January 04, 2016

Four of the world's most difficult New Year's resolutions. And one that's easy ...

Lose weight.

We all say it. We have to lose weight. Especially after the indulgences of the festive period. The trimmings. Those portions of pudding, followed by another. And another. All-butter this, full fat that. The mince pies. Another helping? Don’t mind if I do. Cheese anyone? Those extra pounds just seem to creep up, though, don’t they? We all tell ourselves we have to lose some weight. It’s just never that easy.

Stop using buzz words.

Buzz words are a part of everyday office life.  Especially for us marketing types. Those terms and phrases come out in meetings without a thought, sometimes. Are we ‘reaching out’?  No – we’re not. We’re not in the Four Tops, are we?

Oh, and Adcept? What’s that?

Ideation? Huh? 

Pre-planning? Must we plan our plan? Let’s not.

Moving forward? We’re always moving forward, so, ‘moving forward’ we’ll drop those over-used, cringeworthy buzz words. And lastly, let us think about viewability. We all want it. In this digital savvy world full of rich media (there’s another one), we want viewability. Or rather we want people to see what we do.

At Fifth Ring, we have a meeting Room called ‘the Bee room’. We store our buzz words in there. Filed under B.

Exercise more.

This resolution is difficult. We’ll walk to the shops instead of taking the car. Time to take up playing squash. There’s a racket somewhere (although it might have a wooden frame around it). We’ll think about going for a run. We might even go. Twice. We might get on our bike. Actually, we’re very keen cyclists here, so we’ll probably stick to it. Well, some of us will.

And of course, there’s the gym membership. Feel the burn. Pump. Work it till it hurts. And it does hurt. So much so, most people give up going to the gym as quickly as February.

Eat healthier.

It’s a fact that most of us need to eat healthier. But does cous cous taste as delicious as a freshly fried crispy chip, with some dip? Not on your nelly. Give us something with taste, something that makes your stomach smile. It’s all about balance, really.

Maybe it’s a good idea to eat less food that’s beige and more food that’s green. It’s a good rule, but not an overly tasty one. So by New Year 2016 we’ll be saying this again.

And now for an easier resolution.

In challenging times, it’d be wise to think about marketing very seriously, starting by thinking why you’re not marketing because nobody else is. You should be marketing because nobody else is. When times are a little harder, the common misconception is that marketing should be stopped. Huh? Really? Sorry, captain. That really doesn’t compute. 

Face it, right now, the demand for your product has changed. The market has changed. So it’s time for a change in thinking. It’s time to start looking at your product or service from your customers’ perspectives and make it more relevant to them in today’s market conditions. Don’t just play in your market. Win. What will that take? The accountants have had their day. The fat has been trimmed (see resolutions 1-3) and you’re running as a lean, mean fighting machine.

But it’s not enough.

The key to standing out is by making your proposition more relevant. Your customers are now looking for something different. So show how you’re different. Find a new differential; find your offer. Develop your proposition then say it. And say it well – not only to an external audience but equally importantly, to your own people. Everyone in your company needs to know the story and the pitch.

Take a measured approach. Ask yourself if your website is telling your new story well enough. What about your presentations. Or your marketing material. Are your ads delivering the right message?

It could be as easy as looking at what content you have, and exploring ways to use it as effectively as possible. It’s not always about creating new – it can be as simple as repurposing, using more relevant channels to tell your market that you’re not just here, but you have the best offer.

This is the sharp thinking. The ones convincing themselves that by doing nothing they’re sharpening up their operation, are perhaps doing the complete opposite.

So take our advice. Sure, do the diet, take up the gym and eat a little less.

But when it comes to your marketing, put it at the top of your resolutions list. Better still, put it on your ‘things to do today’ list.  

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