73: New Years Advertising Resolutions

Mayan ProphetIf the Mayans are right, and 2012 is the end of the world as we know it, you’ll want to make 2011 count. To ensure your company goes out with a bang, permit me to suggest some constructive advertising twists to the most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Lose Some Weight
Take a lot of the unnecessary bulk out of your first impression pieces—ads, direct mail, and signs—and free those pictures and headlines to sell your message. Let your Web site be a glutton for information, but keep your teaser media to just the necessary facts and photographic sizzle. With some exceptions (like farm sales), if the buyer won’t spend the energy to go to the Internet for more information, they’re probably not going to participate in bidding, either.

Get More Organized
Be ready for those red line deadlines by establishing templates and style sheets for each size of direct mail you might use and the typical print & online ad sizes you’ll be using. Not only will design happen more efficiently, but you’ll be building your brand the way Fortune 500 companies do: strict consistency.

Stop Smoking
Habits are comfortable, even the unhealthy ones. We start to see the world through the lenses of our personal traditions and rhythms. The auction culture and rhythm might be all you’ve known but foreign to the person who will pay the most for the asset next up on the block. Make 2011 the year you look at your advertising from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about auctions and cares only about buying what you’re selling. Also, make this the year you see social Web sites as conversation environments, not broadcast channels.

Get on a Budget
Talk to your direct mail printer to create a price grid of your common brochure and postcard sizes and quantities; get prices in advance that you can use to more quickly and dependably insert into your proposed budgets. [If your printer won’t do this, know that several of my print shops do; and I’ll be happy to connect you with them.] Create a spreadsheet of your market’s newspapers’ respective pricing, column widths, and deadlines. You can also take this spreadsheet with you to client meetings. Being able to make knowledgeable adjustments on the fly will impress your sellers.

Further Your Education
Few of us are the source of brand new human knowledge, but we can all be conduits. People who get to knowledge early give the impression of expertise, maybe even inside information. People hire experts; so, find an area where you can be a knowledge collector and dispenser. Subscribe to RSS feeds, email newsletters, social media streams, Google alerts of key terms & topics, and (yes, even still) magazines. Share your links with commentary on your company Web site and/or through social media. Be the person people want to know and follow.

None of us are beyond growth, but we can grow beyond our own momentum. Surprise 2012 by showing up ahead of expectations.
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Spiritually, we’re all conduits of what God is doing in the world. We’re porous pipes, though, in that God lets us absorb what he’s doing and feel his movement through our lives.

We can’t give others what we aren’t receiving. And we can’t receive more from God, if we aren’t dispensing what he’s already given us. When my spiritual gauges are blinking with red lights—either empty or overheated—I typically find remedy by serving others and/or taking a break from my busy, draining world to just absorb God’s truth and presence (usually heading out into nature).

How about you? How do you know when you’re in a spiritual sweet spot? And what do you do, when you feel outside of that sweet spot?

[footer]Stock image used by permission through purchase from iStockPhoto.com ©2010.[/footer]

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