It’s February now, and if you are anything like me, at this point, you have given up on all of your resolutions. Good.
As far as I’m concerned, February 1st is the New New Year and it’s time to make some changes.
By now, you and your team are probably putting the finishing touches on your marketing plans for 2016. Your color-coded Gantt charts are nicely formatted, and printed out in large format above your desks – a constant reminder of all of the promotions you have in market, and all the things that are coming around the corner, and all of the sales you are going to run from Black Friday to Cyber Week to Pre-Christmas to Boxing Week. Perfect.
Now I want you to make a resolution with me for the New New Year, it’s really quite simple: Close your eyes, and jab your finger at one of the lines on your perfect Gantt chart, now take your pen, (mine’s a Sharpie Magnum) and cross it from the list.
I want you to resolve to kill one of your sales. Kill it completely, like REI did this past year. Don’t just down-size it, completely stop doing it.
I want you to resolve to kill one of your sales.
Now count the cost of that sale. Count everything. From the promotional budget for it, to the cost of ideation, design and copy-writing, to the cost of the margin that you sacrifice when you slash prices. Add all of that up, and invest all of it in your people.
Throw them a party, give them support to pursue their goals, give them time to be innovative for your brand, let them renovate their offices, send them to a conference. Make their experience working for your brand the most rewarding thing they do all year.
When you run a sale, you convince people to make a transaction with your brand. When you invest in your people, you are helping people to like your brand. One is a cost, the other is an investment. Not only that, but removing one (or all) of your sales will force you to do real marketing rather than just shouting and waving your arms around, hoping to grab someone’s attention.
When you invest in your people, you are helping people to like your brand.
Make the resolution, do it now before you forget, or lose your nerve.
So happy New New Year, way better than the old New Year. After all, if we had told you to do any of this in January, we all know you would have given up on it by now…