Marketing

3 Marketing Tactics to Avoid Next Year

3 Marketing Tactics to Avoid Next Year
Image credit: Horia Varlan | Flickr
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While a new year presents an exciting opportunity for a fresh look at your marketing techniques, it’s also the time to think about what to nix from your strategy. 

For 2015, here are three resolutions you should not make. Instead think about integrated and holistic marketing solutions as you plan. 

Related: Beware the Promise to 'Fix' Email

1. Don’t double down on email.

I get it. Email is easy, inexpensive and prevalent. But when you consider your marketing mix, focusing solely on email can be a mistake. Since email is cheap, it’s also incredibly overused. In fact, email volume has shown tremendous increases since 2012.

When using email, aiming for strong engagement is a good start. But those prospects should be nurtured and engaged with quality, value-focused content to further qualify them -- and that requires even more emails.

Keep in mind that the more emails you blast, the lower your engagement rates will be.

In an effort to stand out and not oversaturate buyers' inboxes, go where competitors aren’t going. This doesn’t mean email marketing can’t be part of your overall strategy but it shouldn’t be the entire strategy.

If you expand your marketing efforts to reach buyers through a variety of methods, including online and offline touch points, you may see exponentially larger returns. 

When you overdo something, you'll tend to end up with a diminishing return. So instead try to be open-minded and not invest the lion’s share of your efforts in email alone.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Metrics for Business Leaders

2. Avoid becoming weighed down by your approach to analytics.

If there’s one word that became more popular than selfie this year, it’s analytics. While data can be a great asset to effectively guide a marketing strategy, many marketers struggle to leverage the insights available to them.

While it's worthwhile to continue measuring email opening rates, click-throughs and website hits, make 2015 the year that you commit to taking a deeper look at your customer and prospect interactions. Doing so can have an incredibly positive impact, not only on your marketing but also on your business as a whole. 

Do some homework. Look at your current customers and determine how they were introduced to your business. If they initially arrived as in response to marketing, what did they respond to? See if you can identify trends and what attracted the prospects that converted into customers.

Now go deeper, examining such things as how many marketing interactions the sales prospect had before becoming a customer and the messages that had the most impact. With this granular analysis, you’ll begin to understand what resonates with your customers and be able to focus on creating marketing initiatives that attract more people like them.

3. Don’t plan the entire next year in December.

It can be tempting to try to plan your marketing for the coming year before 2014 even ends.

Don’t make this mistake. Remember marketing always ebbs and flows. Sometimes your best-laid plans won’t deliver the results expected. while the effort you’re least excited about will net great returns. 

Set goals for the next six months. Keep them detailed but loose enough so that they can be adapted if need be. Then for the last half of next year, you can loosely budget based on what you estimate you’ll need.

For example, you likely know the events you’re planning to sponsor or exhibit in, so incorporate them in concrete budget items. For everything else, set aside the cash in generally allocated buckets so that you can pull from the allotments but not be married to a plan that you’re not sure will pan out.

Remember most marketing techniques eventually come full circle. Everything has its season and being flexible lets you stay in the moment and choose what works at any point in time. If you have success with your initiatives for the first six months, you can keep what’s working and weave that throughout the remainder of the year. 

If you’re looking to make 2015 the year for amplified marketing impact and heightened revenue, be willing to enter somewhat uncharted territory. Don’t be afraid to set aside the easy paths and consider a marketing mix that combines the best of online and offline techniques.

Try to go deeper with your analytics and use it to inform and fuel your choices from a holistic angle. And lastly, by choosing not to bite off more than you can chew, you'll stay agile and able to bob and weave as the industry (and your results) dictate you should. 

Related: 3 Influencer Marketing Secrets to Steal in 2015