Better than New Year Resolutions


Creative and Strategic Director - Passionate about working with charities to ensure effective communication with users, supportes and other stakeholders.
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Creative and Strategic Director - Passionate about working with charities to ensure effective communication with users, supportes and other stakeholders.

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Do you have big plans for your fundraising in 2023? If so, great – but are there any doubts lurking in the back of your mind about the low success rate of new year resolutions? This morning, when I starting typing ‘why do new year’s resolutions fail’ into Google, I only got as far as ‘why do new ye’ before the whole phrase popped up as a popular search term.

New Year’s Resolutions often bear some resemblance to the lottery. Either you win or you don’t. Either we achieve our lofty targets, or we leave the ideas sitting on our to-do list. At the top of our list in January, then moving down the priorities in February and ending in the ‘never got around to it’ pile. That’s the danger with all-or-nothing strategies.

So, if you have planned marketing initiatives for 2023 – and if you have a good track record of achieving your goals – that’s great. But for those of us who may not be feel so confident that we’re going to follow through ‘this time round’, perhaps it’s worth considering a different approach.

Why not try an evaluation process that derives from the realms of scientific experiment? It’s not a once-a-year initiative. You can apply this every day or every week – whatever time frame makes sense. In fact, you can use it with any marketing (or other) action plan you make. It’s designed to be a continuous process.

  • Plan an action
  • Take the action
  • Look at what happened
  • Figure out what worked
  • Figure out what went less well
  • Decide what to change next time round
  • Plan your next action

You can imagine Thomas Edison doing this when he invented the electric light bulb. He is said to have made 1,000 attempts before he hit success. One of his quotes is, ‘Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do, doesn’t mean it’s useless.’ Here’s another: ‘There’s a way to do it better – find it.’

Let’s say that you’re going to carry out this evaluation process for the first time. Step one is to pick an action that you’ve taken. For example, you may have designed a logo for your charity. This was the second attempt. First time round you had a go at yourself. You weren’t happy with the result, so you asked a friend of a work colleague who is good with computers. They’ve come up with something but, again, it doesn’t feel right.

So, let’s get going. It’s a three-step process.

Step 1 – What’s worked?

Most of us find it easier to come up with bad points rather than good points. This first step forces us to look for positives. I suggest you always come up with three. For example:

  1. We have a logo
  2. We’ve got a better idea of what we don’t want from a logo
  3. We’ve spent very little money getting this far

Step 2 – What’s gone less well than we hoped?

This is the easy bit. Looking at the negatives. However, try to restrict yourself to the top two points. Think back to Edison. When you’ve carried out an experiment, don’t throw everything out. If you only see negatives, you’ll find this evaluation method less effective.

  1. We still don’t have a logo we’re happy with
  2. We’ve wasted time and effort

Step 3 – What will we do next?

Often, this is the trickiest part of the process. Committing to an action plan can be expensive in terms of both time and money. You may wish to brainstorm a few different possibilities before you come up with the one action point.

  1. Approach three graphic design firms and request a free meeting to discuss the logo

That’s the evaluation finished. Once you’ve approached the graphic design companies, you evaluate again. Thinking of your interactions with the designers, what worked, what worked less well than hoped, and what will you do next?

Of course, your next actions won’t always (or even often) involve approaching graphic designers like us at Ginger & Tall. However, if you ever do want to reach out to us to ask our opinion or to request help with your marketing challenges, we’d be delighted to help. And our first consultation is always free of charge.

By the way, the Ginger & Tall viewpoint on logos is that they are far from the most important part of your marketing strategy. Yes, when you do create a logo, please do take professional advice. An amateurish-looking logo can do you more harm than good – making you stand out from the crowd in bad way. What’s much more important than a logo is to bring excellent graphic design – in all its facets –  into all your marketing initiatives.

We wish you all the best for 2023!

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