I can’t believe that another year has drawn to a close. I realise it sounds horribly clichéd, but it really does seem that each year gets faster than the last! Given how quickly 2013 came and went, I would like to share with you the marketing lessons I’ve learnt (or had reinforced!) across the past 12 months. I hope this will inspire you and your organisation to have a quick think about your marketing & fundraising successes (and failures!) this year, and how you may look to incorporate these into your 2014 plans.
1. Don’t be afraid to try
You never know what is going to work until you try it, and you have no data to work with until you test your approach with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to try more than one approach and see what works best. The results may just surprise you!
2. You will make mistakes
Learn from them. Laugh about them. I don’t mean that to sound frivolous, but even the best of us make mistakes. The best just also jump back up and keep on going. Make a mistake once, note it, and move on. If you’re not making mistakes, it’s likely you’re not innovating as much as you should be. Just try to avoid making the same mistake more than once. Aim to make new ones!
3. A great team is the key to success
Work with a great group of people that you can rely on. Trust them to try new things and challenge your thinking. Foster great discussions and on ensure that you really are working to bring out the best in all of your colleagues/team.
4. Use the data you have
Even if it’s very basic data, it’s still useful! And in the marketing (and fundraising world), it’s sometimes all we have. Yes, it would be lovely if we all had data warehouses and data analysts galore (let alone the ‘big data’ of large supermarket chains), but sometimes it’s as simple as starting with basic segments, seeing how they perform and then tweaking your approach. Don’t be scared of data and don’t berate yourself for not having enough of it. If you don’t have enough, consider creating one new collection mechanism per month and slowly building up your data set in the new year.
5. Share with your peers
We all get stuck in ruts sometimes, and it can be hard to see past the end of our offices /cubicles at times. Take the opportunity to network both in and outside the office where you can. Forge connections on LinkedIn, ask and answer questions of your network and try to find yourself a mentor (or a mentee if you’ve got oodles of experience that you feel you could share). When we share, we all benefit from it.
Given these lessons, I’m making a New Year resolution to continue to invest in my networks, to remain data focused and to continue to innovate and reward great team collaboration.
What will you do?
Best of luck in 2014!