A new year means a fresh start for your industrial marketing efforts. It’s an opportunity to devise new approaches to solving difficult marketing challenges, and time to optimize what’s already delivering results for you. It’s also time to make and execute your 2016 marketing resolutions.

Write them down, print them out, tack them to your office wall — and most of all, follow them.

Here are seven 2016 marketing resolutions that might be right for your company.

1. Be proactive about measuring program performance.
Resolve that you will no longer scramble to come up with data when management requests a snapshot of marketing performance. Instead, put in place relevant measures tied to your marketing goals that you can regularly update and review.

Consider all the metrics available to you: page views; clicks; downloads; conversions; reach; inquiries; engagement opportunities; likes; shares, and more. Some or all of these likely make sense to track based on your objectives. One significant advantage of regular measurement is that you can see at any time what’s working and what’s not and can make course corrections as needed throughout the year.

2. Put your social media accounts in order.
Many companies open social media accounts, but then the accounts whither due to neglect or ineffectiveness. Find out which of your social media accounts are most effective at engaging your target audience, and focus on those. Make sure the profiles are up-to-date and you are posting regularly. Close unused or irrelevant social media accounts. It’s better to effectively use a few social media channels than to spread yourself too thin.

3. Optimize marketing and sales alignment.
Companies that have marketing and sales teams working together to set goals, define target buyers, share information, and agree upon lead scoring and lead management processes can significantly improve performance. According to research from the B2B sales and marketing consulting firm SiriusDecisions, B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster growth and 27% faster profit growth over a three year period. Sales and marketing alignment is essential to your success. Optimize your relationship with the sales department in 2016 by working jointly to achieve shared goals.

4. Gain competitive intelligence.
A quick Internet search based on keywords can help you come up with a valid list of your competitors. You might be surprised by new entries in the market. Are you up on how your competitors are positioning and marketing themselves? Have you provided your sales team with a good library of responses to fend off competition in a sales situation?

Try developing one-page profiles of your competitors, listing their strengths, weaknesses and the reasons your company is a better choice for your customers. Make part of your resolution to review this information once a quarter, and update as needed.

5. Stay abreast of new media channels, partners, and technologies.
Industrial and technical professionals today have a multitude of digital information sources to choose from, and it seems there is a constant stream of new channels and media companies appearing on the landscape. Resolve to stay current with what’s available today, not only to identify potential channels and media partners that might enhance your marketing efforts, but also to eliminate noise and avoid chasing every fad that comes along.

6. Expand your marketing knowledge.
Given the fast pace of change in this digital era, even seasoned marketing veterans can learn something new. Take time in 2016 to read marketing research reports, log on to webinars for marketing professionals, download white papers, or attend marketing conferences (virtual or in-person).

7. Try a new marketing tactic.
Marketers can get stuck relying on traditional and comfortable ways of doing things and the same marketing tactics year after year. It’s easy to understand why you might be hesitant to break out and try something new: every dollar of your marketing budget is precious and with risk comes the potential for failure. But if you minimize risk by vetting the program to make sure it fits your marketing objectives and defining reasonable expectations, you might discover a great new asset for your marketing portfolio.

For example, you can host a webinar with a media or marketing partner. Advertise in a targeted e-newsletter. Implement a banner ad campaign across industrial sites. Sponsor industry-produced videos that your audience is watching. Get your thought leadership noticed with sponsored content opportunities. There are a multitude of new opportunities out there. Ask your media partners which ones best fit your goals and budget.

Have a good 2016 — and keep your marketing resolutions.

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