So you’ve ended 2020 strong and now you need to refresh or create a 2021 marketing plan. Now is the perfect time to review your existing marketing strategy and adjust it for the year ahead.
Typically I would say there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, but 2020 was crazy. Many of our marketing efforts paused or pivoted. So, do not be afraid if your 2021 marketing plan doesn’t resemble plans of the past. Understanding the areas in which your business has grown and changed over the last 12 months is critical so that you can adjust and craft a plan that adds value.
What should I include in my 2021 marketing plan?
At its core, an annual marketing plan is typically made up of several elements, including:
- An overview of your target audience
- The particular marketing, advertising, and sales goals of your business
- A summary of your marketing strategy (goals and objectives)
- A timeline or calendar that shows when each individual task within your strategy should be executed
- An overview of how you will measure success and what your budget will be
Your 2021 marketing plan can be created internally or TMC will gladly help, either way, the foundation for creating that plan is the same.
- Understand your client. Ask a lot of questions and gain as much insight as you can into what your clients needs and pain points are so you can align your services with a solution. This information becomes an executive summary of sorts and serves as the backbone of your annual marketing plan.
- Determine your overall needs and what worked and didn’t work in 2020. Maybe you need a separate digital marketing strategy or need to revise your email campaigns. Assessing results and identifying challenges from the year prior is an important step in planning for the next year.
- Craft a unique message. Your messaging should not only explain who you are and what you do, but help you stand out. The more you know about your client and their needs the more your message can be tailored to help solve problems and clearly differentiate you from your competitors.
- Develop touch points. Typically, your touches will come in the form of direct sales and networking, social media, marketing materials, your website, email marketing, and the many, many more tactics that can be identified to support your overall goals. The exact tactics to use will depend upon the goals in your plan and behaviors and demographics of your audience. But explaining what you plan to do is at the heart of an annual marketing plan or as we often call it your “opportunities document”.
- Allocate resources. If we had unlimited time, talent, and budget we would all implement more tactics and hopefully reach our goals faster. The reality is we all have constraints, and our marketing plans needs to reflect those realities. A key part of an annual plan is to coordinate your desired tactics with the resources at hand. A timeline, budget, and identification of who will own what part of the strategy and objectives will help you reach your overall goals.
In the end, the benefits of an annual marketing plan are twofold: It provides clear marketing direction for the year ahead, and it helps you identify what could be changed or improved on the marketing front as your business grows and evolves.
TMC is rooted in strategy and is here if you need help creating your annual marketing plan.