How to Make This Year, Your Best Year Ever!

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By Hector Cisneros

It’s a new year. Is this going to be your best year yet or just another so-so year, or worse, a bad year? Are you going to make this year the year your company breaks through to the next level or are you going to just let things happen like always? What if I told you that any company could have a great year, every year, even when the economy is in a downturn. Yes, I am saying that even if the economy goes south, you could still have a better year this year than last. How do you accomplish this? By following a seven-point formula for success. No, it doesn’t include “using a secret incantation” or following a “business guru” to Las Vegas for a weekend retreat. It requires following a seven-point formula that lazy business owners aren’t willing to stop and follow.  In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore in detail, a seven-point program that leads to success whenever it is employed. So, get ready to learn the seven steps of successful businesses so you can create your best year ever.


In the past, I have written many articles discussing the importance of planning, testing, proper implementation and monitoring a marketing campaign. In fact, last year's article, entitled “How to Keep your New Year’s Business Resolution in the 21st Century”, was the top new article for 2017. We have published many articles that have garnered thousands of readers which have been shared far and wide. As a prerequisite, I suggest you take some time and bone up on the subject of marketing to get your brain in the right frame of mind to tackle the new year. If you feel you know everything you need to know, skip this step! Otherwise, here are several of our articles I highly recommend just to get your juices flowing.

If you read the above articles, you will find a broad view of marketing that will make sure you are not leaving out important factors necessary to ensure your success. You have heard the saying that freedom is not free, well, winning is not achieved without successfully putting in the time needed to make it happen. Other pre-requisites for success include; a strong commitment to the process, follow through, monitor and measure your work, making sure you and your team are held accountable and making sure your product or service is providing value. Along these same lines, you also need to make sure your ads, provide a compelling offer, pick the right target market, do your due diligence, including research, development, and testing, and then finally execute your marketing plan as a synergistic campaign. Sometimes this process exposes bad ideas, and in essences stops poor decision making before it gets off the ground. This too is a success since you did not produce an epic failure. Now, on to the seven-point formula for a successful year.

Let’s look at the seven steps individually so that you understand what leads to competent execution.
  1. Goal Setting and Planning – Step number 1 is goal setting and planning.
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    You need to gather your team and get everyone on the same page (even if it’s just you and the advertising company you hire). Getting buy-in from your team is critical. You need to define everyone's roles and what is a win for each player. If your team is not on board with the plan, they may unconsciously sabotage the plan.  Your plan needs to include smart goals (as mentioned in last year’s article). Make sure you select a realistic time Frame, include an accountability partner (even if it means you’re holding your marketing vendor accountable), that you have a very specific and realistic goal and that you clearly define what “is a Win.” Without this step, your plan will be unfocused and will most likely go astray. Your goal needs to define exactly “what your win means.” Is it growing your positive brand, increasing the number of visits to your website or increasing the numbers sales for a given product? This, to some extent, is determined by the type of product or service (consumer goods, content, subscription service, etc.).
  2. Research and Testing – Step number 2 requires some due diligence. You must know your target market. Have you defined an ideal customer profile?
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    This profile must be detailed enough that you can describe that customer’s buying and living habits as well as their point of view as if they were your best friend. Now can you provide a really compelling offer that will get them to say, “wow, this is a no-brainer buy.” The best way to determine this is to ask existing ideal customers what this is and also engage in some A/B testing for various offers. I suggest doing your test in Facebook’s pay per click platform or Google AdWords to see which offers work best. If your offers aren’t working here, they aren’t compelling offers. Often, it’s steps one and two that eliminate bad ideas from ever making it into a campaign at all.
  3. Selecting the Right Marketing Medium – Step number 3 starts with knowing your budget and what mediums will provide the most bang for the buck. If you have less than $500 a month, social media will probably be your best buy. If you have between $750 to $1,500, you can probably
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    diversify some. For example, you could invest part of your marketing dollars in blogging, pay per click, and social media, or you could invest in several different pay per click platforms like Yahoo, Google AdWords, and Facebook. Your selection will be determined by knowing your cost and reach of the various marketing media in your particular market. Make sure you ask to know “the cost per view, cost per click, cost per acquisition and cost per conversion. Often this also means adding additional tracking services, like a unique phone number and landing page to verify the actual traffic.
  4. Monitoring and Evaluating – Step four includes paying attention to your campaign. It never ceases to amaze me to hear a prospect say, “I have no idea how my campaign is doing!” Just how often should you be evaluating
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    your campaign? At a minimum, weekly! I usually compare week to week, month to month and quarter against quarter. If I already have a prior year's data, I compare that to the current campaign if possible. Also, it’s important to pay attention to your competition. Marketing is not a static endeavor. More than likely your competition is paying attention to your campaign and making adjustments of their own. This is especially true of pay per click advertising. Lastly, don’t forget to poll your new (and old) customers for their satisfaction level. This is also the perfect opportunity to ask for testimonials from customers who show a high satisfaction level.
  5. Tweaking Your Campaign – Step five is where you take what you’re currently doing and fix any deficiencies you have discovered in step four. There is always room for improvement regardless of how perfect your
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    campaign seems to be running. If you're being outbid in the pay per click platform, it’s time to re-evaluate and make adjustments accordingly. For example, if AdWords gets too expensive, try other platforms like Facebook, or Yahoo. If customer sentiment is indicating there is some part of your product, service or marketing approach needs adjusting, then it’s time to make these changes happen if at all possible. Great companies, like football teams, make adjustments when the circumstances warrant them. Never stick to a plan if the circumstances have changed, or if it’s no longer bearing fruit.
  6. Celebrating Your Win – If you have executed the first five steps well, you have reached your goal and chalked up a win for you and your company. Now it’s time to reward you and your team members who made that win
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    happen. Reward those who helped you reach your goal. Create an atmosphere that celebrates the team’s success. Celebrate by having a party, recognize each member of the team and their contributions. Present them with their pre-determined reward in front of their peers as a way of congratulating them. You could maybe even create a retreat and do some team building as a reward as well.  If you win, celebrate it. Winning breeds more success. Ignoring a win, especially a team win, is a good way to fail the next time.
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  7. Do it Again – Now that you can built your own personalized formula for success, start over and do it again. This could be for the same product, another product or service or even for a whole new division. Nothing breeds success like using a formula that works. 

It is my sincerest hope that you take this formula and implement it in your business. This is a tried and true program that will always work as long as you don’t try and skip steps or try to cherry pick the plan. Never leave out the prerequisites of getting your brain in the right frame of mind. Do your preliminary work by reading either the articles linked above or at least other
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material to get started. It’s important that you don’t start from a perspective of “I know it all”! Doing so, often leads to shortcuts and failure. Immersing yourself in a broad view of all marketing material and venues (by reading principle content) opens your mind to new possibilities and generally ensures a more comprehensive plan and a greater chance of success. I like the old Chinese saying that basically states, “The full cup is not as useful as an empty one.” Empty your cup, and you now have many opportunities to make sure it contains what you need.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

This article provides the details of a seven-step marketing program that leads to a successful year. It includes a step by step program that lists all the details you need to build your own program. It also includes more than a dozen links to support and reference articles to help the reader maximize their comprehension of this program.   

We also hope that you will contact us with questions and or request for articles hectorc@workingthewebtowin.com.
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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.” 

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