They are attention-grabbing and are now in every other email subject line you get. Predictions for the new year,especially marketing predictions and trends are all that is going on right now. Doing a search on Alltop.com I found over 100 blog posts using some kind of “top trends”, “new year predictions”, “how to.. in 2011” and more in their headlines.
As much as they are fun to read, be careful not to get distracted by them. You put together a plan when creating your marketing budget for this year, so now is time to execute.
Yes, your graphic designer will either forward you or slide a hard copy under your door about how HTML5 is the next big thing (remember that last meeting about the website redesign? Must be a coincidence!), your events coordinator will just mention in passage a story she read about how virtual events are going to replace traditional trade shows, and even the new intern will forward an email or two pointing out some research he read on a newsletter about marketing automation trends for 2011 and email marketing statistics.
Predictions, trends, and top 10 lists are nice, but don’t let them distract you from your job. The best way I have seen to get your team going at this time of the year is to have a team meeting where you’ll do the following:
- Everyone talks about how great the holidays were. That’s the first subject in everyone’s mind and why not get everyone together to share funny and horror holiday stories. That’s always fun.
- Next, let everyone put on the table what’s on their minds, what have they been reading and what do they expect from this year.
- Finally, recap with the team the departmental goals, what are the critical projects coming up, and important deadlines. Get everyone in the execution mindset, ready to start doing whatever they are supposed to do.
Yes, also address whatever predictions, trends, etc you have seen around and give them the opportunity to bring up what they have heard. You don’t want to discourage them from reading up on marketing news, and from bringing up interesting stories to share with the team, but you have to point them to the right direction. Something like “John, that’s a great insight about HTML5 and I know you brought it up because of the website redesign project we have scheduled for next month. Let me look into it and we’ll address when the time is right, ok?” will acknowledge the contribution and put them at ease. Sure, you have to address it later, which you should, but for now you want them motivated to work on what’s next on their to-do list.
Do an all-hands meeting like this every month and you’ll be able to get the team on track and executing without having to remind them what to do next.