Five business resolutions every marketer should have this New Year…

Back to work, fresh from the holiday festivities, brands and businesses are eager to break new ground, beat sales targets and embrace the latest marketing technology to put them at the cutting edge of their field. These are admirable ambitions for 2017 but making this a reality will require the adoption of five practical business resolutions.

  1. Don’t get fixated on technology – all too often there is the temptation to try and get ahead by simply implementing the latest hot technology. 2017 is certainly full of promise on this front, offering everything from cognitive computing to the latest augmented reality solutions, but to really make a difference organisations need to step back and start with the customer. Before looking at any new tech you must first understand how your customers are interacting with your brand, how they are likely to do so in the future and what disruptions there are likely to be in the market that might change the way they will do this in the year ahead.
  2. Conduct an audit – Before purchasing anything, fully understand the systems you already have. Like most businesses, you are likely to have multiple legacy systems in place that are probably not being used properly. Closely examine current marketing and data architecture and the way systems, tools and data presently connect (or fail to connect as the case may be), to give you a clear idea of where there is a genuine need for new technology. It may be that instead of implementing new technology you could get more value from using current technology better – for example by configuring it or integrating it in a smarter way.
  3. Keep it agile – Despite the pressure to deliver results quickly and show how sales targets are being beaten, it is crucial not to rush the implementation of any technology project undertaken. Indeed, 55% of big data projects fail because they can’t demonstrate value quickly enough so it’s absolutely essential to effectively manage expectations across the business. Developing a roadmap prior to implementation is essential to long-term success. Build into this roadmap incremental targets, some of which can be delivered quickly in order to demonstrate value up front, as well as clear objectives that the whole business can work towards.
  4. Choose your team wisely – You can select the best piece of technology in the world, but its true value won’t be unlocked without the right knowledge to implement, integrate and optimise it. If there is a talent gap when adopting the latest tech, consider bringing together a virtual team of subject matter experts to fill the void. Look at developing relationships with contractors or even gaining support from a third party agency that can manage this process and the required expertise. Your team also needs to include expert communicators in order to regularly keep the rest of the organisation updated about how a project’s implementation and integration process is progressing as well as highlighting success in areas where value can be demonstrated.
  5. Take time to innovate, but don’t forget the basics – There will always be new and exciting technologies and trends to explore. This is entirely as it should be and innovation is key to success but as the New Year unfolds organisations need to be mindful that they have the basic building blocks in place in order to get real benefit from any technology they purchase. What is often overlooked is the hugely important role data plays. Nearly every new trend such as A.I, cognitive computing and IoT has data at its core. Sure, data is not always headline grabbing but if you don’t have good integration between accurate and relevant data you’re going nowhere this year.

2017 is full of technological promise but there is the danger that unless certain New Year business resolutions are kept it will not be selected and implemented in the right way. In order to fully unleash the potential of marketing and data technology you need to stick to these five practical resolutions. This is not always an easy task, but with access to the right skills and expertise, it is achievable.

Over the last few weeks of 2016 we have shared our advice for achieving data technology success, featuring excerpts from the ‘Ask The Experts’ report.To read the report in full request your copy.

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