Marketing & Strategy

6 Key Areas to Factor Into Your 2022 Marketing Plan

By: Brooke Snelling, Partner/Director of Client Services

As we end 2021 and head into 2022, you’re probably asking yourself: Where did the year go? We don’t know either, but we do know that planning for 2022 will be integral to the success of your marketing next year. A new year means a fresh start and a chance to discover new marketing opportunities, get organized and become focused on where you want to spend your efforts and budget.

Developing a well thought-out and strategic marketing plan requires a significant amount of time and resources, so if you haven’t kicked off your planning yet, we strongly recommend that you start as soon as possible.

There are six key areas that will help to inform your 2022 marketing plan, so you’ll need to spend time delving into them before you finalize the plan.

1. Marketing and Business Goals
You’ll need to set measurable marketing goals, objectives and benchmarks for the new year that are attainable based on your resources, time, and past achievements. Most importantly, you’ll want to ensure these marketing goals align with your company’s business goals.

Once you’ve set these goals, create a timeline that allows for continuous monitoring and serves as checkpoints throughout the year to review your progress —monthly and quarterly— and adjust if necessary. One of the most important parts of developing a marketing plan is knowing in advance how you will monitor performance and make optimizations.

You will obviously have an overarching goal, but benchmarks should be set against each marketing channel. You’ll want to make sure you have a regimented schedule to review performances and make decisions on how to pivot if you are not getting the output anticipated.

2. Target Audience
As you determine the product or service you want your business to focus on and develop, you should identify the target audience it applies to. If you are not adding new products or services and will continue to focus in the areas you have previously, reassess who is consuming or utilizing your business. Have their behaviors or needs changed over the course of the year? Are they consuming media differently now? More people have shifted to online shopping and increased usage of digital platforms, which should play a factor in your decisions.

3. Your 2021 Marketing Results
We tell clients that one of the best ways to begin planning for the new year is to review and evaluate your previous year’s marketing strategies and tactics to assess which ones are worth keeping and which ones need to be kicked to the curb. Look at what was spent and where it was spent. What were the results? What channel yielded the highest return? What tactic just didn’t work?

Take a good look at what channels resonated with your audience and make certain these are included in your plan while eliminating the ones that were low-performing. However, rather than just include the best-performing channels, you’ll also want to determine how you’re going to optimize and elevate these channels in 2022, so that they work even more to your advantage. It is recommended you apply an integrated approach with a focus on upper- and lower-funnel marketing channels.

4. New Trends and Emerging Platforms
The saying, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” can be applied to marketing as well as life. It’s vital that you’re making a priority of identifying, analyzing and capitalizing on new ideas, major marketing trends, and emerging platforms, rather than only doing the same old, status quo.

Although all trends will not be a match for your company, provisions should be made to test selected trends and fresh ideas, such as content creation or new digital platforms, through a nominal budget and resources. From there, you can gather data that supports whether this new approach would work for your brand and if it will have a high impact on marketing outcomes. Testing fresh ideas will help pave new paths to growth in the future.

5. Budget
It can be difficult to know how to set an appropriate marketing budget. You may know marketing is necessary to build awareness of your business, but you are not sure how much to spend. Consider the resources and skillsets you have available and the areas you may need to tap into a marketing expert. It is a good idea to establish a budget your business can afford and spend under budget so that reserves are available to apply to channels that are performing best. This way you will not exhaust your budget against channels that don’t drive growth for your business.

It’s also very important to note that when reviewing your budget, and deciding how much to allocate for the new year, you position your marketing as an investment, rather than an expense. Marketing your brand helps grow your business and earn you more profits down the line. By looking at your marketing budget as an investment in your business, you’ll focus more on enhancing your strategies and long-term success rather than making it an option for cutting costs.

6. Prepare for Contingency & Allow for Flexibility
2020 taught most businesses lessons that they won’t soon forget — one of which is the importance of being able to pivot when necessary and having contingency plans in case of unexpected events.

If you think of your marketing plan as a roadmap that leads to your goal, it’s critical that you prepare for roadblocks that may be appear along the way. When this happens, rather than continuously throw money and resources at the problem to try to get through the obstacle, sometimes it’s more effective to find a way around the obstacle in a way that eventually allows you to get back on course. This involves thinking creatively and being opened to out-of-the-box ideas.

Here are some unexpected events your marketing plan should anticipate:
• New, unplanned competitive activity
• Evolving target audience attitudes and behaviors
• Marketplace fluctuations and transformations

Additionally, we recommend allocating for a contingency budget to help get through these unforeseen challenges.

If you’re ready to begin developing your new marketing plan and are looking to get advice from the pros, MassMedia is here to help! We will recommend strategies that are proven to work for your industry and help you make the most out of your marketing budget to drive results and grow your business. Contact us today!

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