Most of us don’t want to admit it, but January will be here before we know it. That means now is the time start developing your marketing plan for 2022.
Building a marketing plan isn’t a wasted exercise; it’s essential to reaching or exceeding your organization’s goals. Twenty-three percent of companies are exceeding their revenue goals—and of those not exceeding their goals, 74% don’t know the number of monthly visits, leads, marketing qualified leads (MQLs), or sales opportunities they need.
It’s impossible to reach your goals unless you know what it takes to get there. That’s where a solid marketing plan comes in.
A plan creates clarity and understanding for your marketing team and the company at large. It provides direction and gives teams goals to work toward.
Planning ahead puts you in control of your marketing in order to maximize its impact. You can be proactive vs. reactive in your efforts.
But even the best laid plans are subject to change. Make sure your plan is clear but agile enough to react to changing circumstances.
4 steps to building your marketing plan
1. Review your 2021 marketing plan
Before looking to the future, it’s important to analyze the past.
Take a close look at your 2021 marketing plan. Will you reach your 2021 goals by December? If so, congratulations! Your 2021 plan likely provided the direction and clarity your organization needed.
If the answer is no—or you don’t know—think about why. Did you have clear goals? Were those goals realistic? Did the pandemic throw your plans out the window?
Knowing what tripped you up this year will help you better plan for 2022.
Analyze what worked well from a marketing standpoint and consider ways to build on those successes. On the flip side, identify areas where your team struggled. Determine what you can do to address those pain points.
Make note of the insights you glean from 2021 and bring solutions into 2022.
2. Analyze market landscape changes
Over the last year, your industry and your organization likely experienced some changes. Those changes might have an impact on your 2022 marketing strategy.
Start by thinking about your target audience. Is it still the same, or do you need to adjust? Are the customers you want the same customers you targeted last year? Also consider whether your customers’ expectations and preferences have changed.
Think more broadly about your industry as a whole and how the global environment impacts it Have shipping delays increased delivery times? Have technology advances opened up new marketing opportunities?
Consider your competitors as well, and where your organization ranks. If a competitor is scooping up more market share, find out why. Pay attention to the marketing channels your competitors use and the messaging that is or isn’t resonating.
All of these factors should help drive your marketing plan. Knowing the answers to these questions will help ensure your marketing efforts are directed toward the environment in 2022 and not based on past assumptions.
3. Determine your 2022 goals
The goals you set for your marketing should directly tie to your organization’s high-level business goals. If one of your business goals is to increase sales by 20%, then one of your marketing goals should be to generate leads for sales.
If your organization wants to grow within a particular space, marketing should support that by creating and distributing messages to that audience.
The goals you outline must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART).
Each goal should also have a key performance indicator (KPI) associated with it. It could be a number or percentage. We recommend setting incremental KPIs to assess progress throughout the year.
Tracking and reporting progress along the way keep goals top of mind. Regular check-ins provide opportunities for your team to adjust KPIs if necessary.
Your plan should document how often your team will review KPIs and how progress toward goals is reported to company leadership.
4. Outline tactics
This is the tactical part of your marketing plan. It’s where your team outlines how you’ll achieve your goals.
To do this, keep the paid, earned, owned ecosystem in mind. A successful marketing strategy typically includes tactics within each of those three buckets.
Paid tactics include paid search, social media ads, sponsored content, and digital ads. Public relations efforts, social media engagement, and organic search typically fall within the earned category. Owned refers to tactics like your content marketing, website, social media platforms, and email.
Each of those three areas support each other, and messaging should be consistent across all tactics.
We talk more about the paid, earned, owned ecosystem in our Integrating media and content strategy white paper.
Take your tactics a step further by organizing them according to your buyer’s journey.
Our buyer’s journey template guides you through the process of creating one.
Planning is collaborative
Now that your plan is in hand, don’t keep it to yourself. Whether you’re a one-person or ten-person team, it’s important that key stakeholders have a chance to speak to your plan.
Share it with your leadership team and get buy-in from your entire marketing team. Make sure key stakeholders’ voices are heard and their feedback noted.
Find ways to also communicate specific efforts more broadly with your organization. You’ll need support from subject matter experts and sales teams to achieve your goals. Let people know how they can help, contribute, and assist.
Kick off your 2022 plan
Are you ready to kick off your 2022 marketing plan with a strategic partner? We can help.