The end of each year brings us the necessity to reflect on what was done. Before developing any strategic plans for 2021, we get to evaluate how we perform in 2020. Regardless of the results you achieve, you have every opportunity to make 2021 a successful year.
Here are some tips for your annual marketing planning that will help you not only be creative but also organize your efforts in a way that sets your accountability up for success.
Tip #1: Know your audience
First things first. How much do you know about people you’re trying to sell to? A lot of businesses assume they know their target audience but in fact, they think they know. By creating buyer personas portraits or job stories you can make sure you tailor your marketing strategy to fit the audience’s needs and challenges. These steps will help you build marketing campaigns around without losing sight of who your customers are and what the ultimate goal is.
Tip #2: Review what has worked
When you need to focus on creating a successful marketing strategy, it’s helpful to know what hasn’t worked in your previous strategy. For these purposes, you can look at marketing analytics. Pay attention to:
— where do you get quality marketing leads from;
— what marketing channels have had the most positive results;
— how did past campaigns perform.
Everything that worked earlier can be included in a new marketing strategy.
Tip #3: Create and finalize your budget
To create a marketing budget, you need to make a series of calculations to identify important data points. Here are the metrics you need to calculate:
— gross revenue
— customer acquisition cost
— customer lifetime value
Having the data makes it easy to identify whether the past efforts have been as successful as desired. Let the data give you a starting point.
Make sure you and your team know the purpose. If the purpose is clear, you can always expand sand activity if it still serves the goal.
Tip #4: Outline your tactics
This is where you should find out the details of your marketing plan. The tactics are the actionable steps and tasks to achieve your goals and objectives. To add accountability, you can assign team members to manage certain tasks (launch a new marketing campaign, design a landing page, create a blog post, etc.).
Tip #5: Establish time frames
To keep your team motivated and stay focused on the big picture, you need to set short- and long-term milestones and deadlines. What’s important here is to collect feedback from your team on realistic time frames for certain tasks.
Tip #6: Assess available resources
Available resources typically include employees, technologies, and marketing budgets. Questions to ask:
Do you have enough employees with the right skill sets?
Do you need outside resources like a PR agency, graphic designer, SMM manager, or analyst to take some tasks off your hands so that you can focus on other initiatives?
What technologies do you need to make your marketing plan successful?
Do you have to work within the marketing budget constraints or without them?
Tip #7: Make sure you build a flexible strategy
The strategy is meant to guide your efforts and keep your business on track to hit your company’s goals objectives. However, making the strategy flexible enough is important. Flexibility enables you to adapt to changes more quickly.
Tip #8: Invest in well-crafted content
To make your B2B marketing strategy effective is to make sure essential company sectors are working towards one clear goal. In particular, your B2B marketing strategy should be aligned with your content strategy.
Content still plays a crucial role in communicating your company’s values and expertise. The right tone and approach are also important to capture the attention of your audience and get that content shared. Customer research can help you develop the right voice for your content strategy and brand overall.
The content might include how-to guides, blog articles, social posts, video explainers, newsletters.
When creating content, you should focus on answering questions your target audience has and guiding them on why the solution you offer is the best choice. Things like case studies and comparison guides are examples of content that can be helpful for a sales team in nurturing a prospect to becoming a customer.
Tip #9: Write it out and share
Make sure to write the strategy out and define all the activities you want to accomplish. Be specific about what you want to achieve and when.
Once you have written out your marketing strategy, share it with your team members and everyone who will be involved in implementing the strategy. Don’t let the strategy be a mystery to the people who work beyond the marketing team — sales team, customer service team, engineering team, managers, etc.
Share the strategy and walk them through the goals and tasks. Answer the questions and take feedback.
Creating a marketing plan can be daunting but it’s also a crucial part of hitting your business goals. Hopefully, the tips we’ve collected will help you create your marketing plan in the most effective way.
The last recommendation we would like to give is to do a smaller amount in the most manageable way. This will help you consistently deliver, effectively measure, and analyze before making any future decisions.