R you ready to be a more effective marketer in 2018?  Here are a few “R” words to think about as you prepare to implement your marketing strategies and tactics.  They are all important, so they are presented in alphabetical order.

Ratings. Ratings are nothing new.  People have been using ratings from Consumer Reports and other sources for decades when considering everything from automobiles to washing machines to insurance.  But now people are going online for ratings.  Make sure you are registered with important sites like Google so customers can rate you.  And don’t be afraid to promote those positive ratings through all your marketing channels.

Rationale thinking. Don’t assume people make rational decisions.  They don’t.  Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for economics based upon his work in behavioral economics, which states people do not always make the most rational decisions.  So explore the emotional factors that go into decision making.

Read. People don’t like to read.  Cut to the chase.  Keep direct mail copy to a minimum.  Blogs should not be more than 500 words.  If a Web page contains more than 250 words, that is too many.

Refresh. The key to making sure your Website ranks high in searches is to make sure your Website always has fresh content.  Reviews, articles of interest, blogs, press releases, staff bios and case studies are just a few ways you can keep your Website content fresh.

Relevance. Is your message relevant to your target market?  Talk with your customers to make sure it is, exploring both the rational and emotional attributes that lead to relevance.

Research. Many people view research as an expense.  It is really an investment.  You are spending a little money on research so that when you spend more money implementing tactics you will know you are implementing them correctly.  Use research to do everything from understanding whether customers will buy your products (and what price they will pay) to understanding the most important product attributes, to making sure your creative materials will resonate.