How to start Marketing Planning for 2021

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marketing planning

Marketing planning for 2021? How much have you done? After a tumultuous 2020, now is the perfect time for a spot of reflection on the years behind and to prepare for the years ahead.

These days, the market and marketing practice is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace and businesses must be able to change with the times.

To keep up to speed, business owners and CEOs need to take the time to climb up out of the jungle that is running a business and survey the surrounding landscape. In short, be strategic and not just tactical with your marketing planning, otherwise, the business ends up being squeezed out of the market.

Act Like a Marketing Company First

If you want to survive the decade ahead, you must first act like a marketing company in your own right. So how do you get your marketing planning right?

To get your particular product or service “out there” you need to emotionally engage the attention of your potential consumers with content which entertains, educates or inspires.

If you can do all three with your content then you’re producing what I like to call a “triple threat.”

Above all, businesses should exhibit personality, they need a brand.

With a plethora of different platforms all competing for consumer recognition, people’s attention spans are – at best – divided. I think it’s safe to say that we can expect the trend to continue into the next decade.

Having a purpose beyond profit is also essential in a time where the power rests with the people and they’re voting with their wallets.

So give them a reason to vote for you and distribute those reasons, “why,” consistently.

Your success will depend on our methodology which lies in our intuitive and holistic 6-step approach. to marketing planning:

  1. Know yourself & know the consumer
  2. Know the competitive landscape
  3. Form your Strategy
  4. Execute the tactics
  5. Measure the results
  6. Learn from your data

It seems simple right? Let’s take a closer look.

1 – Know yourself and the consumer intimately

Client psychographics have overtaken demographics which means that knowing our ideal clients values, activities, interests, lifestyle and of course, media consumption has never been more important because if we are to reach them we don’t just need to know where they are consuming media but what their interests might be so we can give them a gentle nudge in our direction.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you may have noticed that understanding your values and purpose are important.

Why? Because how are we supposed to attract like-minded individuals if we’re unable to articulate our values & purpose.

A deep understanding of why we do what we do helps to keep your content marketing efforts on your unique passionate course.

They inspire your tone of voice in your copy, your visuals in video production and branding colour palettes.

Our values, what we are passionate about and the reasons why we get out of bed every day, enable us to unite our corporate culture to develop a business “vehicle” on purpose.

2 – Know the competitive landscape

With the shifting attention of your potential clients bouncing from one need to the next, staying informed on the competitive landscape will help you determine whether you need to adapt your business model to suit.

This could mean adding or removing services and/or product lines.

Knowing your competitors helps you identify these changes and to fuel your curiosity as to why this change is afoot.

Researching trends in technology advancements and new consumer behaviour then helps you backup your initial theories to determine why your competitors might be changing.

As Cisco announces “Annual global IP traffic will reach 4.8 ZB per year by 2022” we enter the age of Zettabytes (A zettabyte is one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes) and so we have access to more data than we know what to do with.

Thankfully the data that you need is almost as easy to get as a simple Google search away. And, thanks to the availability of data analysis tools we can establish what channel we should be engaging with and whether or not our ideas might fly.

3 – Form your Strategy

Strategic Goals are the pillars that hold up your business.

Traditionally the marketing department doesn’t normally come up with these but because they are the gateway to the outside world they really should be across them.

In our experience, most. corporate businesses try to limit their business strategy focus to between three to five pillars under categories like Organisational Goals, Monetization, Engagement, Innovation/Growth, Operations.

Try making these more appropriate to your small business, how could you re-frame them? For a marketing perspective look at them as:

Organisational goals – what revenue/profit do I need to achieve to live the life I want?

Monetisation – To achieve my organisational goals, how many new customers do I need? What is the value of a new customer?

Engagement –  What is the cost of customer acquisition?

Innovation/growth – How much can I spend to acquire a new customer?

Operations – How will I acquire each new customer, and how can I service them?

All of the above pillars require their own KPIs which detail the specific numbers that dictate whether or not campaigns are successful. Tracking and reporting on these is essential.

Preparing your KPIs ahead of developing your marketing campaigns will help ensure you don’t veer off track – chasing the next shiny thing just for the sake of being innovative.

4 – Execute the tactics

A well-developed marketing methodology can be otherwise described as the combination of well-researched, consumer-centric content production (eg. Flyerd, ads, blogs, videos, infographics), Distribution of content (eg. Brochures, exhibitions, networling, targeted social media marketing, paid targeted advertising driving engagement and/or traffic and leads, 

Note: Your distribution should be where your customers are hanging out most – which you discovered during step one.

5 – Measure the results

Use the detailed campaign data to understand whether you’re making an impact and what can be changed or doubled down on to improve growth.

While it should be natural to explore ideas which may be a little outlandish, without constant measurement of your marketing efforts you’re sure to veer off course.

6 – Learn from your data

At Verve we use the Test, Measure, Improve, Grow method to best optimise our professional practice. We understand that if we don’t learn from our past work; what we did right and what we could have done better than we run the risk of making the same mistakes without knowing we’re making them.

It might sound trite, but not a working day day go by where we don’t learn. Every campaign yields not only results but information that enables us to continuously better ourselves and our clients businesses.

I need help with my marketing planning for 2020, whats the next step?

The next step is simple.

It starts with a conversation. Drop me a line at [email protected] or book a call and let’s have a chat about your plans for 2021.

No hard sell, just a conversation and we can see how we can help create your brand to help your business. What have you got to lose?

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