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A New Year’s Resolution (of course!)

First of all, a happy new year to you all, and a happy new decade to the pedants amongst you. All of us here at Business Marketing Online wish you and your companies a successful 2011.

I probably could have proposed this as a New Year’s Resolution in any of the last ten years, but it doesn’t make it any the less relevant. It’s simply this: to stop treating online marketing like some sort of money-saving shortcut. Step back a bit. Using the web, email and social media to promote your company is not some sort of cheapskates’ alternative to traditional promotional techniques. Either you understand its importance, and allocate budget accordingly, or you decide that no, for your company, something else is still the best way.

If you want to dominate the search engine results, guess what? You’ve got to put in a lot of time and effort building links, or you’ve got to spend five-figure sums getting someone knowledgeable to do it. You’re not going to manage it from an afternoon reading a book or by throwing £250 at someone. If you want to build a great email circulation, who read what you send out, you’ve got to write good stuff, write it frequently, and engage with your readers. Doing a so-called “email blast” of a bland corporate newsletter every quarter is a waste of your time and an irritation to your recipients. If you want to start, and maintain, a good company blog, you’ll need to find the time to add informative material every week; if you don’t have the time, you’re going to have to find a journalist to write it for you …and yes, that probably means it’s going to cost you a five-figure sum this year.

If you’re still dabbling at the edges, why not make a new year’s resolution to do things properly, or don’t do them at all? Be bold. Reel in everything which doesn’t appear to generate a good return on investment, and allocate all your resources to the things which you believe really can.

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