Lamb's Marketing Resolutions for 2014

New Year, New start? 2014 is already shaping up to be a big year so we've come up with a few Marketing Resolutions for 2014. Advertising  Profiling your brand by print advertising is as old as the hills and increasingly many now overlook it. However in this era of digital communication and online social sharing, there are a myriad of new ways to advertise your brand, services and products in innovative and creative ways, which really should not be forgotten.

Branding 2013 saw a number of financial brands put through the mill and their customer loyalty severely tested. 2014 needs to be a year of confidence building from the ground up – enabling the people who power the business to feel empowered. Inspiring change and a focus on your ‘own’ strategy will lead to clear market position. In conjunction with right nomenclature and engagement values, this will help to lift organisations, products and services to a new level. Customer engagement and peer review is more important than ever for the brand and organisations must look to embrace the strong customer influences of the digital world and social media.

Consultancy How about making 2014 the year of real customer focus, where marketing priorities and the products and services you market for your business are driven by customer insight? The opportunity to move away from the ‘darkened room’ approach and to give your internal thinking the acid test of customer and distributor scrutiny is challenging, but offers the potential for you to get ahead of the game, upgrade your propositions, and reap the rewards as a result.

Events/Exhibitions  We think that an area that our clients need to improve on this year is how they calculate the return on investment from their attendance at exhibitions. The only way that this can be achieved is by setting some objectives before the event, and then measuring against them afterwards. Gathering a pile of business cards and then storing them in a drawer is not acceptable.  By utilising digital tools it is easier to establish engagement numbers during the event by capturing data, and then using this to follow up with prospects and clients. Engagement and design are still important factors, but are almost worthless without measurement.

Print Print is not dead. While many may think print is a thing of the past, there are many practical uses for print media in today’s digital world. Print has been around for thousands of years in one form or another and print will continue to be an important part of society for years to come.

Reputation Management In the financial services sector, trust is key, therefore how your business's reputation and those of the people working within it are perceived externally is everything. Make sure in 2014 that you take control of your reputation in everything you do and say both externally to your clients old, new and yet to be, as well as internally, ensuring your staff feel included, energised and ready to give their best.

Social sharing Content will be crucial in 2014, if you can publish content that helps your clients meet their day-to-day challenges then it becomes instantly shareable across social media. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t (Business 2 Community), so make 2014 the year you use social media to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge within your organisation.

Websites Your resolution for 2014 is simple. Ensure that your website offers a good user experience and has an immediate impact to create the right first impression. To achieve this it needs to provide clear navigation (don’t make users think!), work on mobile devices with a responsive design, and show what sets you apart from the competition. More often than not this is the people within your business. Think about adding a contact directory with engaging profiles, producing quality video content or publishing regular commentary on the issues affecting your clients. Value adding content continues to be key.