Takeaways from 2008

Took a little holiday break, recharged the batteries, and now I am back and ready to blog. Hope you all had a good holidays.

The thing I thought of the most over the last few weeks was listing the key things I learned from the 12 slow-grinding months of 2008. What things were most impactful, what did I spend time on that was not worth it, what worked and didn’t work, and what things do I need to be aware of for 2009. Here’s a few things on the list, take a good long look:

Heed the Importance of Integrated Search Strategy
Everyone needs an ISS. It’s no longer just buy a few keywords and add some meta tags to your site. You need to tie in your paid buys with everything from site content to link text to URL strings. And you need to understand the metrics that provide the ROI you need to refine your strategy.

Cost Doesn’t Matter — It’s Value
Even in a disastrous economy like we have now, price-cutting or giving something away for free isn’t necessarily the answer. The answer is ensuring your customers find value in what they get for what they pay. So focus on improving your product, your offer, your knowledge of customer needs, and the way you communicate your value proposition.

Get Closer to Customers
No groundbreaking revalation there, yet it always pops up to the top of my lists. Without systematic, frequent and measured analysis of customer needs and perceptions, how can you do important things like deliver value?

Be Prepared for the Worst
No marketer plans to fail. Yet we all know that things happen to throw us off track — bad economies, last-minute changes, website crashes, even some knucklehead hijacking your Twitter account (a Twidiot, if you will). So put your time into crafting a solid strategy, yet be aware of what the options are if the bad happens.

Best of luck in 2009. Charge ahead.

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