attached to these things. You always have to “stop” something (eating, smoking, etc.). Or, you have to “cut back” on something (screen time, spending, etc.). This can cause an immediate sense of dread; after all, most of us would rather move forward than go back.

So it was with interest that I read a recent article in The Washington Post. The author posited the idea of doing away with New Year’s resolutions altogether in favor of something more positive: the act of trying something new. This could be something outside of a person’s comfort zone (for me, that would be riding a rollercoaster). Or, it could be something fun and different (the author gave the example of seeing a triple feature at the local movie theater).

Of course, as marketers, we can also apply this concept to our work. It can be easy to let marketing programs become stagnant, especially if those programs are working. In PR, we could pursue opportunities in the same publications; rehash the same messages; use the same social media platforms. We can get too comfortable.

But comfort can lead to lost opportunities. That’s because the marketing landscape is continually changing. Before you know it, the latest and greatest solution has come along. If you’re not on top of things, you risk losing what could be a great chance to capture the attention of your customers.

For example, a year ago no one had heard of the social media platform TikTok. Now, it seems like everyone, particularly ad agencies, are looking into its potential as a marketing tool. It was one of the most buzzed-about success stories of last year, and it came out of nowhere. Certainly, there’ll be at least one or two similar cases in 2019 that might be worth trying out.

The key is to keep an eye on things. Look for trends and do your best to ascertain the channels and topics that your customers are responding to today.

There are many ways to do this. Social media tools like BuzzSumo and other types of content aggregators can give you a sense of what your customers are reading, sharing, and searching for online. Solutions like HootSuite allow you to track mentions of your company across the Web. Google Analytics can give you a better sense of where your customers are coming from, how they found your company, and more.

These are all pretty well known solutions that’ll likely evolve with new features in 2019. Meanwhile, new and different applications will probably be introduced. I’m not saying you should try all of them–or even any of them. There are a lot of tools and platforms out there, and most of them probably won’t be right for your business. But how will you know if you don’t consider them?

But how about trying something truly new for 2019? Don’t just rely on the dashboards and data on the screen in front of you. Engage directly with the people–analysts, customers, partners–who have an immediate impact on your business. Talk to them, whether it’s on the phone, at conferences, during weekly meetings, or some other interactive venue. And when you talk, be sure to ask them what they’re seeing in the marketplace, what their needs are and, most importantly, what they’d like you to do for them in 2019.

The point is–take a flyer in 2019. Try something new that goes beyond simply making a resolution. As my colleague Emily wrote, do different and positive things–not just in January, but every day throughout the year.

I think you’ll feel pretty good about yourself and your business. And, chances are, you’ll find ways to move forward without cutting back.