How to Set Your 2020 Marketing Goals

A 5-step process for leaders of corporate, product and employer brands

Fall always seems like the right time for new beginnings. For some of us, it goes back to the “fresh start” of a still-new school year. Maybe it’s the feeling of crisp cool breezes and brightly colored leaves, or the smell of all those “pumpkin spices” at the coffee shop. And, it’s definitely the time to set your 2020 marketing goals and plan for the coming year. Which sounds great in concept, but doing it is another matter. Is there a best way to set marketing goals? How should you even get started?

Here at Relish Marketing, we’ve got your back, with a proven, five-step process for setting marketing goals that connect to measurable results.

1. Align with Strategic Objectives

It’s likely that your corporate leadership has given you a head start with strategic business objectives. They probably have been asking questions having to do with historical performance and necessary next steps for the future. And, that’s the right place to start when you’re developing the coming year’s marketing goals. Look carefully at those objectives and determine how marketing can best support them.

 2. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs measure how – and how well – you achieve your objectives. So, if the objective is to improve sales by 50 percent, look at your past lead generation and conversion stats. Consider what your top competitors have been doing and follow industry research aggregators, so you can see how you compare to the rest of your industry.  To what extent should you seek to improve the number of leads you generate and convert? And to what extent will you aim to improve the rates at which those leads are generated and converted? Likewise, if your goal is to strengthen your workforce, define KPIs around the number of qualified applicants you attract in each job category, the rate at which applicants become hires, and the cost of hiring. Either way, define those metrics.

3. Identify Tactics and Deliverables (plus what you’ll need to complete them)

For each KPI, determine what marketing tactics will best accomplish the desired results. Ask yourself: Who are the audiences for each one of your marketing efforts – and what channels will best reach them? What deliverables will you need to support each tactic? And what resources will be required to activate each one? Consider costs – both in the context of what you can afford to do and in terms of likely returns on investment (AKA what you can’t afford not to do). What should your team tackle in house, and what may make more sense to do with an outside partner? This part of the process is what turns specific goals into tangible ways to achieve them.

 4. Prioritize Activation

It would be great if prioritization were simply a matter of organizing your tactics and deliverables according to high, medium and low business priorities. And make no mistake, that scale is important. But you should also sort that same list according to other criteria. Determine what must get done immediately, within the next six months, and by the end of the year. Then sort it yet again on a continuum of ease. That is, which activities are "low hanging fruit" that you can address quickly and easily? And which ones will require more time and effort? Finally, consider dependencies – what projects must be completed before other projects can begin? Look at your tactics and deliverables through all of these lenses. That perspective will help you position your goals to generate as much success as possible.

5. Put it All Together

Armed with all this information, you should be able to set your 2020 marketing goals, including strategies, tactics, deliverables, audiences, responsibilities for your internal and external teams, and budgeting for each. It almost doesn't matter whether you use a detailed time management program or just a simple spreadsheet. Having everything delineated and scheduled for all partners to see makes it easier to get buy-in, track progress and ensure accountability.

Does it still feel a bit daunting? If so, you’re probably doing it right. But you don’t have to do it alone. Full disclosure: This is the process we at Relish Marketing follow to help our clients develop their corporate, product and employer brand marketing plans. But even if you’re tackling this process internally, we’re genuinely happy to help you do it. Email us as you work through thoughts, ideas and concerns. For instance, are you seeing prices for strategic, creative and production work that seem unusually high or low? We deal with these numbers every day. Go ahead and ask us if they're on target. We can tell you if they are – and if they're not, we can help you determine what questions you should be asking about them.

Either way, the time is now to set your marketing goals for 2020. So, grab yourself a coffee (pumpkin spice optional) and get started.


Thought Leadership: What it Is, Why it Matters, How to Achieve it.

What is Thought Leadership?

You recognize it when you see it. Sometimes, it’s a codified approach to your business that goes beyond “the way things have always been done.”  Other times, it connects the dots of experience, information, trends and statistics in ways that demonstrate fresh perspectives. Almost always, thought leadership asks and explores important questions like, “Why?” and “What if?” And, it provides answers that are accessible, attractive and compelling.

