January always arrives with a bit of a shock. Some of it is these crazy Omaha temperatures. Some of it is the snow. And some of it is because I swear it was March two days ago.

When I look back over the last 12 months, I realize how much marketing has shifted–and how much it has stayed fundamentally the same. This year, like every campaign I run and every client I have the honor to work with, I came away with some insights that are worth remembering for the year and projects to come.

There’s a difference between different and differently.

We all know it’s insane to do the same things over and over and expect to get a different result. When you are revamping your marketing strategy, messaging, or platforms, ask yourself, are we trying something new and different or are we doing the same thing differently? Both have their place in a marketing strategy; one is approaching the same problem from an entirely new angle, and the other is taking what works and making it work harder—if it can.

It’s OK To Take Risks.

Advertising in the digital space has made us more nimble, and there are more ways than ever to reach our intended audiences. We can learn lessons about our ideal consumers in real time and adjust social media ads, change messaging, and swap images, just as quickly. It makes it easier to target an outlying demographic because the barrier to entry is low, and there is much to be gained with data gleaned from every effort. In that way, even “failed” campaigns are never a total loss; as long as we keep learning, we win.

There’s power in direct connections.

While social media and external advertising are important to raising awareness of your brand, the strongest connection is the one your customer makes directly with your company. If your website, print flyers, or sales reps aren’t building your brand, what and who is? Facebook and LinkedIn are wonderful tools, but if your best content lives on third-party sites, you’re only promoting the use of third-party sites. Direct people to your website or to your office and encourage a deeper connection. The sooner you get them on your turf, the stronger your relationship will be.

Strategy is Important.

If you know or have worked with me, you know I love a good strategy. I like to stir it into my morning coffee and let it power my client objectives. All. Day. Long. Having a sound strategy in place is the only way to make sure we’re targeting the right people at the right times, we’re delivering messaging that resonate, and that we’re not leaving anything on the table or throwing money down the drain. Taking the time to create a sound campaign strategy is one of the best ways to ensure success at the other end.

Data is King.

If a strategy builds the road to marketing success, data drives the car. At MediaSpark, we track metric after metric to make sure our client’s marketing efforts are providing a sound return. It’s getting easier than ever to get in front of the right audience; the trick is making them feel Seen, Heard, and Important–not the other way around. The way we do that is with data–if they click, when they click, how long they watch an ad, how long they stay on a page, if they convert, if sales go up after a billboard is installed, or if sales come down when we try a new approach. You can always learn something new about your audience, if you know where to look.


Ready to learn more in 2018? Keep following me on LinkedIn and give me a call when you’re ready to talk about media marketing strategies that work all year long.