I actually have about 25 of these, but if I ever wanted anyone to read to the end, I thought I should focus on the top 4… So, in no particular order, I wanted to address four items that I consistently saw overlooked or misunderstood in 2009 that I’d love to see corrected in 2010:
- Well-Balanced Search Approach – So this isn’t new, but what is new, is more and more companies will start to rely on their analytics package to see that paid search and organic search go hand-in-hand. When you remove your paid search out of your marketing mix, your organic search leads/sales/etc will undoubtedly fall off as well. You will need one voice, and one campaign structure with one owner making sure all of your campaigns are being judged on an apples-to-apples basis. No longer can you have each of your 50 different divisions competing against yourself internally and driving up the cost of your own brand name in keywords! You must know how your search is performing and how it affects everything else around you.
- Weight your Marketing Mix – A marketing mix does not mean you give 20% to TV, 20% to radio, 20% to internet, etc. It means you truly assign value to your goals, and identify which mediums will be able to most effectively reach those goals in the most cost efficient way. If you have always run TV, and it’s worked for you pretty well in the past – you still need to branch out and push your limits. You might be able to reach the same audience in a more affordable manner. That’s not to say that you should cancel your TV all together, but you should definitely align yourself with a nimble agency or marketer who can test small amounts of money in new mediums and guide you to the appropriate budget allocation that makes up your marketing mix. If the economy in 2009 didn’t teach us anything else, you must know your most cost efficient marketing mix that delivers results.
- Don’t Hire an Agency to ReDesign Your Website – The greatest websites in the world don’t do you any good if nobody knows how to find it. Make sure the agency you hire thoroughly studies your analytics or log files and understands your current audience, and then cross references it against your objectives before building out any design. Many firms forget the latter before going into redesign mode, and what they may be missing is that an improper structure can drive more visits to pages you don’t care as much about – so make sure your analytics match your goals, and then improve upon them. Just as importantly, make sure the design firm or agency understands how to drive traffic to your site after the build is complete. Too often we see great ideas built out with no realistic way of executing them – so don’t hire an agency to redesign your website, hire them to infuse life into it with a purpose and a plan.
- Build a Strategy for Social Media (if you haven’t already) - Yes, every college kid out there knows Facebook and MySpace, but that doesn’t mean they understand marketing or your clients/customers. Determine if you even need a presence, and if so, on what locations – but please, don’t put it in the hands of the intern just because he/she has 10,000 followers on twitter.
Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2010 be the economic boom you always dreamed about! Finally, here’s the New Years in Raleigh Flash Mob if you haven’t seen it yet – check it out: