A new year, a new state of mind

Now that all the confetti has settled, it’s time to get back to work and work through your goals to make 2011 a successful year.

Work doesn’t have to be the same as usual, though. It’s a new year, and that means new opportunities and new challenges. Now is the time to start working toward goals to make this the best year yet.

In marketing, we would all benefit by thinking of our marketing program the way the hospitality industry thinks about selling hotel rooms. Every room that is not sold tonight will never again have the opportunity to make money again—for that evening.

Empty hotel rooms are tangible way to think about missed opportunities and, literally, room for improvement.

Even though the marketing field doesn’t deal in empty rooms, it’s good to think of the customers that we could be attracting to get an idea for what we are missing. So this is what I challenge you to do today:

Take a look back
Sit for a moment and reflect on last year as a whole. What lessons did you learn when you tried out that new social media strategy? What were some of the challenges of adjusting to the new market? What worked? What didn’t? What would you have done differently, given the chance?

Set goals
New Year’s resolutions tend to get broken by the end of January, so instead of making resolutions, set some tangible goals. How many of those hotel rooms didn’t get filled in 2010? A missed opportunity is a loss for the company.

Think about benchmarks you can achieve before each month ends. Achieving goals incrementally will keep you on the ball throughout the year.

Think about your social media
Don’t think of your social media as simply an obligation. Take it to the next level! Challenge yourself to challenge your platforms. More people are going to using social media this year, so make a serious effort to reach out.

Set to work on your 2011 strategy
Only through distinct benchmarks and creative strategies can the savvy marketer know what steps to take to meet and beat goals.

I challenge you to start now—to hit the ground running as we head into the New Year. As the market changes and things begin to pick up after the recession, it’s never been more important to get to work and start working.