Reflecting society at large, marketing has had another topsy-turvy year. Pandemic recovery is still under way. Supply chains are out of whack. Consumer confidence is on the rise but buying habits have changed, perhaps forever.
So how in the world are you supposed to create a marketing plan for your business or organization in this environment?
In this first of a series of blogs, we help you start your planning process now so you can be ready for more unknowns – and opportunities – in 2022.
Step 1: Take stock
This is a great time to analyze how your marketing plan fared during 2021. You can’t plan anything for the new year until you understand how your efforts paid off – or didn’t – in the past year.
- Did you meet your goals and objectives? Marketing is data-driven, and that includes evaluating your top-line goals and objectives for sales, revenue, audiences, website traffic, growth – however you determine success. How did you do this year? Did you fall short or exceed expectations? Once you know how you did you can adjust your goals for 2022 and build a marketing plan to support them.
- Analyze your website results. Look at the number of users and new users during the last year. Did it go up or down from 2020? Next, analyze activity on your pages by reviewing sessions and pageviews. Did time on website increase or decrease? What was your bounce rate – those who come to your site but leave, maybe because they couldn’t find something? How about click-throughs? Popular keywords? Fortunately, tools like Google Analytics enable you to delve into a treasure trove of data to glean insights.
- View your social media analytics: Likewise, social media channels come with a host of metrics to measure audience engagement. Are you moving in the right direction? Are you reaching your target audiences? Is your content resonating? These are all factors to help you plan for 2022.
- Evaluate other results: A well-designed marketing plan considers a variety of tactics to reach diverse audiences. Besides digital media, evaluate how other tactics fared – events, trade shows, sponsorships, media relations and more. What was the return on investment?
- How you stack up: Once you’re armed with your data and evaluate whether you achieved your goals, be sure to check out the competition. You can benchmark your performance against industry’s standards for metrics like click-through rates, conversions, sales per customer – whatever you can find.
- What did you spend?: One final task before you start marketing planning for the new year: What did you spend on marketing? Be sure to capture every penny, including your website, advertising, events, giveaways and other marketing costs. Knowing your spend will guide your planning for 2022.
In the next blog we’ll look at Step 2 – evaluating new media options to consider in your planning.
In the meantime, contact us for strategic insights to evaluate your marketing efforts.