Its 2011… Do you know where your marketing is?

Wow, it’s already 2011. Felt like just yesterday I was penning my thoughts on 2010 marketing strategy. Remarkably, that was by far my most popular post of the year that didn’t involve Augmented Reality, the Gartner Magic Quadrant, or One Hour Translations. Not sure why it resonated so much, but perhaps it was the simplicity of the message: Focus on the things that matter most and drive results.

So a good marketing strategist would state the obvious: “it worked in 2010, let’s go for it again in 2011” and trot out another fantastic piece about how focus is even more critical now, and come up with an updated list of three action steps to keep the good times rolling (stay focused, remove distractions and showcase results perhaps?).

But no, instead let’s turn convention on its head a bit.  Just because it was a success, doesn’t mean we should do it again this year. And conversely, just because it failed doesn’t mean we should throw it in the drawer.

By all accounts, our team met and exceeded many of its commitments this past year.  We generated new wins, closable business opportunities, grew overall pipeline and began to drive thought leadership in key areas.  It was a solid double, possibly even a triple if you are the home town scorer.

But some things still didn’t work.  Some of our campaigns fell off the table. Some of our events were originally planned as “demand generation activities” but became “thought leadership activities” in practice. We dabbled in social media, but only really dabbled. The list could go on for pages.

So what does that tell us about what do in 2011? Not much really.

At the end of the day it’s of course about long range planning and moving a market position, that doesn’t change.  But it’s also about meeting the objectives of the business in that specific year. And those objectives have changed since last year. In one unit we had a major effort to build pipeline right off the bat in Q1 of 2010 so we undertook a number of shorter term activities to meet that goal.  But the business is in a different place now, which will necessarily mean our activities should change as well.

So of course, take a lesson from what didn’t work, and try to do more of what did work. But it is far more important to make sure that the activities you are focused on are well aligned with the objectives of your business.

That is my focus for 2011, what is yours?

 

Possibly related  reading:

HBR: For more on looking back to look ahead

Chris Brogan on Cleaning up your marketing for 2011

Ted Weismann of Lois Paul & Partners on B2B Marketing & Location Based Services in 2011

 

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. […] blog a few years back.  In 2010 my key message was “Focus, Focus, Focus” in 2011, it was “Align your activity with the current business objectives.” Both of those are as valid today as they were […]

  2. […] a way to reflect on what has worked and what has not.  You can read my 2010 post about focus,  my 2011 post about what works, or my 2012 post on being different using the embedded links. […]

  3. […] a way to reflect on what has worked and what has not.  You can read my 2010 post about focus,  my 2011 post about what works, or my 2012 post on being different using the embedded […]

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