What are you going to aim to do next year? I have already spoken about Everything Everywhere (not the network) in my previous post, below are some of the steps we should all be taking now and in the future to start to deliver campaigns, experiences and stories with real relevance and cut through.

Imagination

R is for Reading

We all need to start reading more from more varied sources, find the books from the leaders in the field and read them hell even write a book review or two. Make sure you also read from outside your field too, the more rounded your perspective the more it will help you think laterally about problems and challenges you may face. Read blogs and posts from those people who have really disrupted the marketplace, these are the guys at the forefront of the new business wave. Bill gates was once asked “Who is your greatest competition?” his answer …. “It will be a company that does not even exist yet” … in comes Google. Reading helps you gain prospective and stay on top of trends, but dont just take it in aimlessly, question everything.

E is for Engaging

Whether its engaging your audience or your peers, it’s easier than ever to create conversations. You must find reasons to engage with people and create mutual opportunities that can flourish into relationships to deliver advantages to both sides of the table. In the social space we must aim for our brands to be treated more like people, having everyday human conversations, rather than using your social presence to broadcast company messaging in the vien hope that someone might share your offer … time to think for the long term.

S is for Social

Social is everywhere, whether you’re a B2B or B2C organisation, campaigns must be always have a social element. It may be difficult at the time to look at the causation of social activity (i.e. did that link it that tweet deliver a sale) we must all start to look the the correlation of social (admittedly a harder sell to your CEO) while this may be difficult to measure, it will help you understand if you’re moving in the right direction; are you improving brand equity; increasing (overall) sales; increasing shareholder value and decreasing in overheads (through efficiencies)?

O is for Observing

Observing people, not what they say they are going to do, but actually what they will do. It’s a tricky skill that relies on historic information (ok I guess I need to use the word Data here) and intuition. Getting both right can lead to compelling ideas that can move markets and redefine brands. Observing your audience will help you define your challenges, stop paying lip service to this next year and really get into your audience.

L is for Love

It’s something that I probably go on too much about but emotion drives sharing, sharing drives a deeper understanding and action, actions drive preference, preference drives decisions. Decisions lead to sales. A recent study by LinkedIn and TNS ‘The Mindset Divide’ showed that emotional campaigns have greater effect than rational ones. We all need to start focusing on the why more and less about the what.

U is for Understanding

Reports and results are very important, tracking activity and candosuccess should be part of any campaign or experience you deliver. While the numbers are important you must understand what they mean to allow you make more informed decisions against you next activity. Understanding also means taking the time to really research things that matter most to you, with the masses of content available it’s all too easy to skim over it, get into the nitty gritty. Finally for understanding, ask WHY, why brings clarity and helps alignement of you to your audience.

T is for Technique

When it comes to digital and content marketing, we must change our techniques, we should all be thinking as “Marketing as a Service”  rather than a message. How can our messages, content and digital experiences make our audiences lives easier or better yet better! How can we give our audience the opportunity to engage with us on a daily basis and share those interactions easily with their networks.

I is for Initiative

Simply … take some of it. “Imagination & graft is more important than knowledge & talent” (A slight adaption from something Einstein once said). If you have an idea … go for it … don’t take no for an answer. The worst that will happen is you will fail and learn lots in the process, this will make your next idea that much better. We live in a high speed world that is becoming less and less about planning and more and more about testing. Start to test your ideas in the early stages more, but have the idea first, don’t wait to be told what your idea should be.

O is for Objectivity

Ok this won’t be easy to hear … but it needs to be said. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BRAND (at least the way you do). To think someone is going to buy your product because you think it’s great is both naive and foolish, however great your latest product update. Start to think about whats stopping people from buying your product. Being objective means you’ll look at truth about you and your audience in as many different ways as you can before making a more informed decision about how to best tackle it.

N is for Never

Never stop moving forward, progressing, learning, influencing, enjoying, creating, connecting and having fun (a word not used enough as part of our working lives). Stopping is the next step to backwards. Keep going, you’ll get there!