Thought leadership matters to your audiences – whether they’re customers, prospects, job candidates, employees, colleagues or partners. That’s because thought leaders provide insights into their business and brands that can help them succeed. They clarify perspectives and help them make smart decisions. Likewise, when you are the source of that thought leadership, you have taken a giant step toward reinforcing your credibility as a trusted resource and authority.

Content Marketing is the Key

If a great idea is published and nobody reads it, it’s not really thought leadership. So, yes, you have to create great content. You also have to develop a compelling strategy for distributing that content where and how your audiences want it. Search engine optimization is part of the process. So is placement. Find the sites that your customers and potential customers frequent – and find ways to get mentioned there. Maybe you can work out a reciprocal blog arrangement. If your audiences spend time on key online user groups, you should be there, too.

Your distribution approach should also include ways to leverage your thought leadership across multiple media. Its first appearance may be in a whitepaper. But it could also be reframed as an entertaining infographic, video or interactive eBook. If you're interviewed for a podcast or article, those compelling concepts and insights should show up there, too. Put it all together, and you will inform, inspire and even entertain your audiences. You also will reinforce your position as a trusted authority and move toward achieving trust, buy-in and advocacy.

Could You Be a Thought Leader?

It’s a heady question. Think about your areas of expertise, passion and focus. Consider the big questions that your audiences are asking: Where is this industry going, and why? What are the internal and external forces behind critical changes? What conventional approaches no longer work – and what new ones do? Ask yourself what kinds of issues worry your customers – and how you can codify insights that help them.

Then, look at the different ways in which you should be sharing your perspectives. The best thought leadership resonates with people in different ways, from the rational to the emotional. And all of those ways are important as you help take people through multiple levels of awareness and enthusiasm.

Finally, remember that any new, innovative ideas will have to withstand challenges., consider the degree to which you’re willing and able to defend your ideas. Achieving the respect and authority that comes with recognized thought leadership doesn’t happen overnight. But the journey through developing and championing powerful approaches and innovative insights will be worth the effort.

Our Brand Promise

When we work with clients, we talk about the importance of their brand promise – but what does that mean? It’s not necessarily a tagline or headline (although it can be). Nor is it a description of features and benefits (although that can inform it). Your brand promise is what customers can expect to get – both functionally and emotionally – when they engage with the brand. And it’s important because that’s the metric against which your customers will measure their experiences. So, it not only has to sound attractive and compelling; it also has to reflect reality.

This year, as Relish Marketing looks forward to celebrating its 10thanniversary, we’ve taken on ourselves as a client. Which means we’ve been taking a fresh look at our communications and exploring our own brand promise.

To that end, we spoke with many of our clients, representing large enterprises and growing businesses in sectors ranging from consumer goods to professional services. And we learned that the Relish brand promise is driven in equal parts by three key components:

  • Strategy + Creative
    For us, the combination of strategy and creative is so important …. Relish is excellent in both areas – and that’s so much of what makes great work. – Carol Galbreath, Senior Director of PR and Communications, Georgia Dental Association
    [At] some agencies, they start with a creative idea they try to retrofit strategy around… Relish understood what we were looking for… and integrated the creative into that approach. –Chris McCarthy, Marketing Director, Sargento Foods
  • Integrity + Attention
    The work has always been high integrity. You do what you say when you say you will do it.– David Asbury, Chief Executive Officer, Northwestern Benefit
    Even though I know Relish works with other law firms, I never worry that you’ll pitch something I’d see at another firm.– Karen Wilcox, President, Marketing Speaks; Marketing Consultant, Taylor English Duma LLP
  • Trusted Relationships
    You take the time to learn our company and come up with your best work. Over time a strong mutual trust develops that delivers better, honest feedback and improves the work on both sides. – Frans Mahieu, Global Director of Marketing HR, Kimberly-Clark
    It seems to me that Relish has thrived because of repeat business. That’s relationships. – Gareth Clarke, CEO (retired), Irrimax Corporation
    With Relish, I don’t feel like I’m calling on a vendor. I’m calling my team who’s in it with me and knows what we need to do. It’s not transactional, it’s relational.  – Rochelle Valsaint, Manager, Brand and Communications, Lenbrook Senior Living

Most importantly, our clients told us that while each of these components is valuable, the Relish experience happens in the dynamic created by all three together. And that’s our brand promise: The fusion of strategy and creative, driven by a commitment to integrity and attention, sustained by trusted relationships.

