You feel really optimistic in January. This is your year! You are going to crush the competition! You are going to break sales records each month! It’s going to be amazing! But then reality creeps in and you’re stuck in the same cycle. You try the same marketing tactics that you’ve used over and over again. And get the exact same results. Not necessarily failing, just not reaching your goals. An old Confucius saying sums this dilemma up perfectly: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” What if the reason you’re not hitting your 2017 goals is because it’s easy to fall back on marketing tactics that you could do in your sleep? It’s not time to lower your expectations but mix it up and try some new ideas. At this point in the year, what do you have to lose? Try a Bold Gimmick Sometimes you’re afraid to try something to gimmicky because you don’t want it to hurt your brand. You don’t want to seem desperate or use over the top sales tactics that drive away customers. Yet, sometimes a bold gimmick works. Diamond Candle used the old “Cracker Jack” routine and added a surprise gift in every candle. They knew their customers were mainly women, so they hid a ring valued at $10, $100, $1,000 or $5,000 inside each candle. Customers uncover the ring they’ve won by using the candle. This is a gimmick that works. Customers love the expectation of winning a valuable ring, plus they actually like the candles. Maybe giving away jewelry isn’t for you. Just find a gimmick that complements your product in a new and fun way. Boost Referrals By Rewarding Your Best Customers People will happily refer their friends and family to businesses they love. And if you go out of your way to reward these customers, they will do your marketing for you. In Top 10 Dental Marketing Ideas, Justin Morgan explains a few ways to reward customers: “Be sure to offer a gift that is personal and unexpected. Marriage anniversary whitening is totally unexpected! It cost you very little to implement and won’t ever be forgotten. Sports fan memorabilia, unique to the likes of the patient. You can write a handwritten note, and that may be even better to some of your patients.” This idea works on any business, regardless of industry. Offer customers a special low-cost service or product, or offer them an exclusive bonus. The ideas are endless, just make it personal and genuine. Thank them for being an amazing customer and watch as they share how awesome your business is with all of their friends. Plan a Cyber Monday Bonanza (Even If You’re Not a Traditional Holiday Business) Cyber Monday used to be just for Christmas gifts. Now it’s evolved into an anything-goes event that any business can use to increase sales. Remember, there is no rule that says you have to be a “gift” business to offer amazing doorbuster deals. And in the eCommerce industry, any business on the planet can join in on the Cyber Week action. Currclick is a homeschool curriculum business that offers digital downloads and videos. It’s clearly not your traditional Cyber Monday business. Yet, that doesn’t stop them from using all the same tactics like deals that only last a few hours. In Start Planning Now! Top Marketing Automation Tools for Cyber Monday, I suggested a few tools and resources that can help any business plan for killer sales. It takes planning, just don’t be afraid to jump on the Cyber Monday bandwagon even if you don’t sell gifts. Attack a New Niche Did you know how much information Facebook gives you for free? Enough to choose a new niche that you may have never considered before. Facebook gives great demographic info on our followers that we can use to see where we can focus a new marketing campaign. Under Insights is a section called People that will show who is the most engaged, where they live, and how old they are. Here’s an example from one of my pages. Don’t be fooled by the percentage of fans, which in this case is 64% male. Women actually make up 59% of overall engaged fans, so this would be a great niche to attack. We could offer specific specials aimed at our female customers or add new products designed for women. The idea is to dig into the data to see if there is a niche that you haven’t considered before. Stage a Wacky Social Media Stunt Brazilian company Volta Ferrorama discontinued a beloved toy train in 1989 and they wanted to know if a new generation may be interested in a relaunching of the product line. They came up with a crazy scheme to have a toy train travel over 12 miles on just 360 feet of track. The team had to keep moving the track ahead, through streets and parks, to ensure that the tiny train had a continuous trip. This stunt gained Volta Ferrorama more than 600,000 YouTube views and was a top trending topic on Twitter three times! They ended up bringing the train out of retirement because their fans were so enthusiastic and excited. This crazy event cost very little and engaged both old and new fans. You would obviously have to come up with something that fit your business, location and industry. But why not try something a little wacky? Think creative and engaging. And have some fun along the way. You Still Have Time to Reach Your Goals None of these suggestions are expensive or that challenging to pull off. They may just be things you haven’t tried yet because you were stuck doing the same tired marketing tactics over and over again. Time is ticking but it’s probably not too late to reach your goals. You have to stop doing the same things that aren’t working anymore. You just have to be willing to try something different and take a chance. You have nothing to lose and a successful 2017 to gain.