Illustration of a notepad with a list

Five resolutions that make a difference


Many people start their new year off by making a list of resolutions. All too often, that list starts with the undone items from the last year—which probably won’t get done this year, either. It’s time to rethink your resolutions. Here are five unexpected things that will produce insights and results for 2018.

1. Where will your growth come from?

Figure out where your growth will come from. Too often, people plug in a percentage growth number. It’s not that easy. How are going to increase your sales?

2. Rethink CRM.

Rethink how you’re handling CRM (customer relationship management). Make it smaller, lighter and more efficient. Increasingly, as CRM tools are being tasked with keeping track of more functions, they’re becoming bloated with serious amounts of data. That extra baggage weighs them down and turns CRM into an albatross. Everyone hates it—salespeople, marketing, and operations. Reevaluate what’s essential to track. For those things, you do need to keep but are less important, figure out how to organize them intelligently so you don’t create a mess.

3. Get your message where there is no clutter.

Challenge yourself to do this one time this year: get your message where there is zero noise from other messages. And I mean total silence—no clutter.

Here are a couple of freebies. If you’re going to be at a trade show, get some custom-printed toilet paper—you’ll have someone’s undivided attention. Or put some giant structure on top of your building. (If you’ve noticed a 15-foot-tall drinking straw on the roof of a building on 3rd Street, we can neither confirm nor deny our involvement).

Your message, delivery medium, and even the location should be totally unexpected for maximum effect.

4. Try a wild tactic you’ve never done before.

Too many marketers simply tweak last year’s campaign, or they mistakenly believe that originality and creativity mean doing the latest trendy thing (which, coincidentally, several of their competitors are trying to do as well).

You don’t have to spend a lot of money in the execution, but you’ve got to spend enough to give it the opportunity to succeed. It will help you break out of your rut, and you may be surprised at how successful this new approach turns out to be.

5. Reconsider your entire strategy.

Examine every step. Rethink every assumption. Reconsider every tactic.

Your clients are changing frequently: the things that capture their attention, the technology they use, and especially the way they make decisions. So are your competitors.

Review your revenue targets, your brand, your methods of engagement. List all of your audiences, understand their demographics, identify their interests.

And again: don’t just rehash what you think you know about them from last year. Dig. And then keep digging. Figure out what they’re about, and how they’ve changed. Then, recognize how you can connect (or reconnect) with them.

Most people fail at this because they don’t dig far enough. Get to work!