Our founder and President, Pam Willoughby, says that these very components are what inspired her to start Relish Marketing in the first place. “I’d seen too many marketing efforts executed in spite of creative that wasn’t strategic, a lack of integrity, and a distance between the agency and its clients. I knew there had to be a better way. And I wondered – if we focused on that fusion of strategy and creative, integrity and trusted relationships, how much better could it be?”

According to our clients, it can be “Powerful,” “Professional,” “Genuine,” and “A lot of fun.” And if we look at our brand promise as the starting point for the next ten years, well, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about what’s ahead.

Life at Relish: Travel Bucket List

With a hint of spring in the air, our thoughts are starting to turn to travel and adventure. The team here at Relish Marketing has a long list of destinations on our bucket list. Here are the places that we want to go for renewal and inspiration.


One destination on my (and my wife’s) bucket list is definitely Italy.  More accurately, Venice and the Tuscan region.  It’s a place I have always admired for its beauty and more importantly, its wonderful food.  Being from New York, I have always loved going to Little Italy, and I really want to try the “real thing.”


When our children were growing up, we entered an au pair program (interestingly, on the advice of our friend, Pam Willoughby!). We’ve since dreamed of a big trip to visit them all in Turkey, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany, England, Norway, and Poland (although our Polish au pair now lives in the U.S.).


I love to travel, so there are many places on my list. The places I absolutely have to go to are: Egypt to see the pyramids and the temples. Bora Bora to be on an island far, far away and experience total relaxation in an overwater bungalow. Italy to indulge in pasta and wine while touring the cities and countryside. South Africa/Madagascar to soak up the culture and beautiful beaches.


Like many, my travel bucket list is very long. But, between the descriptions by a favorite author (Orhan Pamuk), memories of a dearly beloved Nancy Drew mystery (The Mysterious Mannequin), and the lure of the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul holds a place at the top of my list.


Ireland - I want to sketch inside as many castles as I can. Japan - Cherry blossoms in the spring. Please! South Africa - Kruger National Park. Singapore - Marina Bay Sands Hotel... look it up. Morocco - Sahara Desert meets Casablanca.


My bucket list is way too long to list, so I will share my next big international trip. My goal is to visit several locations in Thailand at the end of this year and several locations in Africa next year. Both are two big bucket list items.


My #1 travel destination is Palermo, Sicily (and the entire island in general). My grandfather immigrated to America from there when he was a boy in the 1890’s and I’ve always wanted to see where he and my family came from.


I have a very long bucket list for travel. First up is Budapest and Dubrovnik. I have had a thing for Scotland (kilts!) since I was a teenager, so I definitely want to travel there and possibly Ireland. I am also in conversation with a good friend about a trip to Bali or Thailand for a meditation/yoga retreat. The world is such a big place and I have seen so little of it.


There are 2 places that I’d love to visit. For 30 years, I’ve wanted to visit Thailand for its architectural and historic beauty, and for authentic Thai food. It also helps that, from what I hear, there are beautiful beaches! The other place is Paris, because it’s, well... Paris.














Life at Relish: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! The transition to 2019 has had all of us at Relish Marketing thinking not so much about resolutions as about what we’d just as soon leave behind with the old year – and what new things we hope to grow for ourselves going forward:

Don’t want in 2019 – Procrastination. Do want in 2019 – To enhance business development for Relish and more yoga for me personally!

I want to leave that propensity to reflect (obsess?) on my to-do list and that nagging feeling that something is undone behind. Good riddance. And in 2019, I want to grow my ability to live and take in the now and enjoy the experience that I am in at any given moment.

