If 2022 is anything like 2020 and 2021, the going will be tough for lots of businesses. The businesses that survived the two years best have either:
- Planned ways to roll with the changing business climate
- Emerged from the fallout with some new ways of working
The majority of businesses don’t fall into category two, which shows that planning ways to cope financially, organisationally, emotionally and marketingly (I just created that word) make your business and your team much more resilient.
Marketing planning is one thing we can advise you on. You really need a plan to kick-off 2022, just like every other year, but lots of people haven’t thought about it.
Marketing plans are nothing to be scared of, they should be cherished, crafted, re-written, tested and, importantly, measured. Having a strong, but flexible, plan will really kick-off your marketing in 2022.
Is it too late to make a marketing plan for 2022?
The New Year is just around the corner, it may already be here when you’re reading this, but a 2022 marketing plan doesn’t have to start in January. I’m writing this in December 2021 and, if you’ve not already started, you are too late to launch a January marketing plan.
That’s ok though, just push it back to a later month. It is much better to begin when you are ready, and not be a slave to a calendar when there’s no need. Your 2022 marketing plan can begin in February, March or April, but the sooner you have an agreed plan the quicker you’ll begin learning from it.
What should go into your 2022 marketing plan?
Budget, add a marketing budget
For lots of businesses this is the last thing they’ll add. Money scares people, especially when they can’t be sure their plans will work. But if you don’t put a budget against you plan, you aren’t being realistic about what you want your marketing to achieve.
Even if you don’t have a budget to “spend” your marketing has a cost.
- Social Media is free
- Blogging is free
- Making a video is free
- Sending an email free.
Except they aren’t, they cost – time, skill, craft, creativity and bravery.
Even if you don’t have a cash budget, you have to budget for the time and people you need to carry out your marketing. And if you don’t have a cash budget all those other elements need to work so much harder.
Add the obvious things into your marketing plan
A blank page/spreadsheet is your enemy when you are planning your marketing, so get something on it. Artists call this making a mark, that first stroke that gets you moving, even if you rub it out later.
So, what’s obvious?
- Valentine’s Day
- School Holidays
- Sporting tournaments
- Bonfire Night
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- New Year
- Industry Events
- Company birthday and other significant dates
Now add regular things to your marketing plan
Nothing works better than setting yourself regular tasks. If it’s in the plan, it has to happen, unless it comes out for a very good reason. Here are some regular things to add.
- Monthly email newsletter
- Monthly (or more often) blog
- Social media posting – ideally daily
- Paid social media
- Google AdWords Marketing
- PR – Ideally monthly press releases
- Webinar, more work but great exposure
- Podcast, see above
Pulling your marketing plan together
Now you have lots to do, refer back to your cash or time budget and work out what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do and what you would LIKE to do. Once you’ve done that apply the following formula.
Do what you MUST do, no questions, make it happen, allocate the budget make someone responsible and accountable.
Review what you SHOULD do, and decide if you really MUST add it to your marketing plan, or it’s just something you would LIKE to do but it’s not essential. If it’s not a MUST it has to make way for something that is.
Once you have all the elements of your marketing plan which you MUST do, apply your budget and then with any remaining go back to your SHOULD do list and see if you can still achieve any of those ideas within the budget.
Remember marketing budget isn’t always what you’re spending with Google or Facebook, it’s time and skill too.
Make your marketing measurable
Now you have your plan and you’ve allocated a budget make sure you can measure it. The first thing to measure is that the marketing tasks are completed. That may sound obvious, but it needs to happen, otherwise the time and budget you spent on planning was wasted before you began!
Different aspects of your plan will have different measurements, and some are hard to find, but each must have an outcome you which makes an impact. If not take it out of the plan.
Be prepared to rip up your marketing plan
The last few years have taught us that life changes really quickly. So be ready to change your plan at a moments notice. When this happens it’s a pain and upsets lots of people, but having a marketing plan in the first place makes this much easier to do and ride with the changes.
When the shit hits the fan, a well-planned business has somewhere to look for their marketing, that could be something a few weeks or months away, after the current crisis has passed, it could be moving that budget around to face the new problem, it could be bringing an idea forward. The possibilities are endless.