It’s a New Year.
A blank page lies before you, waiting to be filled. We often make resolutions that are quickly broken, but what if you decided to make some new innovations? It’s the perfect time to make adjustments to your marketing plans or implement new products or services to bring your business success in 2016.
Every business has to recreate and re-invent itself in order to stay relevant to its consumers. However the pressure of coming up with new ideas with a blank page staring back at you can be daunting. Nicole Baldinu reminds us that, “The idea that breathes new life into your business doesn’t have to come from you; it might just need to be discovered by you.” With that in mind, let’s look at some places you can discover new ideas and innovate your business.
- Ask your customers how you are doing. If you simply ask your customers how you could improve your product or service, they will give you plenty of ideas. Typically they will ask for new features or request that you make your product cheaper, faster, easier to use, available in different styles and colors etc. Listen to these requests carefully and choose the ones that will really pay off in the long run.
- Observe your customers. Do not just ask them; watch them. Try to see how customers use your products. Do they use them in new ways? How are they interacting with you online? Pull the actual numbers for the year, so you can see what the data tells you.
- Don’t fear complaints; use them to get better. Look at what customers complained about or had the most trouble with last year. In the coming year, how can you fix that, not just for one customer, but for all your customers?
- Ask your team. Give your employees permission to speak freely, and mean it. These are the people who are on the front lines with your customers. They see and experience parts of your company that you never will. Make sure that everyone feels safe offering his or her ideas because your best innovation for the next year could come from one of them. Encourage creativity and solicit new ideas from every level of your business.
- Look at past trends. While looking back seems counterintuitive to looking forward in a new year, sometimes it can actually glean new ideas. Marketing trends come and go and then come around again. What worked for your company (or companies like yours) in the past? How can you bring a successful idea of the past into the present, modern age?
Don’t be afraid of change.
Change is scary because it requires us to jump into the unknown. But change is good because it gives us the opportunity to experience new successes. You get to choose whether fear will keep you where you have always been or whether you will move forward in spite of fear. The gift of fear is that it causes us to make a plan.
You need a plan to implement new ideas because we know that just having a good idea isn’t enough. You also need a way to measure whether or not those innovations are successful. Remember that any goal you have for your company this year should be specific and measurable.
If you want to innovate, but feel overwhelmed by the blank page, call Riley & You. From designing customer surveys to looking at web stats, we can create ways for you ask and observe your customers. Once you have the ideas, we can help you implement them by looking at your overall brand strategy and creating an effective marketing plan.