As I went for a run this morning I started thinking about New Year’s resolutions. And then I thought, why wait a few days, start now!

Started today

So to share with you all, here’s one of my resolutions that I started today. I’m going to eat a more balanced diet and one of my secret weapons is raw virgin coconut oil. It’s apparently good for the immune system, the heart (blood pressure and cholesterol) and helps bones absorb vital minerals. Sounds good to me. And all I had to do was add a spoonful to my smoothie. Tick, done, doing it again tomorrow!

What are your resolutions? Are they personal or for your business?

If you’re thinking about your business here are a few thought starters. I wish I had a dollar for every time I ask a senior manager why do they do marketing that way and they answer, “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

We are creatures of habit and whilst marketing campaigns change their creative spots most marketers do the same strategies year in year out.

Mix things up in 2012

Whether you’re the CEO, Marketing Director, coordinator or agency service person, challenge the norms and conventional marketing activities in your business. Here are a few ideas for 2012:

  • Welcome campaign. Companies generally do a poor  job of welcoming customers into their brand world. They spend so much time and budget acquiring customers and then just assume they’ll understand all about their products or services. Do you do a good enough job at communicating about all the channels and services available to customers in your brand world? And if you think you do, how are you measuring it?
  • Onboarding strategy. In addition to informing new customers with a welcome campaign you need to ‘onboard’ them to become engaged with your brand. You should start to migrate customers into their channels of choice and measure the level of success. How many of you are measuring the different customers that regularly click through on emails, or have commented in your social networks or actively engaged in relevant content sections of your website?
  • Lifecycle targeting. Do you do regular one-size-fits all customer communication or have you tried targeting different segments of customers with different communication and offers at various stages throughout their lifecycle? If the former, then think about a simple 6 or 12 month tailored thank you message for being a customer.
  • Advocacy program. Are you harnessing your best customers to spread the word for your business? Delve into your database and discover which customers are valuable (ie: have purchased multiple products fairly regularly from you) and which ones are ‘actively engaged’ with your brand (ie: customers that have regularly clicked through on emails that you’ve sent them over the past 6 months, have commented fairly regularly in your social networks or website, or have used an app that you may have created). Or better still find the customers that regularly share information that you create (ie: send to a friend, retweet, like, share, +1 etc) And then create a unique, VIP style offer and see how your valuable customers start to spread the word on your business.

So please don’t just change your advertising campaign executions in 2012. Challenge conventional thinking. Do something different. Treat customers as you’d like to be treated. And most of all, have a bit of fun!

Happy New Year everyone.