Happy Holidays regardless of which one(s) you choose to celebrate.
Regardless of your upbringing, you have the freedom to choose and develop the traditions, beliefs and celebrations that have meaning for you.
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 35
My husband and I visited many mosques in Turkey this fall. Beyond the amazing intricate beauty of these buildings, their sheer size made me feel the presence of a greater being.
It reminded me of being a student in Paris. On my way to my French language class, I’d stop into Notre Dame and sit in a random pew to meditate and stare up at the rose stained glass window before rushing across the square to study.
Unfortunately, on April 15, 2019, a devastating fire destroyed key elements of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s spire, roof and ancient wooden beams. While the spire’s official reopening is set for December 2024, workers have started to put the replacement structure in place.
While I practice neither of these religions, being in their sacred space surrounded by others of different beliefs and backgrounds allowed me to step out of my ordinary life and appreciate what I had.
As the northern hemisphere approaches the official start of winter, less and less of the sun’s natural light fill our days. So we need our holiday candles and lights to shine joy during this dark season of the year.
Last week, my husband and I celebrated Chanukah by lighting the candles on our modern aluminum menorah, given to us by a former neighbor. The holiday commemorates that one day’s worth of holy oil in the Temple lasted eight days during the Maccabean revolt in the first century CE.
Each night, we added another candle until eight candles burn brightly watched over by a helper candle that is used to light them. It provides us with time to be in the moment and be thankful for what we have.
On a symbolic level, these lights provide hope, perseverance and faith during the difficult and divided times in which we live.
Why does this matter in a newsletter focused on marketing?
- Beyond the high octane fourth quarter merchandising to make your 2023 goals, as marketers, we have a responsibility to our customers, employees and others in our community to make the world a better place.
Need help to calculate your sales and revenues?
► What Are You Doing For You For The Rest Of The Year?
Since your 2023 marketing is finalized and your 2024 plans are in place, use some time before the end of the year to decide what you want to accomplish during 2024. Apply this approach to both the personal and business aspects of your life.
As the saying goes, life is what happens while you’re deciding what to do.
So what do you want from life? You could live for decades or you could die tomorrow. Further what you want from life can change at different points.
We make choices all the time, every day. Some of them have limited consequences and others are more important.
But don’t think in terms of New Year’s Resolutions!
- Since the data reveals that 9 out of 10 Americans don’t achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. Even worse, more than 1 out of 5 people stop their resolutions by the end of the first week of January! (Source)
What Are Your 2024 Goals?
Instead of resolutions, create goals that can become on-going life habits to help you to become the future self you want to be. Where possible break them into smaller, achievable chunks so you can see progress and be accountable.
Improve your odds of achieving them, make your goals:
- Time bound
To make your 2024 manageable:
- Limit the number of goals. Reduce the number to 3 to avoid overwhelm.
- Align your goals with your long and short term objectives. Make them as detailed as possible focusing on quality over quantity. For example, increase the amount of daily exercise versus lose 10 pounds.
My mother taught me to focus on three aspects of life, your health, your finances and your passion. They’re a good starting point for your 2024 goals, regardless of where you live or your view of the world.
- Take care of your body. The body you have at 20, 30 and 40 is the body you’ll have at 50, 60, 70 and beyond. For my mother, this extended to exercise and a healthy diet. BTW–Having meals with family members and friends helps to build relationships.
- Take care of your finances. This goal breaks down into 3 key elements that evolve over the course of your career and life. For more insights that uses great content marketing, I suggest checking out Ellevest.
- Make money. At a minimum, make enough to cover your average monthly expenses so money in exceeds money out. Ideally monitor the ins and outs of your bank account. Caveat: Be careful with credit cards and the ease of spending more than you have. A jacket on sale isn’t cheap if you pay for the interest on it.
- Save money. If you make more than you spend, save it. Set goals for major investments like home, car and vacations. Also the earlier you start planning for retirement, the better.
- Invest money. Once you’ve covered your on-going expenses and have built up a reserve of 6 months to a year, start to look at investing to build your money faster. NOTE: I’m not a financial advisor! You need to get the proper advice.
- Have a passion. This means doing something that you enjoy that’s not your job or your family. For example, I’m an avid knitter. I love not only the process of knitting which helps me to get a zen sense but also it provides a way to connect with other people who share my interests at festivals and around the world.
To this list, I’d add connecting with family and friends. This means proactively reaching out to people you care about to create stronger connections.
Often, we get so wrapped up in our lives, work and routines that we forget to find time for the people we care about. I’m not talking about a post on social media showing off something you did. Rather writing a letter, email, text or phone call to say, “Hello. I’m thinking about you and want to know how you’re doing.” Then just listen.
