Five resolutions for making 2016 your best year ever
Break down silos and start collaborating
The return you need to generate comes from customers, no where else. But customers don’t care about your departments, they care about outcomes. So if your people are not working together with this in mind, they’re not being very effective. To transform the way your people behave, put customer outcomes at the heart of what they do.
Change the conversations you have about customers
Stop talking about your product and services in isolation and start talking about what customers are hiring them for. Change the conversation from ‘Me’ to ‘We’. Eliminate the word ‘solution’ from your communications – it makes you look like you have no idea what problems you solve. And for heaven’s sake, stop targeting them, they’re not the enemy.
Get real about your place in the world
Stop assuming you know what they really value you for and find out. Take a long hard look in the mirror and see yourself as customers do. It’s a harsh process but an important reality check. (Hint: You’re not as important as you think you are). This’ll help you brush aside the hyperbole that makes your communications ridiculous and make changes that matter to customers.
Make friends in the market
There are lots of people and organisations out there who can help you grow. Sure, some may be competitors, some might want to steal your ideas but in amongst them all, there are amazing alliances to be struck and partnerships to be forged. You just need to know where to look. If you don’t know, your customers can help you.
Invest marketing resources more wisely
The marketing guru Peter Drucker once said, “There are only two things in a business that make money – innovation and marketing, everything else is cost.” What he didn’t say was that you have to throw money at advertising agencies. Some of the most effective marketing strategies involve people, a strategy marketing agencies can’t profit from. In one organisation I worked for, we ditched a £3m advertising budget and employed a team of people to develop our market. The market quadrupled in size, our market share doubled and profits trebled. Not a bad performance.
Happy new year and good luck in 2016.