I’m generally of the school that says January 1st is just a day like any other. If I need to make a change, I should just get on with it. Why wait for some arbitrary number on a calendar? That said, it’s a nice to reflect and January 1st is as good a time as any. So here’s my top 10 things I plan to do better in the coming year.
In 2012, I will focus on simplifying everything I can. Tech is too complicated — our products, our messaging, our marketing. It could all be simplified. In 2012, I will advocate for simplicity and elegance. I will insist upon it from myself and my team.
Get Closer to the Market
At heart, I’m a product marketer. Developing a deep appreciation for customer needs is the fastest path to developing great messaging, content, and programs. In 2012, I will get closer to the market. I will see more customers and listen more intently.
Work More Closely with Sales
This one is a gimme; it’s always the priority. This year I will I will push even harder to align Marketing and Sales. I will develop shared metrics and communicate more effectively. I will ensure programs are rolled out clearly and with precision.
Write More Often
In 2011 I rediscovered how much I enjoy writing. Blogging has been fun. But even more fun has been crafting the words we use at Sonatype — our positioning, our content, all of it. This year I will write more often, both here and at work.
Write Less Words
Be brief, be bright, be gone. Part of writing more is learning to say the thing in less words. I’m good at this, but I want to be great. Sometimes this means creating will take longer. But the result will be better — clearer, more accessible, sharper. Better.
Borrow from Elsewhere
Maybe it’s just me, but b2b tech marketing seems to be looking more and more like other types of marketing every day. But compared to b2c, tech marketing is just plain primitive. This year, I’m going to school. I will learn more from non-tech b2c marketers — and then I will borrow some great ideas. After all, we’re all marketing to human beings — regardless of the product.
Teach Where I Can
I’ve been a tech marketing exec for nearly 20 years. Generally this means that I’m among the more experienced (seasoned? old?) people in the (marketing) room. Over the years, I’ve benefited tremendously from the experience of others. In 2012, I will do a better job, when it’s appropriate, of helping more junior marketers to develop their skills
Speak More Plain English (and Demand it of Others)
This kind of goes along with ‘write less words’ — but it’s important enough to call out separately. In 2012, I will purge more buzzwords and communicate more clearly. I will demand this of others. If an idea is coated in all sorts of business-speak or techno-babble, I will insist on clarity.
In a world of short attention spans, pictures work well — if they’re good. In 2012, I will use more images to communicate. And I will ensure that the images I use are powerful and meaningful.
Take Time to Recharge
In 2012, I will take the time to unplug and spend time with those who mean the most.
Happy New Year, everyone!