Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! Christmas is in the air! I know I run the risk of causing a few people to roll their eyes and move on because the thought of the approaching silly season can be a little too much for many of us. I’m cool with this, but I’m going to take that chance and hope that for many of you, this is the time of year when we start to pen our thoughts and hopes for marketing campaigns 2010, while reflecting on the year that was and how we could have all done things better.

With this in mind, I would like to get us all thinking about our Christmas wish lists as marketers. It’s not as fun as jotting down your personal wish list and handing it to your partner but still, it’s a nice way to think about the new year and an important task that ensures 2010 will see you and your team make vast improvements to your tactics and realign strategies to fit current business goals. It can also be a highly rewarding and insightful exercise to conduct with your team members. Use it as a chance to brainstorm and collect important feedback on the year’s progress – you’ll be surprised at how useful a little reflection can be.

But back to the wish list… Once you’ve had time to reflect and gather your thoughts about campaigns and strategies gone by, then you can begin your wish list for 2010. I’ve decided to share a couple of common marketing wishes below for us all to consider but I’d ideally like to see feedback to this blog from marketers willing to share their own wish list for 2010. No need for massive detail if you can’t be bothered, but wouldn’t it be good to see how your needs and wants compare with industry colleagues? A lot has happened in the last 12 to 18 months, so go on… jot down your thoughts below and let’s see where people’s priorities lie for the new year.

1. More budget

For most of us, we’ve experienced cut backs in the last 12 months and so the thought of doing more with less for a whole new year is not very appealing. Things might still be tight but if you have facts and data to back up your request for more budget then you stand the best chance of securing more dough in 2010. Think about how you can demonstrate the value of your campaigns in 2009. Work out how many sales or lead generation opportunities your team contributed with each campaign. Show your CEO and/or CFO the actual return on their marketing investment. This is the best way (and often the only way) to secure more cash for your team in the new year.

2. Expand our marketing repertoire

Another common marketing wish is to see growth in the variety of tactics used. It’s easy to get bogged down using the same lead generation ideas and so, for many of us, a new year presents an opportunity to expand our repertoire. But how are we going to do this? If we haven’t secured a whole lot of new budget we’re going to find it difficult to add new campaigns with no budget to support it. And so we’ll probably drop a couple of campaigns that are feeling a bit tired and adopt some new ones. But the critical point here is: how do we make sure that we keep our most fruitful campaigns?

Even though a particular tactic feels tired and boring, it might actually be one of our top performing campaigns. Similarly, when we introduce new ideas, we need to ensure that they are in fact performing better than the campaign they replaced. The new campaign might seem more fun and interesting to carry out but it still needs to bring in results, and it needs to improve on the outcomes generated by the old campaign.

3. Improve the website

This might seem like a low priority to some of you, but for many the process of changing website content can seem like a completely arduous task, no matter how minor the change required. Often senior management get comfortable with a website’s look and feel, and become reluctant to make many changes. Either that or they put change management processes in place that quite simply make it too hard to respond quickly and appropriately to marketing campaigns. In this circumstance, we need to present evidence to support our claim that certain parts of our website create bottlenecks for site visitors. We need to gather data to show how our products page sits too far below the website surface or that our information pages are too long and drive people away.

With these three typical wishes explored briefly, I ask you to contribute your top needs and wants for 2010. Go on, don’t be shy, let’s see what marketers really want this Christmas.

“This is my personal blog.  The views expressed here are my own and do not represent those of my employer, Coremetrics.”