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5 Ways to Revamp Your Marketing Strategy in 2018

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Even if 2017 was a bumper year for your firm from a marketing perspective, it is still advisable to assess, rethink and tweak your marketing strategy for 2018. This can sometimes be difficult to do objectively which is precisely why we created our triage service. We can help you to take a step back and identify what worked and what missed the mark and then help you to develop a strategy to revamp things.

1. Data analysis
In order to revamp your marketing strategy you must have access to the information which elucidates exactly what did & didn’t work. Retrieve all relevant analytics data, as this will influence your decision making process for 2018.

2. Benchmark against competitors
Take note of what competitors in your area or industry are doing, particularly any evident changes they may have made in comparison to last year. Identify where they are picking up the best results and consider whether this could also work for you.

3. Conduct an audit
Failure is not always due to a poorly chosen idea or strategy but rather owing to its execution. Try to identify which elements of unsuccessful campaigns contributed to their failure. For example, if the budget had been increased for a certain area would that have positively influenced the results? Carrying out an audit of your current marketing strategy is essential to improving performance moving forward. This can be as simple as creating a spreadsheet listing all your communication channels and determining which may need to be updated.

4. What’s new in 2018
Research on what’s changed on various platforms will shape how you craft your marketing strategy for the forthcoming year. For example, both Facebook and Instagram have made major changes in 2018 which directly effect marketing planning. You need to be adaptable and informed enough to make necessary adjustments.

5. Video Marketing
This trend from 2017 is set become more pervasive in 2018. Video content is a focal point of Facebook’s recent algorithm updates. Trying to capitalize on Snapchat’s USP Facebook has launched its own “Stories” feature – likewise for Instagram. Video content has the potential to provide companies and brands with stronger organic reach and engagement than other forms of content. Therefore its importance cannot be ignored for anyone serious about bettering their marketing strategy this year.

Regardless of how you fared in 2017, there are clear learning points to be taken from the past year which can positively influence your marketing activities in 2018. Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice and assistance with formulating and executing a revised strategy.

Team Building – More Than An Activity for Christmas Parties

suited folk faking happiness

At this time of year, many workers are compelled to take part in team building activities as an element of their office Christmas parties. Although such exercises are well intentioned, they often lack thorough planning and can be one-off events. The risk in limiting such initiatives to annual events is that instead of fostering or improving team relations, participants’ competitive nature is stoked. That’s not to say that isolated team building exercises can’t be beneficial, they simply require a clear purpose, such as improving a particular skill or addressing certain weaknesses or problems and ought to be designed to avoid conflict. The danger is that they can be perceived as merely a nice day out of the office and sometimes can do more harm than good. Poorly planned events can even be embarrassing, or physically and emotionally uncomfortable, for participants.

As the trend towards tacking on team building outings to festive celebrations continues to grow (venues such as escape rooms are increasingly in demand), we thought it pertinent to highlight the potential in these ventures and illustrate the advantage to replicating this impulse throughout the year. Hopefully, the following will incentivize you to use this year’s office party as a platform to integrate team building into your corporate culture in 2018 and beyond.

 

Even high-performing teams can benefit from team building exercises. They’re a means to improve communication, morale, motivation and productivity. More generally, they can assist employees in better getting to know one another and learning their strengths and weaknesses – something that is increasingly important for virtual teams. Team building activities can be used by businesses of any size to promote better teamwork in the workplace. Such endeavours are not just beneficial to individual employees but also directly contribute to a company’s success.

Team building activities are typically broken down into 4 categories:

  • Communication activities
  • Problem solving/Decision making activities
  • Adaptability/Planning activities
  • Trust building activities

The core idea or ruse is to convince participants perform various activities that are both fun and challenging which have also have the side effect of building teamwork skills, which improve employee performance and productivity when in a professional capacity. 

On an ongoing basis companies can opt to continue team building through structured activities and exercises that employees themselves can lead. Or, with the proper budget and goals, managers can contract out for facilitation with an external resource. The latter is often the more popular choice. An external facilitator works with a group of employees to design the team building activities or sessions. These are most effective when they are customized to the group’s needs. Sessions can include ice breakers, discussion topics, games, cooperative assignments, and group brainstorming. It is imperative that events are integrated into everyday work so the results continue following the event.

 

 

When planning team building activities, it is important to first identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Begin by asking questions designed to identify the root of any problems. Based on the answers received, next choose targeted activities to help your team to address any problems. Team members also have recourse to many Team Effectiveness Assessment available online, as group exercises.

 

As more and more people work remotely, effective management of virtual teams is a necessary skill. It can be challenging to build rapport among team members who rarely, if ever, meet face-to-face. Time zones and cultural differences can present additional challenges when considering team building activities or strategies for remote teams. Remote team members are likely to feel isolated from their colleagues, and as such are primed to welcome opportunities for socializing “virtually,” improving their skills. Articles abound online offering practical suggestions on the topic of Virtual Team Building Exercises. 

At it’s root team building is concerned with providing the skills, training and resources required for employees to work in harmony. But, to be truly effective, it must be a continual process embedded into team and organisational culture. When teams exhibit energy loss, decreased motivation and dips in morale, team building activities and strategies can help get people back on track. Sporadic team building exercises are one way to strengthen the bonds within your team, but they are not a shortcut to success. Rather it is imperative to make team building part of the organisational group’s mindset. In contrast, exercises that are well thought out and expertly run can unite people, enhance their strengths, and address their weaknesses. They encourage more cohesive and satisfied teams which bodes well for success.

 

As a result of being associated with office parties, team building exercises have developed a somewhat tarnished reputation. Consequently, in order to generate interest from employees, management will need to convince employees that they are not wasting their time. It is worthwhile to take measures to detect such resistance and to encourage participation. Open discussion, to explore people’s feelings about prospective events, and to turn sceptics into motivated participants, will yield dividends.

So as you get into the festive spirit and prepare to attend an escape room under duress, we encourage you to remember that team building at its best can be about uniting and encouraging people rather than dividing and demoralizing them.  Although competitive exercises inevitably produce losers as well as winners, and may lead team members to work against one another, it’s worth bearing the points above in mind and striving to integrate team building initiatives into your corporate culture in the New Year. For true team building encourages collaboration rather than competition. (read Our Story for inspiration from the collaborative Prosperous Team)