Get Revved Up For 2018!

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(By Bob McCurdy) With things relatively quiet the week between Christmas and the New Year, it is a perfect time to reflect upon the previous 12 months while getting ready for the next twelve. I’ve always found this week to be a good time, whether in the “office” or not, to learn, read, view, fine-tune, refresh, or hone up on anything that would enable me to get out of the gate stronger come January.

Following are some suggestions for those who want to gain a competitive advantage. Choose one or several for a more productive start to the New Year.

— Read that marketing/sales book that you never got around to (two good ones are How Brands Grow Part 1 and 2).

— Subscribe to Fred Jacobs’ blogs. They are free. http://jacobsmedia.com/blog/

— Brush up on your digital offerings. Are you as fluent as you need to be when discussing/presenting them?

— Give yourself a holiday gift that keeps on giving. Subscribe to either Ad Age or AdWeek. Either or both will elevate your marketing expertise and make you a more valued partner to your clients. Add an Automotive News subscription if you work with any auto dealerships.

— Write your first “weekly” client blog. Swipe freely from anything I’ve written. It’s yours.

— Go online and immerse yourself in your key client “veritcals.” The more we know about their business, the more effective we’ll be in prescribing effective marketing solutions.

— Sign up to get the WARC (World Advertising Research Center) blog (free). Excellent daily marketing insights. www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/GetNews

— Review your “Why Radio” deck until it flows smoothly. Practice, drill, and rehearse. It works.

— Check out the Katz Power of Sound website. www.katzpowerofsound.com. You’re guaranteed to learn more about how we process audio and sound and how it impacts consumers and moves product.

— Go to www.raisingthevolume.com and spend some time reviewing the content in the various tabs. There are outstanding studies (Ear vs Eye, Audio Signature), articles, insights, and case histories that could be shared with clients.

— Identify all decision-makers at your key accounts/agencies. Map out a plan to either meet or deepen those relationships.

— Subscribe to Zoom (free). A vastly under-utilized sales tool.

— Spend time with Tapscan and its different reports. Doing so will make you more money in ’18. There are dozens of station-specific and “why radio” stories waiting to be uncovered and communicated. Spending an extra couple of hours re-familiarizing yourself with this tool’s 35 programs will absolutely pay dividends and make you a better “storyteller” in 2018.

— Develop a system to retain important marketing and industry-specific information/data/articles that can be easily accessed, reviewed, and re-purposed throughout the coming year.

— Generate client-specific pre-sell pieces. Start the New Year strong.

Spend some time on the RAB website — a lot of value there. www.Rab.com.

— Do the same on Nielsen’s. There’s always good marketing/audio information to review. Get yourself on their mailing list for their Total Audience Report, which comes out quarterly, as well as their quarterly Comparable Metrics Report. www.Nielsen.com.

— Bookmark Mediapost and have it become part of your daily reading in ‘18. Stay abreast of the latest marketing news (free). https://www.mediapost.com/.

The beautiful thing about the coming year is that whatever we did or didn’t do in 2017 can be done or undone in the next 52 weeks. It’s a fresh start for all.

Reflection and some preparation in the next few days can make a difference in your January and 2018 performance and both can be accomplished even if you are “recharging” away from the office. So reflect, re-energize, refresh, refine, and review over the next few days for a more productive start to 2018.

And while the recommendations above can’t all be done in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, it is possible to check off one per week in Q1 and be a more productive professional for it.

Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at bob.mccurdy@bbgi.com

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