In honor of 2013, HB is introducing “Blog the 13th.” That’s right! On the 13th of every month, we’ll share a special post with you (we promise it’s not as scary as Friday the 13th).

To kick off Blog the 13th, marketers need to think about what changing priorities a New Year will bring, and what that means for you, your business and your clients.

January 1st is like hitting an imaginary reset button; to take advantage of this opportunity and consider your marketing resolutions for next year, here are 13 of our suggestions:

  1. Don’t count on luck. It’s important to take risks, but don’t hit go on an idea and wish for the best. Create a plan.
  2. Step back, slow down. Take an honest look at your marketing activities in the past year. If they were non-existent, does it make sense for you and your business to consider a change in 2013? If your company is a marketing machine, take a step back and evaluate all facets of your marketing plan. Was PR successful in 2012? If the answer is yes and you think it could be even more successful in 2013 with additional investment, consider making a change.
  3. Kill your darling. Next year is a fresh start, so don’t hold on to anything that proved to be useless last year. For example – you sponsored several trade shows which resulted in virtually no leads but ate up a significant portion of the marketing budget. It’s time to reevaluate. Or you clung onto a marketing theme that was inconsistent with your overall messaging, but stuck with it because you loved the idea of it.
  4. Be practical. Big ideas are important, but it’s often the little things that count. Set measureable and realistic goals that you can chip away at during the next 12 months.
  5. Measure. Monitor. Reward. Measurement remains one of the most critical activities we can do as marketers, and still one of the most challenging. Since 2013 is the year you’ll set measurable goals, make sure you monitor progress throughout the year. Have a tough time doing that? Set up a rewards system as incentive. It doesn’t have to be something big, but make it something that will motivate you.
  6. Use money to make money. Businesses have held on to their cash for a few years now. With the economy warming up, it’s time to invest in growth.
  7. Demand message alignment. A critical review of a business’ creative assets will show more often than not that its website language, sales material collateral, press releases and other items tell different stories. Rather, make them tell the same story, but in different ways to appeal to each specific, intended audience.
  8. Explore new media. In general, people like to stick with what they know. Expand your horizons and consider a marketing activity that, while out of your comfort zone, may pay big dividends. There are so many new ways and places you can tell your story in 2013.
  9. Don’t jump on the social media bandwagon. Just because it’s popular, that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Ask yourself first – is my target audience on social media? What do I hope to accomplish through social channels? Do I have time to devote to social media? Define your goals first before you decide it makes sense. And then commit to success.
  10. Create meaningful content. With the internet at your fingertips, you have access to a never-ending resource of fresh content. While it’s important to be seen and heard, make sure you add value with your curation.
  11. Make a personal and intimate connection with your audience. Doesn’t matter who your audience is, but know to whom you’re selling to and make a point to connect with the right people, not all people. Consumers and B2B buyers alike respond to content and ideas that map to their interests.
  12. Listen More. Talk Less. While marketing may seem like a whole lot of talking at people, the most important part is listening. Make it your mission to listen more than anything else next year.
  13. Create your own resolutions and stick to them! What are your marketing resolutions for 2013?