As I sit on the flight on my way back from California thinking about the year that is to come and all of the work that is lying before me, I can’t help but be reflective on what went right and what we still need to either improve upon or do in 2007 at Quest.
First, what went right:
1. We successfully deployed a couple of programs that are now being replicated throughout the company. We started the idea of giving away things such as iPods and Xboxes to folks who downloaded our software. We gave 1 of these items away a day for either 40 days or 15 days for 3 really successful campaigns. I was able to get some feedback from the sales folks that these campaigns were successful, but have been unable to track really how much revenue came from them. Right now we have no way of telling what sort of impact marketing has on revenue, but that will soon change. We have a new group dedicated solely to metrics and am totally stoked to work with them as they are very talented.
2. We managed to really breakout and do some really fantastic email campaigns. Since I am in charge of running all of the email campaigns globally for the company, I tend to see a lot of the creative and manage to read about 75% of what send out. Our contingent from our APACJ region has really come on strong and am really impressed by their style and they way that they communicate with our customers and potential customers. I have been preaching for years that messaging should be short and concise. The creative should not be overwhelming and we should be careful as the number of times we hit the database of folks so as not to confuse them on message. So far, some have listened to my guidance and some have not. I find it difficult to understand that when some people send the message to us that it is so long and so chock full of information, that if they themselves would actually read it if it were delivered to their inbox. Granted, I am all for giving out some details, but there is some stuff that I seen both inside and outside Quest that is so long, that I need to scroll and scroll the actual email to get to the root of what they want me to do.(or consequently unsubscribe)
3. A lot of other things went right and to spare any more bullet points, I am just going to name them. A. I have a great staff of people an although 2006 was a year of change and diversity they all came thru with flying colors B. I managed to make people aware that people are talking about Quest in the blogosphere…..yes…I only made them aware….see below for more. C. I found my place in moving to a new group within Quest. Before I was in corporate marketing, which while was great cause I had a great Director leading the charge for my group, she was also so busy that I felt she felt bad for sometimes neglecting me. Love ya Terri, but my move to the Internet marketing group was the best move…. D. My group came into my own in 2006. We managed to break down the walls that my team was solely focused on email marketing and managed to establish ourselves as a force to be reckoned with….hence the budget increase for 2007. E. A whole lotta other stuff that I can go on and on, but for this purpose, I will leave alone.
What we need to improve upon and do in 2007:
1. We need to start to think a little more outside of the box when it comes to campaign giveaways. We need to become more creative rather than to just giveaway things just to try our software. While I am sure that we will run a few of the just pure giveaway campaigns, I am confident that we will break this barrier and really come thru with some other really cool things.
2. Email marketing. While it was a thing that we did right in 2006, we can always get better. I need to ensure that I motivate all of marketing become more strategic in our email marketing. People need to understand that hitting our house lists is not free, that there is price associated with everything. We need to button down the content, make long things shorter and short things a little shorter. We need to not promote everything to people and we need to really measure the metrics. We need to identify the things that are going right and what they are and duplicate them. I plan to run monthly training calls on email marketing and if I get 33% of the folks to attend, I am a happy camper.
3. Elevate and educate. I need to get my team more involved in training and get them elevated even greater in our company. If can I foster the attitude and need for 2 of them in their abilities, it will be like email marketing…….that the marketing org or the company for that fact cannot live without them……job security as I would call it.
4. Get the leadership to talk..err…blog or even be visible to the masses. I am amazed at the amount of experts we have on staff at Quest. We have so many great people and I am making it my mission to get them started on a voicing there expertise to the world. I am sure that they have a lot to say and people will want to listen. I just need to convince them that we are in a new age of marketing and that we need them to become a voice for Quest and a voice for their respective discipline of expertise
5. We are in a new age for marketing. Long gone are the days that print advertising works in our business….heck even traditional outlets in online advertising are faltering in some cases. I need to make sure that we foster a word of mouth touchpoint for everyone in the blogosphere. People are talking about Quest, and if we don’t acknowledge or respond, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Even a thank you or a response can carry a lot of weight these days. Technology bloggers are influential and a lot of white papers are indicating these days that a lot of buyers trust bloggers and look to them when making a purchase.
6. We as a company need to be proactive in pursuing influential people outside of Quest and get them our tools for free to try with the hopes that they will talk about it. I am by no means saying that we should pay people to do this, as one it is illegal and two it’s a bit cheesy to ask someone to write about us and pay them for writing a good review about us. I would rather see someone who is a technology professional take our software, use and write about it because they see value in it and because they truly want to write about it.
7. My director the other night during a toast indicated that he was going to “let me loose” in the way that I do things. While I think this is great, I want to ensure that when I go nuts and do some really unconventional things, that I am not hindered by other group’s reluctance to believe in what I am doing. I mentioned above in the things that went good, that I switched groups within Quest and am now under the direction of Internet Marketing. I think that was the best move Quest has ever made with me. I am under the direction of an individual who like me thinks outside the box and is willing to take risks for the reward. I am counting on his clout to get things pushed thru when we decide to do something unconventional.
There are other things that I think went right and other things that I would like to accomplish in 2007, but for the sake of those readers and the length of this post, I will gradually talk about them and the above items as time wears on. However, for now, I am stoked for 2007 and I hope that the folks I work with are as well.
As always, let me know what you think.