8 Must Have Company Objectives for 2014

Debra Ellis President, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Posted on January 6th 2014

8 Must Have Company Objectives for 2014

2014 Company To Do List

Growing a business is challenging. Changes in the marketing environment are happening faster than ever before. Customer expectations are evolving as new technology empowers people. The companies with the best customer relationships have a competitive edge. Developing those relationships requires an understanding of your community so you can provide solutions to real problems.

The New Year is an excellent time to make changes. People have been trained to expect updates and adaptations when the calendar rolls over. Use this opportunity to create and implement a plan that improves relationships and solidifies your company’s position as a market leader. Here are some objectives to get you started:

  1. Complete an Audit of Your Marketing Strategy – Most marketing plans in place today have evolved over time. Tactics and channels that worked well in the past lose effectiveness as the marketplace changes. Performing a complete audit of your marketing strategy highlights areas that need revision or elimination. The audit must be objective to be effective. If your marketing team is too enamored with specific areas to provide that objectivity, bring someone in from the outside.
  2. Improve Your Customer and Prospect Segmentation – Providing relevant content to the people participating in your communities is the best way to keep them active. An in-depth knowledge of their needs and expectations is needed along with an efficient delivery system. Good segmentation makes the process easier and more effective. It also contributes to finding new opportunities to serve customers and grow your business.
  3. Find New Channels and Platforms – Your customers and prospects participate in a multitude of channels and platforms. The obvious ones are not always the most effective place to market. Dedicate some time to find and test new places. This expands your marketing reach and opens doors your competitors may have missed. Without a clear initiative to research the marketplace, another year will pass with missed opportunities.
  4. Get Creative with Traditional Marketing – Old school marketing tools are still effective. Direct mail, telemarketing, and email continue to acquire customers and deliver sales. You could stay the course and still get good results. Or, you could get creative and find new ways to use traditional marketing to connect with customers. Challenge your marketing team to find better ways to solve problems using proven tactics.
  5. Become a Multi-channel Multi-screen Marketing Powerhouse – Accessibility to your company across multiple channels with multiple screens is a necessity. Start by identifying how people access your competitors today and compare the results with your accessibility. This provides a starting point for planning your improvement project. The easier you make it for people to contact with your company the more likely your sales will increase.
  6. Create a New Social Media Strategy – Your current social media strategy may be effective today but that won’t last. Changes in the channel are already affecting marketing results. Don’t wait until platforms have become ineffective to create a new strategy. Having the plan in place before it is needed keeps the ever evolving channel from undermining your marketing efforts.
  7. Improve Your Marketing Analytics – Data is readily available. High-quality analytics have to be derived from a sea of data. Invest resources in acquiring and using actionable information that can be used to grow your business. Data acquisition for the sake of comparison has little value if the information acquired is it used to improve marketing and service.
  8. Tear Down the Walls Between Marketing and Service – Seamless customer experiences require marketing and service departments to work together. Start by improving the exchange of information and rewarding interdepartmental cooperation. Customers and company win when barriers are removed and trust is established.

Debra Ellis

President, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Debra Ellis is a business consultant, author, and speaker. She specializes in showing companies how to improve customer acquisition and retention using integrated marketing and service strategies. Her latest marketing guide, 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing, is a practical resource for marketers seeking better results with minimal investment. Her engineering background provides statistical insight to finding actionable data that can be used to grow companies and reduce costs.

She is recognized as an expert in marketing from direct mail to social media, customer behavior, and strategic planning. Her expertise is often tapped by media sources including: The New York Times, CNN/Money.com’s Small Business Makeovers, Target Marketing, Multichannel Merchant, and MarketingProfs.

Her marketing guides include 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing, Social Media 4 Direct Marketers, and Marketing to the Customer Lifecycle.

Debra loves the art and science of multichannel marketing. She is a student and teacher of the methods that transform shoppers into buyers and buyers into lifelong customers. In 1995, she founded Wilson & Ellis Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in creating strategies that make channels and departments work together to optimize the customer experience. Since then, she has worked with over a hundred distinguished clients such as Costco, Edmund Scientifics, Jacuzzi, Ross-Simons Jewelry, and The Body Shop.

Prior to founding her firm, Debra was instrumental in the record growth of Ballard Designs, Inc. while serving as Chief Operating Officer. Today, she uses her experience and expertise to show executives how to successfully navigate marketing channels and integrate activities to profitably grow their business. Her practical approach maximizes the return on investment.

She can be reached via email at [email protected]. She blogs at http://multichannelmagic.com/blog

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Sofie De Beule
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 11:07AM

Hi Debra

Thanks for providing us with some good easy-to-use objectives for 2014. I'm curious to know what your social media marketing strategy for 2014 would be. I'm Community Manager at Engagor, an all-in-one social media management tool that allows you to engage with your customers.

I'm sure you can provide us with a clear strategy for 2014. What will be your key focal points?




Posted on January 16th 2014 at 9:47AM

Hi Sophie,

My recommended key focal points are:

- Improve postings on Google+. The SEO benefits are incredible.

- Use social media sites to capture informaiton that allows direct and personal communication. Specifically, this includes capturing email and postal addresses so you can use traditional marketing to reach a broader audience.

- Improve measurement of leads and conversions. Prospects and customers acquired via social media tend to be very different from those acquired via other channels. Monitoring everything allows you to design a social strategy that effectively moves people down the conversion path.

- Follow your customers' lead to define activity on specific platforms. We're seeing a significant reduction in Facebook response for many of our clients. The question that we have to answer is, "Are they moving from Facebook to another platform or leaving social media?" That answer will most likely be different for every company. Platform changes are easy because you simply follow your crowd. Leaving social media requires a reassessment of your total marketing strategy.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for your response and questions.

PS: On a personal note, my focal point for the first two weeks was to kick the flu. I apologize for the delayed response.

Barbara Mckinney
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 8:08PM

Success is all about planning and planning begins with having appropriate objectives in mind.Thanks for sharing this Debra!

Posted on January 16th 2014 at 9:35AM

Thank you Barbara.

Abhijit Sen
Posted on January 15th 2014 at 6:43AM

Growing a business is challenging. Here are some objectives that will assist to improve relationships and grow your business in 2014. Thanks for sharing this post.

Posted on January 16th 2014 at 9:34AM

Thank you.