I want to get rid of self-doubt and inertia, my two greatest nemeses. And I’m hoping to grow creative expression across all my favorite media – and time to revel with family and friends.

What I hope won’t follow me into 2019: My compulsion to save/store old things that I haven’t used in years. And to grow in the new year? Design and technical skills in video editing/production.

Less division. More compromise.

Something from 2018 that I hope won’t follow me into 2019? My social media addiction. And what I hope will grow for me in the new year?  Money and opportunities :)

Something I do not want is to come close and lose in my fantasy football league AGAIN. One thing I really do want is to travel somewhere I have never been to.

I don’t want to be on social media more than 3 hours total per week unless it’s work-related. I do want to travel more and experience different cultures.

What are YOU looking forward to this year? We’d love to hear about it.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client workWork with us! Contact here.


Links We Savor: Brain Boosting Apps, Facebook Ad Strategies, Using Data to Influence Consumers & more

4 Ways Data Can Influence Consumers

At Relish, we believe that great creative becomes more powerful when it’s backed up by compelling research. But just as data can (and should) come from multiple sources, the real power of research is in the way it is used. And this AdAge story offers some great ways to use data to your advantage as you influence and acquire new customers.

5 Apps to Boost Your Brain Power

What are our phones doing to our brains? If time with your top apps sometimes leaves you fuzzy-headed, you might share our fascination with these five apps designed to boost brain power and maybe even make us smarter.

3 Strategies that Will Make Your Facebook Ads More Successful

Social media marketing can be a great way to reach your audience. And Facebook ads have even more potential since it’s the platform with the most active users – if you use it right. Learn how these three strategies that can help your Facebook ads be more successful.

8 Ways to Use Content to Skyrocket User Engagement

Content may be king, but the real prize is user engagement – when people enjoy the experience of connecting with your business online and keep coming back for more. Especially in a world where consumers are constantly bombarded by content, you’ll want to see these ways to turn great content into great relationships.

Burger King Takes on the Pink Tax

Did you know that products specified “for women” are priced an average of 13% higher than the same product marketed to the general population – and sometimes even higher? It’s known as  “The Pink Tax” and we love how Burger King raised awareness about it with their “Chick Fries” stunt campaign. Take a look.

At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us!

3 Rules for Great Videos

It’s easy to see the many ways in which video can support your marketing and grow business. After all, more than 73% of consumer internet traffic is video – and that number is growing. Likewise, video in an email can double – or even triple – click-through rates. But is all video alike? Of course not. Videos can run the gamut from documentary-style storytelling and broadcast television style to a talk-show format, “live illustration” explainer video, or even short, animated GIFs. But we’ve identified three essential rules that can help you make the right video for your business:

    1. Know your audience. Who needs to see this video? Why do they need to see it? And what biases and preconceptions are they bringing with them? Also, how are they likely to be viewing it – in the office? In a theater-style presentation? Or on their mobile phones? The answers to these key questions will tell you a lot about the kind of video you’ll need to produce.
    2. Know your message. As in any other media, a clear focus is essential. Even a highly engaging video will be a waste of resources if you don’t begin with a solid understanding of what it needs to communicate. So, always start by asking yourself this: If people walk away from the video knowing, learning and/or feeling one thing, what must that be?
    3. Know your limits, specifically, in these important areas:
      • Budget – Unless you have the technology and expertise you’ll need to create the results you want on your own, you’re going to need to invest in videography – and this is definitely an area in which you get what you pay for. A brilliant videographer can get great results using little more than an iPhone and smart lighting, but poor-quality DIY video – and make no mistake, that’s most self-made video – can actually do more harm than good. That said, you don’t necessarily need to have a broadcast-TV production budget to achieve results. A well-written, smartly produced video can be highly effective – and surprisingly affordable if you’re willing to use stock videography, simple animation and/or no voiceover.
      • Expertise and Experience – A quality video requires quality visual design, storyboarding, writing and production. And keep in mind that you may be good at writing whitepapers, but if you don’t have scriptwriting experience, that skill may not automatically transfer to a video about the same subject.
      • Talent – In video, talent typically refers to the people seen and heard on-screen or heard in the voiceover. Those faces and voices can make the difference in how credible your video comes across to audiences. That said, you may know your technology backward and forward, but that knowledge may not translate to a compelling video presence.

