4 Musts for 2022 Marketing Planning
2020 and 2021 were years of profound change that required marketers to stay agile and adjust quickly. Having navigated those turbulent waters, marketers can now apply those hard-earned lessons to 2022 planning. It would be nice to say that everything is back to normal and the pandemic is a bad memory, but unfortunately, the marketplace is still experiencing after-effects. In a post-COVID world, taking actionable steps based on recent successes is the key to planning your marketing for the coming year.
Align All Aspects of Your Marketing
Planning allows you to navigate a changing environment and adapt your different marketing strategies for gaining new customers and retaining existing ones. Effective and successful execution depends upon aligning all your marketing strategies. It begins with your business goals. You may have several strategies, such as expanding into a new market, improving customer engagement, or meeting short-term sales goals. However, they all must converge to align with the company’s mission and goals.
The way to do this is to ensure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely so that you can align your business objectives and strategies accordingly. Businesses are executing multiple marketing strategies at any time for any specific purpose. To illustrate, let’s say a 2022 business objective is to increase market share by 5%. A marketing objective that supports it may be implementing a campaign strategy to improve your market position relative to a key competitor.
It is also imperative to align your goals with your budget. Companies regularly underestimate needed costs, so budget more than you expect to spend. Aligning your budget with your goals ensures you’re spending most efficiently. One of the most cost-efficient and effective marketing tactics is using radio ads to reach your target audience.
Promote Yourself Through Content
Content is the hub of your marketing strategy. It supports all the elements of your marketing plan. Investing in content development helps promote your brand and attract new customers by providing value. It encourages your target customers to take the next step.
You can use your content across platforms. It can work for blogging, video development, radio ads, and podcast creation. Podcasts are recordings of audio or video shows, including live radio shows, that can be downloaded or streamed at any time. They effectively build an audience, improve brand awareness, increase ad revenue, and enhance brand loyalty.
Shift your Budget Across Different Mediums
The pandemic shifted your marketing budget’s priorities as it forced many people into their homes. However, with the influx of vaccines and potential for anti-viral treatments, a return to normal is on the horizon. Things that were unthinkable during the pandemic, like event hosting and in-store promotions, have made a significant comeback. You can bring back or increase the use of pre-pandemic budget items for live promotional events, travel, venues, entertainment, and guest speakers. In a still-recovering post-pandemic environment, live events may require implementing a host of additional safety measures, but the lowered health and safety risk makes them a viable and valuable option.
However, you should continue investing in the online and radio ads implemented to reach customers based on pandemic habits. The combination of digital and radio is powerful, as your online ads can reinforce what the listener heard on their favorite radio show, while on-air ads can direct traffic to your site. Continuing to implement your pandemic strategy, while steadily branching into in-person events, will help you bridge the gap as trends shift and solidify. It will help you expand your audience, increase brand awareness, and reach your customer where they spend their time. Furthermore, it will help reach people as they acclimate to new comfort levels by keeping your brand and events on customers’ minds as they gain the confidence to partake in things in-person.
Make Flexibility Part of Your Plan
A flexible marketing plan is a lifeline for businesses. Flexibility means planning in shorter segments so that you can leverage developing opportunities or head off impending problems. Examples could include deciding how to respond to a competitor who implements a significant price drop or moving more of your budget to an advertising medium with a higher ROI. By revisiting plans biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, you can adjust or pivot where needed.
A flexible marketing plan can be a crucial lifeline for businesses, evidenced throughout the pandemic. Staying agile and open to change allows you to increase promotional spending as sales grow or reallocate spending where it makes more sense. Contingency plans are a vital component of a flexible marketing plan to pivot quickly when world circumstances change. For example, you can plan to offer more online shopping and delivery conveniences instead of in-store promotions if infection rates rise. Similarly, you can implement more in-store promotions when shipping delays are a risk or advertise alternatives when supply-chain issues make stocking popular items challenging.
Optimize Your 2022 Marketing Planning
We’ve all learned many valuable lessons over the past two years, and we must use them to our advantage, lest we forget. Taking notice of pandemic success stories empowers business owners and marketing managers to plan even more effectively than before. Businesses that fared the best did so by staying flexible, thinking creatively and strategically, and acting quickly to respond to rapidly developing local and world events. They managed to respond to consumer and market needs despite changes that sometimes arose day by day.
Some of the musts we included aren’t new but bear repeating, such as aligning your marketing strategies. Some have become even more important, such as investing in quality content that can be leveraged across mediums and redirecting your budget to media that provides the best results. Finally, flexibility is critical learning that you can apply to 2022 planning and beyond. Working with a media partner can help you develop the best marketing plans for your business using the most effective strategies, techniques, and channels.
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