With 2021 finally behind us (it can stay back there with 2020…), it’s now time to look forward—with cautious optimism—at your brand’s plans for the year ahead. While creating your annual marketing strategy can be a hefty task even in the best of times, a clear plan (and a lot of enthusiasm) is sure to successfully propel your team through 2022.
Wondering where to begin? Here are six things your team can do to crush this year’s marketing goals.
1. Look Back as You Move Forward
The best plans are born from knowing what has (and hasn’t) worked in the past, and your 2022 marketing strategy is no exception. Before you plan for this year, sit down with your team and take an in-depth look at last year. What campaigns and strategies worked well, and why? How big was your budget, and was it allocated in a way that made sense? Did your brand’s voice come across clearly? Did you reach your target audience? More importantly, what were the pain points? What would you like to improve moving forward, and how? Taking the time to really understand what happened last year will help you and your team make sense of the way you need to tackle 2022.
2. Watch Brands You Admire
When it comes to forming a marketing strategy, there is certainly no shame in taking a closer look at what the brands you love have been up to. As a team, discuss which brands you feel have been killing it lately, and what exactly they’ve been doing that makes them stand out. Maybe it’s an unforgettable tagline in a recent campaign, a striking new packaging design, or an unconventional approach to social media marketing. Allow these inspiring ideas to serve as a creative springboard for your team as you form your own marketing strategy for the year.
3. Assess Your Audience
How well do you know your brand’s audience? Even if you think you have a clear idea, you may want to take a deep dive into who you plan on targeting this year, and how. Just as companies grow and change, so do consumers. You may already have a stellar track record for reaching your people and that’s great, but it’s always worth keeping your eyes and mind open for adapting to changes on the horizon.
4. Get Smart About Your Goals
We’ve all been there: Struck by a combined burst of inspiration and motivation (especially at the start of a new year), we have committed ourselves to reaching out-of-this-world goals that may or may not be entirely possible when reality sets in a few weeks, or months later. Before your team commits to crushing your 2022 marketing aspirations, make sure you have a clear, workable plan in place by using the SMART goal system. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, and will help your team stay on the path to success throughout the year.
5. Know Your Budget
Let’s be honest, talking numbers isn’t exactly fun, especially when there are more exciting and creative aspects to building a marketing strategy. But regardless, creating a solid, realistic budget is key if you want to make a success of your 2022 goals. Start by listing out all the areas where you could spend marketing dollars. Then, narrow that list down to the channels that would best allow you to reach your audience. Once your budget is in place, schedule regular check-ins throughout the year to ensure your money is working the way you want it to. Remember that it’s ok to change your plans and reallocate some funds if you aren’t getting the results you expected.
6. Stay Organized
From planning multiple campaigns and collaborating across departments to coordinating with outside agencies, meeting looming deadlines, and more, good organization is paramount to a successful marketing strategy. Take the time early on to research different organization, collaboration and communication platforms so you can see what might work best in supporting your team’s pain points. Whether it’s a simple shared calendar or a custom, multi-tiered collaboration hub, finding and implementing the best tools to keep your team on track will make a world of difference when you get to work.
No matter where you are in the planning process, taking a little extra time to do these things at the start of this year is certain to turn your brand visions into successes in no time. Happy New Year, and Happy Marketing!