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Aimee Millwood
Director of Content at Yotpo
January 3rd, 2016

Looking Back at Our 2015 Marketing Resolutions

Last year, we made marketing resolutions for 2015. Back then, we were just six people with a rough idea of how we were going to set up the future of marketing at Yotpo.

The past year has been huge for us – literally:

We’ve focused hard on content marketing and optimization – turning our blog and website into lead machines, building better nurture funnels, and producing tons of eBooks, webinars, videos, and more.

In the process, we’ve nearly quadrupled in size.

The team grew so big we even split our product-marketing team into four separate dedicated teams: BI, product, partners, and, of course, marketing.

Clearly, we’ve gone through a lot of changes over the past year, but how did we do at sticking to our resolutions?

Here’s a look back at our 2015 marketing resolutions, updates on our progress, and our goals for the next year.

Resolution #1:
Start Scheduling Content Marketing

The Outcome: We’ve improved – a lot.

Bottlenecks, bottlenecks. Entering 2015, we knew we had a scheduling problem. Team members had too much on their plate, there wasn’t clear plans for how to complete tasks and projects, and we had a huge lack of prioritization.

In the beginning, the marketing team could get by without a clear plan because our team was small, and it was easy to have face-to-face chats about dependencies and progress.

But as we’ve grown, it’s been necessary to sync with different colleagues within the department to solve bottlenecks.

In the beginning of 2015, our marketing plan was a mess. We had an off-campus full-day meeting to clean ourselves up and figure out the best way to work and committed to begin planning as a team.

After an initial try to get everyone scheduling in Asana, we’re opening 2016 by giving Jira a try. We’re now planning – and sticking to – our quarterly plans more or less effectively.

Our motto for 2016 is organize and optimize!

marketing resolutions goals

This year, we’re going to start organizing by sprints, just like the product team. This way, we can see everyone’s tasks, time estimates, and priorities. Hopefully by 2017, bottleneck will be out of our vocabulary.

We’re also moving beyond just scheduling content marketing to scaling up our hiring so resources don’t stop us from achieving our goals.

marketing resolutions goals

In addition to hiring more, we’re also working to create a strong base foundation so that we streamline our processes, waste less time, and build a set of internal resources to help us work smoother.

Through all of this, we’re remembering to think of the end goal in the beginning and continue to focus on creating valuable content for our audience.

Resolution #2:
Create Buyer Personas

The Outcome: We survived without them!

We tried to create buyer personas, we really did.

People told us we had to, that our content marketing would fail without them, that having personas would make it so much easier to write.

And yet, here we are one year later, with no personas and — if I do say so myself — some pretty darn good content.

For 2016, we are taking a page out of the Product team’s book, and using the Jobs To Be Done framework. Basically, we’re looking at why people “hire” Yotpo and using that as the guiding light for our content creation.

marketing resolutions

Resolution #3:
Integrate Our Customers’ Content in Our Marketing

The Outcome: We’re on the way.

We really believe that we can’t advise our customers how to best use their UGC if we’re not using it ourselves. Our product team takes feature development ideas from our users, and our marketing team has made strides to also integrate our customers’ content into our marketing through customer surveys, success stories, videos, and more.

One of our best successes this year was with our customer success story videos, which allow our audience to really see and feel the type of work Yotpo does with our users.

marketing resolutions goals

There was even a matchmaking moment when two of them found they had a lot in common and wanted to connect, so we invited them to do a webinar together!

Moving forward, our goal is to continue producing content in a wide variety of mediums, and looking for ways to learn from our customers’ feedback more often and during different steps of the marketing process.

The Resolution #4:
Give Our Website a Makeover

The Outcome: The makeover is never complete…

As anyone who has ever undergone a large-scale website makeover knows: it is not a simple process.

By the time the design is done, you’re not only probably sick of looking at it, but you have 20 new changes you want to make.

In the past year, we’ve hired an awesome UX/UI designer, marketing developer, and an optimization expert – and the impact we’ve seen from this has been huge.

Rather than re-design the whole website, our optimization expert and marketing developer work together to brainstorm tweaks to make the current website more effective.

Additionally, we made changes to could fix huge gaps and help us repurpose content, like when we created a dedicated resource page to house all the content we’ve worked so hard to produce.

Content is central to our marketing, and it’s important that we make it available in as many places as possible to make the most of our efforts.

marketing resolutions

Looking forward, we want to continue producing great content and designs, but also look at how to make this process scaleable.

marketing resolutions goals

The Resolution #5:
Don’t Forget to Focus

The Outcome: The offshoot ideas that come from lack of focus can be the most fruitful.

Focusing is definitely important, but some of our most awesome initiatives came from doing something crazy.

While some of these plans worked, others didn’t pan out so well.

When we went out on a limb and got our employees involved with guest posting – even though it didn’t improve any blog KPIs – we saw great results. But another offshoot idea – our Get the Teddy campaign, in which we mailed huge teddy bears to decision makers, didn’t get such a great response.

But without experimentation, we wouldn’t know which direction to go.

Our rule moving forward: let data guide you, but don’t be afraid to take chances based on gut instincts.

marketing resolution

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