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New Year’s Resolutions for Retail Marketing Success in 2022

Ringing in a new year always brings with it such hope, such possibility, such expectation, and an opportunity to say “adieu” to the old (Good riddance, 2021!) and embrace the new. For many people, this includes making new year’s resolutions and setting goals they want to reach. For many retailers, it means the same – looking at what worked last year and what didn’t and starting with a fresh slate of anticipation.

Of course, making resolutions is easy; it’s KEEPING them that’s difficult. According to the time management firm Franklin Coveyone third of resolutioners don’t make it past the end of January. And the numbers drop rapidly as the weeks and months tick on. By December, only about 4% of people have kept or met their goals set 12 months earlier. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, less than half the people who made New Year’s resolutions were able to track any level of success in achieving them. Many of these fail because they aren’t the “right” resolutions – they are too vague, too unrealistic, or too irrelevant (perhaps based on what others or society are doing instead of what personally needs to be accomplished).

Goals need to be smart . . . and S.M.A.R.T. Remember that old acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound objectives? Well, it still works if you work it. Here are some tips for setting and keeping S.M.A.R.T. goals.

  1. Mentally prepare yourself for a change. Before you even think about WHAT you’d like to change, think about WHY you need a change and HOW you’d like to change. Spend some time contemplating that a change is necessary for success, and get used to the idea that it will take some work on your part.
  2. Set a goal that motivates you. That motivates YOU. Not your partner, not your boss, not your team, not everyone else. You have to be invested in a goal to stay committed to it. Even if the team or company goal doesn’t motivate you, find a way to make it relevant to yourself so that you will aim for it.
  3. Limit your goal-making to a manageable amount. Now is not the time for a complete makeover with 657 steps. Production experts suggest starting with one major aim and breaking it down into pieces, building new habits as you go. This process ensures the most success.
  4. Be specific. As minutely specific as you can:

BAD:“I will make more money.”
BETTER: “I will increase foot traffic by x% each month.”
BEST: “I will replace/refurbish tired graphics and displays by [pick a date].”

  1. Break up big goals into smaller ones. {See number 4. It works!}
  2. Write down your objectives and share them with others – your partners, your team, etc. Make yourself accountable.

Now that you’ve got a plan for HOW to make some resolutions, let’s look at some common resolutions people make a see if they apply to you and your team as you look at the retail season coming up. (January 2021 saw a giant surge in retail sales, so here’s hoping the same is true of January 2022!)

If you and your team were to appear on “Family Feud” and the prompt was “Name the top ten New Year’s resolutions people make,” I feel certain you’d win the money. Lose weight, exercise, save money, blah blah blah. We all make them, and we all break them. So, in an effort to simplify and consolidate, here are some popular personal goals to apply to our retail goals.

LOSE WEIGHT. By far the most common new year’s resolution that millions of people make every single year. Maybe you’re one of those this year. If so, how could you double down on that goal by replicating it in your work world? Where could you trim the fat, for example, on your displays, graphics, lighting? Maybe a more streamlined design, a lighter-weight display piece, lower-profile lighting? Facility Source can help with that and get you into shape for the new year.

EXERCISE. Coming in at #2, getting into shape and strengthening muscles is on many lists. What muscles do you and your team need to build – tracking traffic more closely? Analyzing clicks and other behavior? Building consumer confidence in a new way?

MANAGE MONEY BETTER. No surprise here because the bottom dollar is often the bottom line. The goal for many people isn’t necessarily to just save money, but to spend it more intentionally and purposefully. Would new branding be a wise investment or do just some parts of your design or graphics need re-vamping? Are you spending too much floor space on displays or need switch to a lighter, more portable design? Are you spreading your retail dollars over too many areas and need to consolidate to just a few critical ones? Is your team tackling work that would be more economical to farm out?

GET ORGANIZED/DECLUTTER. The number one Google search around New Year’s for the past several years has been “how to get organized” or “how to declutter.” People are desperate for a fresh, clean start in a new year. There are many carryovers for this particular goal to benefit your business. Getting organized might entail managing lists from buyers, consolidating digital files, automating systems, calls, emails, and more. Decluttering can look like anything from cleaning out your desk and office to cleaning out the back room stock to culling parts of your inventory that you aren’t using or aren’t working for you anymore. Like Marie Condo says, “Thank it for its service, and tell it goodbye.”

READ MORE. I was surprised to find this one so high up on the list, but many people want to be more informed and to take time to slow down and read more. What about you? Are there retail trade journals you want to read this year? Blogs you want to subscribe to? A book on retail marketing or management you’d like to finish? Studies show that 88% of financially successful people read at least 30 minutes a day. Pay attention when you see interviews with Warren Buffett or Bill Gates or Oprah or any other high-achievers because you will hear them espouse that reading is a habit of high-functioning people.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. Perhaps now more than ever we are acutely aware of the value of community and relationship, and people long to work on building relationships with others. This is particularly applicable to working relationships because we need each other. Co-workers need each other, employees need bosses, bosses need administrative assistants, businesses need customers, consumers need customer service. Consider team-building activities or appreciation days to strengthen the work bonds of the people already around you, and other incentives to strengthen retail-related relationships.

BE KIND. I was happy to see this on some resolution lists this past year because there are a million ways to implement it, both at home and at work. There is always someone to be kind to in some big or small way: associates, managers, maintenance people, delivery people. The list is endless.

SELF CARE. Be kind to yourself, too. Don’t beat yourself up over a mistake; learn from it. If you have a conflict, share it with someone toward resolving it. Take care of your physical, mental, emotional needs during the day as you work, so that your work is productive and efficient. Burning the candle at both ends only works so long as there’s candle left. Work hard, rest hard, keep margin.

LEARN A NEW SKILL. Ah, the possibilities with this one! Maybe it’s time to learn a new software program. Or implement a new calendar system. Or try a different work schedule – remote, hybrid, whatever. Maybe using a time-management or communication app would streamline your work life. What about finally jumping into the social media marketing world or omni-channel retailing? Or letting Facility Source help you employ new digital or lighting or graphic technology to an existing display. Or maybe it’s just time you learned to make a really great espresso in the office and you share the java love with everyone. That would take care of at least several of the previous resolutions!

TRAVEL MORE. Please, oh, please, New Year, give us this one! More markets, more events, more gatherings. We are ready for it.

Here’s looking at you, 2022!

Photo by Tim Mossholder