Having a carefully created marketing plan significantly increases the likelihood of meeting goals and avoiding overspending. Here are some actionable steps to take when making your marketing team’s goals for 2022.
Know Where You Stand
The first necessary step involves assessing where your company and its marketing efforts are now compared to the ideal situation. Where do shortcomings remain, and what progress have you made since last year’s planning period?
Figuring those things out will get you in a good position to determine what you most want to tackle during the year ahead. It’s also an excellent time to look at what marketing methods worked well for you in the past. Which ones do you want to continue heavily investing in, and where does it make more sense to dial back your spending?
Were there any instances where customers did not have the expected responses to marketing campaigns over the past year? Relatedly, what positive surprises did you experience? Reflecting on matters like these will put you in a prime position to make your 2022 marketing activities as effective as possible.
Confirm How Your Marketing Agenda Supports Business Goals
People in authority will be more likely to approve your marketing spending for the coming year if you can connect your plans to the company’s overarching goals. For example, if you spend more on content marketing in 2022, will that positively affect the organization’s sales or get more customers?
Decision-makers want to see evidence you’ve thought about the marketing department’s outcomes and have tied them to the company’s success. A recent study found that relating spending to company goals and priorities was one of the most common strategies engaged by senior marketing executives who want bigger budgets.
Plus, 59% of chief marketing officers experienced increased pressure to demonstrate marketing’s value to the company’s CEO.
These findings highlight the importance of bringing data to support your requests for an increased marketing budget in 2022. Doing that shows appropriate foresight and gives confidence that you have a concrete plan for using the increased financial resources wisely.
Clarify Your Goals and the Paths to Reach Them
It’s often easier to define goals for your marketing plan if you review several related areas. For example, when assessing team member productivity, you might ask whether certain tools would help raise their output.
Alternatively, one of your goals may be cutting costs. An ideal approach is to look at the past and see which factors were within and outside your control. Perhaps one way forward is to examine other providers for your physical printing needs to investigate whether they offer better rates.
However, if most of your cost overruns from last year happened due to COVID-19, you’re justified in making an honest assessment of what you could have done differently and the factors beyond your influence. Treat previous years as learning experiences that’ll shape your choices in 2022.
Keep in mind that there are usually several valid ways to reach a goal. It’s not feasible to develop one way to achieve a milestone and expect you’ll stick with it from start to finish. Build flexibility into your marketing plan to improve the chances of success.
Ensure You Know Your Customers
In the same way your marketing plan should change from year to year, your customers’ preferences will probably go through similar shifts. That’s not a bad thing, but it could certainly affect your strategy.
For example, one survey found that 71% of shoppers prioritize companies that treat workers fairly. If that finding lines up with internal data collected from your organization, it may be worthwhile to launch a new campaign that shows why the business is a great place to work and highlights some of the specific reasons why. Worker fairness could include wage equality efforts, time off for new parents and numerous other aims.
Of course, the things consumers value could span from low prices to environmental sustainability and everything in between. Once you know what matters most to your current and potential customers, you’re in a good position to apply those insights to your marketing plan.
It’s too risky to assume the things your customers cared most about in past years will remain throughout 2022. Now is a great time to check out what’s changed among your customer base. Much of the world has gone through a tough period over the last 18 months or so. Often, the related challenges affected people’s buying patterns and the companies they chose to support.
It’s also notable that 80% of marketing and customer experience leaders plan to rely on personalization and user-friendliness of digital touchpoints to get more competitive over the next two to three years. For example, 61% planned to adapt messaging to current situations. The better you know your customers, the more equipped you are to provide relevant, personalized material.
Explore the Best Methods and Platforms
Your marketing plan should also include concrete details about how you’ll reach your customers and get them interested in your campaigns. Besides confirming what’s worked well so far, it’s also worth looking at what your competitors have done. Do they use methods or platforms you’ve ignored?
According to a recent survey, 76% of marketers expect to devote more spending to online video ads in 2022. Branded influencer content was another priority, along with ads placed in social media stories and feeds.
It’s not always the right choice to follow industrywide trends. Perhaps internal data shows that podcast ads perform far better than online video advertisements for your company. In that case, the best approach is probably to stick with what you already know works. At the same time, don’t be afraid to explore other ways of delivering your messaging.
When trying a different approach, set metrics associated with goals you want to meet. Allow enough time for your changes to take effect, then choose a time to evaluate the statistics and see if you’re getting closer to the desired outcomes.
Using data to make decisions like that decreases the chances you’ll rely too much on gut instinct or experience. Those things can pay off sometimes, but it’s always best to see what your compiled information reveals. Then, take what you’ve learned and use it to steer your next steps.
Cultivate Consistency Throughout the Year
Besides applying these strategies when creating your marketing plan for 2022, remember how important it is to give your target audience what they know and love. Even if you pick new methods for engaging with people, don’t lose sight of what brought customers to your company in the first place.
Take the time to carry out periodic check-ins to make sure you stay consistent in areas like tone and visual elements. There’s no harm in doing some things differently in 2022 if the data shows it’s time for a change. However, you should also reassure customers that you haven’t fully departed from what initially made them choose your company over competing options.
It’s often useful to get perspectives from people outside of the marketing department. Perhaps everyone on your team feels the messaging is on point, but what does someone not directly linked to marketing have to say? Getting feedback from people associated with other parts of your company can be valuable for indicating if you’re moving in the right direction or risk confusing customers.
About the Author: Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.
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