Remember real life relationships are more than a game of tagging and collecting people on a social media app.
How To Find Time For Your 2024 Goals
To avoid feeling that you’re adding more “To Dos” to your already long list, start by looking at what you currently do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Ask yourself what you can stop doing or find a more efficient way to accomplish with the use of technology. This allows you to make room in your life for things that help you to accomplish your goals.
Our minds have a way of tricking us into thinking that we’re doing more “work” and other useful tasks than we actually do. Tracking your time will show you where your time is slipping away, whether it’s social media or television.
While a number of people practice “The Just Say No Approach To Requests”, decide what activities will bring you closer to your goals and ultimately happiness and satisfaction.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Determine what results a given activity yields, whether it’s for work or personal enjoyment. Then assess how to reduce the time you spend doing things that don’t help you to achieve your objectives.
- Set boundaries on your time. Don’t give others permission to take more of your time than necessary. This can be particularly difficult with pushy bosses.
- Find time for yourself. Whether you’ve got a family or are single, each of us needs some alone time. This is particularly true at the end of the year when our calendars are stuffed with activities. But this private time however you use allows you to recharge and deal better with the stress of the season.
► The Key Marketing Trend That Rocked 2023?
Artificial Intelligence Continues To Grow And Evolve
In 2023, AI seeped into every aspect of business, especially marketing, and personal life, such as talking to your smartphone, whether people realize they are using it or not. It remains on its high growth trajectory following Ray Kurtzweil’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” that the rate of technological change is exponential, not linear.
Generative AI will transform a wide range of roles across different business sectors by creating content in response to a specific prompt based on an existing database of knowledge. By increasing productivity, this technology has the potential to add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy.
Unlike other technology, once an AI model has been trained it continues to learn on its own and does so at faster rates than humans do. A positive feedback loop drives this fast development. AI models are being used to develop software for ever more intelligent AI models. It underscores software’s rate of change over physical products.
According to McKinsey Senior Partner Lareina Yee:
Deeper examination reveals that about three quarters of the value generative AI use cases can deliver involves an aspect of marketing. They include customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering and R&D.
Current generative AI and other technologies have the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60 to 70% of employee time.
10 Ways AI Can Improve Marketing:
- Improve content marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Shorten ideation and content drafting time while ensuring consistency in terms of brand voice, writing style, and format. Also provides personalization with different messaging, language and images at scale to increase customer lifetime value.
- Enhance use of a firm’s unstructured, inconsistent and disconnected data to improve marketing.
- Improve SEO optimization cost effectively.
- Improve product discovery and search personalization using multimodal inputs such as text, images, speech and customer profile. This includes Voice Search.
- Increase sales by identifying and prioritizing sales leads through the use of comprehensive consumer profiles with recommended client engagement actions at every point of contact.
- Improve sales lead nurturing and development with relevant product sales information and customer profiles and creating discussion scripts to facilitate customer conversation.
- Improve customer self-service by using Generative AI chatbots to provide fast, personalized responses to complex customer inquiries regardless of the customer’s language or location. This can reduce the volume of human-serviced contacts up to 50%.
- Resolve customer questions during first contact using the firm’s customer data.
- Decrease customer response time with real time Generative AI assistance and next steps.
- Improve customer service quality assurance and coaching.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Start your AI learning with the big three. Both Google and Microsoft have added AI capabilities to their search engines and office suites, while OpenAI has established itself as the AI innovation leader with ChatGPT. All three offer free versions and learning tools.
Mark Your Calendar
The next three months offer a plethora of exciting marketing events across various focuses. Here are some of the top events to consider, depending on your specific areas of interest:
► CES 2024 — January 5th – 8th in Las Vegas
The Consumer Electronics Show showcases the latest innovations in technology, often with significant relevance to the marketing landscape. Think AI, AR/VR, and cutting-edge digital solutions.
► NRF 2024 Big Show —January 14 – 16 in New York City
The National Retail Federation’s trade show brings together more than 6,200 brands from around the globe to New York City for three days of learning, collaboration and discovery.
► SXSW — March 8th – 16th in Austin, Texas
A vibrant mix of sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities covering technology, creativity, and the future of culture. Expect insights on marketing tech, data-driven strategies, and innovative approaches to reaching audiences.
► Social Media Marketing World — March 12th – 14th in In San Diego, California
This event equips you with the latest marketing tactics and trends. Master platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, discover social commerce strategies and learn how to build thriving online communities.
► B2B Small Business Expo — March 14, 2024 in Miami, Florida.
The Small Business Expo is America’s #1 Trade Show and Networking Event For B2B Businesses. And it’s Free!
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