I’m a sports and exercise nut — although my waistline, calorie-counting app and cholesterol could make a solid argument in the other direction. I’m also an analyst, so the data aspect is as addictive as the sport itself. My Fitbit Surge knows so much about me. It shares my data with other Fitbit friends, who compete with me mercilessly and send me taunts when they pull ahead in weekly mileage. Its about this time of year, however, when people start to slow down, taunt me less, and drop off the grid. Holidays, parties, cold weather, 16 hours of darkness and bulky clothes all take their toll on motivation and suddenly the most raucous and competitive of friends go mysteriously silent. I think the same is true at work for many of us. Despite the pressure to close out the year with a bang, the reality is that people are harder to reach, meetings tougher to schedule and commutes just seem to take so much longer. All the more reason to look for new ideas to keep the motivation up and rally into the new year with renewed energy.

For marketers, the budgeting and planning tournament of champions is now in the hands of the judges. You’ve shared your goals and needs for the upcoming year and justified those investments with insights from 2015 experiences and put in the time to get aligned with the business initiatives that will drive the business in 2016. Now you wait for them to hold up the scores. Maybe its a good time to give yourself that swift kick and start looking at some ideas to carry your though December and motivate you for next year. Start with our 2016 Watch List: Key Moves To Improve Your Digital Fitness (subscription required). If you aren’t a subscriber to our research, click here, fill out a form and you can get a copy. To keep the exercise theme going, here are a couple of highlights from the watch list that I like:

  • Flip your orientation and view customers from the outside in. Abandon the inside-out perspective that emphasizes your goals to an outside-in view that emphasizes customers’ motivations, goals and needs. Average organizations focus on what they have to sell. Customer-centered organizations focus on serving customer needs. When you start with what’s at stake for your customer, you earn the right to their attention — and their business. To succeed, you’ll need to make sure that they are heard by capturing, filtering and funneling voice-of-customer (VoC) data, then delivering it to the roles that impact customer experience. High-performing organizations democratize voice-of-customer insight without delay or fear to the roles responsible for delivering customer experiences. Remember customer experience is the new competitive battlefield.
  • Master measurement and analytics and make it a team sport. Data-driven marketers establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and other measures of what good looks like. Analytics is booming as marketers staff up and skill up to take advantage of the deluge of information thrown off by marketing systems, amid the rampant imperative for insights and accountability. But too often, we focus on the metrics and outcomes that justify our own efforts — rather than those that move the needle for the broader organization. Take responsibility for outcomes, but cross the finish line and share the spotlight as a team with the functions you depend on for overall success. Learn how the best data-driven marketers focus their time, tools and teams.
  • Invest in agility to stay one step ahead of competitors. For marketers, the opportunity to create competitive advantage and customer value is earned or lost in moments. Leading marketers design an organization that’s capable of responding to change faster than competitors by assembling the right talent in-house, dipping into freelance talent pools, and making more effective use of agency partners. Devote some of your team’s cycles to understanding the impact and opportunities create by digital business, disruption and Internet of Things (IoT).

These are just a few of the ideas in the Watch List for 2016 but I’d love to hear what ideas and opportunities you are tracking for next year. What are you doing to get moving on them now? Pretty soon the holiday season malaise will pass and it will be a new year and then its back in full gear. Don’t miss this opportunity to step outside the holiday box. And from all of us here at Gartner for Marketing Leaders, we wish you the best of holidays and a happy new year!

12 Comments
  1. December 17, 2015 at 6:11 am
    Joseph Hansen says:

    Motivation, is very important. If you are not motivated well, then nothing you can achieve. This post of yours is an open-reminder to not limit the things you can do especially when it comes to business. Marketing is evolving and if you belonged in the online world, you should follow the trend and the new thing in business to still remain on track.

    • December 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm
      Simon Yates says:

      Thanks for your comment, Joseph!

  2. December 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm
    David H. Deans says:

    You said “Abandon the inside-out perspective that emphasizes your goals to an outside-in view that emphasizes customers’ motivations, goals and needs.”

    Agreed, it’s the right way to apply digital marketing methods. That being said, in the market where I tend to focus the most, B2B technology sector, the CMOs start the planning process with good intentions. Then, the next corporate blog post says “We’ve excited to release Version 3.1.2 of blah, blah, blah…” As you can imagine, few customers actually share their excitement. Perhaps it’s too easy to slip back into the legacy ways. Regardless, I remain hopefully that 2016 will be the pivotal year for a meaningful change in direction.

    Happy Holidays to you, Simon.

    • December 22, 2015 at 5:18 pm
      Simon Yates says:

      Thanks for the comment David. Very true indeed. Old habit die hard. Have a great holiday!

  3. December 21, 2015 at 11:43 am
    Purva Soni says:

    First of all I just want to say thank you so much for this post and yeah of course for this tips. I really didn’t know much about how to approach in nut shell but after reading this post I think I have got enough knowledge. So thank you so much for this post.

    • December 22, 2015 at 5:18 pm
      Simon Yates says:

      Thanks Purva!

  4. December 21, 2015 at 11:47 am
    Biswa| Digital Marketing says:

    This is very much informative. This helps a lot to know more about Digital Marketing.Keep it up.Thank you.

    • December 22, 2015 at 5:19 pm
      Simon Yates says:

      Thanks Biswa.

  5. December 26, 2015 at 10:11 am
    Dimple says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. It is very useful. Got to know a lot about digital marketing.
    digital marketing solutions. We provide integrated digital marketing solutions, software application development and many more

    • December 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm
      Simon Yates says:

      Thanks Dimple!

  6. January 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm
    Harmandeep Singh says:

    Hi “Simon Yates”, I appreciate your experience, If we use digital marketing strategy in the right path then we will get the long term results and it will never be die. So we have to update with new strategies and marketing day by day. It’s nice information about motivation and the fitness of digital marketing.

  7. May 11, 2016 at 9:04 am
    john ives says:

    Love it! I like this topic.This site has lots of advantage.I found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways.Thanks for posting this again. DIGITAL MARKETING

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