I'm not one for making resolutions. And when I have made them in the past, they were usually over before they really ever began.
Considering that it's now almost February, one could easily say that I missed the boat this year too. But as I researched ideas for this column, I came up with a good resolution that's never too late to start.
Practice what I preach.
As a marketer, I tell my clients who their best customers are, where to find them, and what to tell them once they're watching, reading or listening to the ads we develop on their behalf. Since clients want their marketing to not only be effective but efficient, we increasingly market to individuals en masse versus mass marketing.
But before you can truly build those lasting relationships with potential customers and engage them to take action, you must learn to empathize with them for who they are and what they like.
Therefore, I must consume what my clients' target costumers (who may very well be me) consume. I must at least taste the Dr Pepper to really understand why someone should want to gulp it down. I may not like its 23 flavors, but I must empathize with those who do.
I must also consume the media they consume. And participate, not be just a passive observer. With social media and comment boxes on websites, this is easier to do than ever before.
I resolve to be a better tweeter. To share my reviews and opinions on products, services, restaurants, movies, etc.
Now, here comes the tricky part. I've never enjoyed writing in the first person. It's not how I was trained. In journalism school, we were taught to be objective - to back up what we wrote with facts, stats and quotes from experts. No one cared what I thought, just what was known to be true. Even when it comes to strategic communications, press releases are written in the third person.
While my first Market Smart column was well researched and grammatically correct, I received some constructive criticism from a colleague. It was missing my voice. How I speak is much different from how I write.
At my last job, I often went to a co-worker to help add "sparkle" to my writing. Now, I must be the sparkler.
Therefore, I also resolve to find my written voice.
This column is the perfect practice and the perfect way to be forced to maintain my second resolution past Valentine's Day.
So, while late in the game, my New Year's resolution is two-fold: Practice what I preach by joining the conversation and to do so with my own voice.
I challenge you to borrow, or even steal, my late resolutions. At least take a sip.
While you alone can't possibly represent every customer, it's our jobs as marketers to know a little about a lot of different people. We need to empathize to relate. It's a trait every successful marketer must possess. And what better way can we do that, than by embedding ourselves in the world in which they ingest media and our marketing messages every day?
Want to see if I'm continuing my resolution to tweet? Follow me on Twitter @anniemares.
- Annie Mares is an account manager with Coalesce Marketing in Grand Chute. She can be reached at 920-380-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.