Armed with the essential knowledge these three rules will give you, you’ll be able to best identify, evaluate and get the best ROI from any investment you make in video. Whether you’re aiming for an Emmy Award or you want to support sales and promote learning opportunities, the right resources will help you leverage your team’s skills and knowledge and produce a video that delivers results.

At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us!

Life at Relish: Our Favorite Fonts

Choosing a font to use for your brand on printed/digital collateral is a critical part of engaging your audience, and often times it can be a difficult choice. There's serif, sans-serif, script, display, and even within those categories, there are still tons of options. So, we thought it'd be fun to challenge ourselves to pick our favorite fonts. See what we chose below:

I've always had a fondness for the simple, elegant fonts like Garamond and Helvetica Neue but I must admit to being a bit of a decorative font junkie for special projects - handwritten ones like Crazy Thoughts and Silent Reaction, as well as decorative fonts like Wednesday or Neon Lights. Of course, any time I see anything using the Papyrus font, it just makes me laugh because of the infamous Ryan Gosling SNL sketch about how the movie Avatar used it.

Fonts are like fashion. What's in style is always changing. However, a font type that never goes out of style is a sans-serif font. Wikipedia defines a sans-serif font as a letterform that does not have extending features called "serifs" at the end of strokes. They are clean, crisp and simple. They are also professional, easy-to-read and approachable. A specific one I've been using lately on some of our client work is Gilroy. It embodies all the things I like about a sans-serif font.

Choosing a favorite font is a difficult task. I like Futura for its simplicity and readability, even at small sizes. I like Bodoni Bold because it looks like money. I even like Arnold Boecklin for its art nouveau, psychedelic quality. I guess my favorite font is the right one for the situation. But as I looked through our font collection here at Relish, I came across Bookeyed Sadie Ampersands. What a great "font"! "And" connects so many things, and here is a whole family of different ways to show "and". I think this is my new favorite font.

I've always been a fan of sans-serif fonts and Gotham has recently become my new favorite. The geometric feel of the font reminds me of architecture - perfect lines as if each letter was created up against a ruler. It's very easy to read which makes it a great display font. I also love that there are so many weights and it also comes in Narrow, Extra Narrow and Condensed providing endless options.

At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client workWork with us! Contact here.


Links We Savor: Video is Taking Over, Netflix Looks to Make Improvements, Facebook vs. YouTube and More!


Medium | 16 Visual Content Marketing Statistics That Will Wake You Up

Visual content – think photos, infographics, memes, illustration, and video – is increasing the way people want to consume information, especially on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. But what does that mean for your marketing? These 16 statistics offer some interesting perspectives that could make a difference in your visual content marketing strategy.

Marketing Land | Twitter to Launch 8 New Pilot Series Supported by In-Stream Video

Is Twitter becoming a video company? The social media pioneer’s growth may be slowing in comparison to competitors but they could make up for it with more than 30 video content deals – including eight new original series. They’re also launching a new service to help brands make the most of their live video content. See how Twitter hopes its shift toward more video will make a difference.

Entrepreneur | Netflix Has Adopted Machine Learning to Personalize Its Marketing Game

The beauty of Netflix is that it uses one-to-one personalization to recommend tons of shows and videos for you to watch based on your interests. But can they continue to scale? Learn about Netflix’s plans to further humanize their marketing strategies with machine learning.

Bloomberg | Facebook Loses Ground to Google with Users Spending More Time on YouTube

As consumers turn their attention to video, people are spending less time on Facebook and more time on Google’s YouTube. Will Facebook’s shift away from media sharing and toward family and friends’ posts be enough to maintain its leadership? Or will people lose interest in the platform? Take a look at the latest stats and see what you think and as a bonus see how Facebook’s Watch platform may help them retain viewership.

