Marketing Resolutions that Stick (for real this time)

By Camille Blanchard, VP, Head of Innovation, West Cary Group

It’s the kickoff to a new year, which means blank slates and fresh starts. It’s time to innovate in your industry, set goals for your company and make resolutions for 2016. But did you know that 92 percent of people who set goals are unable to achieve them?

Those are terrible odds. That’s why, in order to keep you firmly in the other 8 percent, WCGi is sharing a few marketing resolutions you can make – and keep.

1.     Establish a learning agenda early. We know that it takes time to get the wheels churning again after a long holiday saturated with television and turkey. But the sooner you set an aggressive agenda, the sooner you can recognize breakout success – and we suggest taking a good long look at emerging tech and mobile.

Piper Jaffray called virtual reality (VR) the next mega tech theme. It will make use of cutting-edge headsets and innovative content to morph into a business giant –to the tune of $60 billion in 10 years. The world is already waiting with bated breath to see what the Oculus Rift – set to be released in Q1 with an expected price tag of at least $350 – will mean for the VR landscape

Then, too, there’s an opportunity to exploit the more modest, less cost-prohibitive marketing virtues of Google Cardboard, with prices starting at a mere $23.95. With more than 80 percent of a mobile user’s time being spent in-app, brands have their receptive audience. Now they need to think of creative ways to excite it to create brand lift.

2.     Prepare for the disruption that is artificial intelligence (AI). Last year’s marketing was about cultivating data in order to deliver richer, more personalized experiences. This year, take your campaigns a step further. The marketing intelligence firm Tractica released a report revealing that the market for enterprise AI systems will increase from $202.5 million in 2015 to $11.1 billion by 2024.

Pay attention to this impending advancement and figure out how you can leverage AI’s rapid learning and customization features to save time, accelerate sales and improve ROI. When big data and AI come together, it can be a beautiful union that produces customized content at the perfect time for the ideal individual. With that kind of power at your disposal, you won’t create a campaign that just speaks to an individual; it will practically sing.

3.     Remember that content is (still) king. According to PQ Media’s Global Content Marketing Forecast, brands will spend $313 billion on content marketing in 2019. But forget about simply telling your brand story. Wield AR and VR to tell it richly. There’s ample opportunity for budgets of all sizes.

Take advantage of branded entertainment to cut through the clutter. In a report last June, YouTube reported an 85 percent increase in viewership of branded content from its top 100 brands. Engage. Share your tale richly. And most of all, ask yourself, “How can I create value for the consumer?” Then do whatever that is.

4.     Experiment. Don’t throw caution to the wind, but do take calculated risks that move your business forward. Even the most progressive cultures can struggle with the concept of innovation and risk-taking, but those who don't embrace the new will be left behind (ahem, Blockbuster?). Adopt the ideals of serial experimentation and rapid prototyping in order to learn quickly and fail early. To do so, follow these rules shared by Tom Chi, CPO and Head of X at Factory:

#1: Find the quickest path to experience.

#2: Doing is the best kind of thinking.

#3. Use materials that move at the speed of thought to maximize your rate of learning.

Always set specific goals that are actionable and attainable to keep your growth on track. As the Roman poet Horace said, “Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.”

When taken together, these resolutions might sound daunting, but you don’t have to forge ahead alone. We happen to know a performance marketing firm with an eye on innovation and a finger on the pulse of the digital landscape. Contact WCGi, and we can collaborate on the marketing goals that make sense for your business and how you can best achieve them. Let’s partner soon and get 2016 off to a great start. 

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