Forbes| Building Customer Relationships Is Imperative for Competing in the High-Stakes Mid Market

An ever-changing digital landscape in which people use multiple devices interchangeably has made it more challenging for mid-sized companies to effectively target consumers. But do these companies have unique strengths that can help them outcompete larger companies? This article suggests they do.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.

social media trends relish marketing

5 Social Media Trends to Watch This Year

Social media continues to dominate marketing as brands seek new and better ways to connect with their audiences. As competition increases, attention spans shrink and social apps evolve, it’s imperative to get your message across as quickly and effectively as possible – where and how your audiences want them. Which is why we’ve identified five key social media trends to help you do it.

1. Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories use SnapChat’s original model in which users create short video and photo montages that disappear after 24 hours. This capability has seen rapid growth since its induction in 2016, becoming one of the most popular ways to share social media content.

The increased popularity of Instagram Stories has led Instagram users to spend an additional 7-10 minutes on the app per day while creating new advertising opportunities for businesses (one-third of the most popular stories have been produced by brands).

Look at how J.Crew used Instagram Stories to offer followers an exclusive opportunity to get their Jane in Pink sunglasses before they went on sale to the public. Only 50 pairs were available during the pre-sale, which combined with the limited-time format to drive a strong sense of urgency, selling out in only six hours.

j crew jane pink instagram story - social media trends

2. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are defined as people with a large following on one or more major social media platforms, making them an especially desirable partner for brands. Some influencers are well-known actors and athletes, but some are simply popular within their social media platform of choice (think YouTube and Instagram stars).

The principle here isn’t new. Celebrity endorsements are almost as old as advertising itself, connecting public affection for a person to a brand’s products or services. According to Forbes, people follow influencers more than they watch television or read content. This swift rise in influencer marketing can be connected to a rise in influencers with specific niche followings (i.e., beauty, fashion, travel, food, etc.). These influencers carry an aura of independence, which enables their brand endorsements to appear more authentic.

3. Live Streaming/Social TV

Last year, we saw live streaming take a huge jump forward with Insta Live and Facebook Live offering users the ability to live stream videos – to great effect. Live videos on Facebook receive nearly double engagement compared to videos shared on YouTube and Instagram, and they have a significantly higher organic reach. Facebook also reports that users watch live videos three times longer than non-live video.

The benefit of live streaming is similar to that of reality TV. Even when the content is planned or scripted in advance, the real-time format makes users feel more authentically connected to the brand.

BuzzFeed, a brand known for its fun, quirky viral videos, used Facebook Live to show two team members attempting to break a watermelon with rubber bands. The idea may seem silly, but toward the end of the 45-minute live video, Buzzfeed announced that 725,000 people were watching. And the momentum continued; to date, the video has attracted more than 11 million views.


4. Chatbots

Chatbots are not new to the Internet or social media, but they are getting smarter in how they respond to queries. As a result, they can provide a sense of instant connection with customers as they help people with a variety of things – from resolving service issues to ordering pizza.

As chat bots become smarter and more human-like, brands are using the data and technology to customize their brand voice to send personalized messages to customers. In January, Facebook reported that 20 million businesses message with people every month.

Check out how the Golden State Warriors used a chatbot to deliver immediate stats for the 2017 Playoffs, resulting in an exchange of 4.3 million messages in the first 2 months.

Facebook Chatbot GS Warriors social media trends
To no one’s surprise, millennials have been the quickest adopters of chatbots, with nearly 60% having used them. This year, we expect to see even more businesses use chatbots to build awareness, drive customer acquisition, increase transactions and provide customer care.

5. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is when a mobile device superimposes computer-generated images on a user's view of the real world. This capability is clever, quick, highly interactive – and on the rise. With Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X both enabling AR functionality, it’s likely that more brands will integrate it into their campaigns this year.

Ikea has already released an AR app that enables iOS users to preview furniture in their homes. It’s an ingenious way to increase conversions by showing customers how their products will look in their home before buying.

Ikea Place App Augmented Reality social media trends
You can expect these trends to impact users and brands significantly in 2018. Which means it’s probably time to revisit your social media strategy to ensure that you’re reaching your target audience in the most effective way and maximize your return on investment.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client workWork with us! Contact here.