Marketing Campaign Planning Checklist for 2021
As we leave 2020 behind with a sigh of relief, you should be ready with a campaign planning checklist to make sure you are poised to capitalize on the marketing trends for 2021. There are many examples of growing interest in activism and solidarity after brands like Nike, Cotton On, Netflix, and others supported the Black Lives Matter movement with cause marketing. Live video became a necessary alternative to in-person events during the pandemic but quickly became a popular medium, with Facebook reporting that 82% of people prefer live video. Social media campaigns are more effective than ever, with 71% of consumers more likely to purchase based on social media referrals.
Those are only a small sample of the ways that COVID-19 influenced consumer behavior in the past year. The good news is that taking a comprehensive and systematic approach to your marketing campaign can not only leverage these positive trends but prevent the fallout from a poorly conceived campaign. By taking a measured approach to planning before starting your marketing campaign for the year, you can avoid damaging your brand with ill-conceived or tone-deaf marketing campaigns.
Analyze Past Performance
There is no need to start from scratch when you have a blueprint for what works and what doesn’t. Using data analytics, look at your past campaigns to identify what worked previously. However, before you implement those successful strategies in your future campaigns, use a critical eye to consider any improvement opportunities. Consider whether there are new ways to connect with your ideal customer or if there have been events to change what is meaningful to your audience (e.g. the pandemic).
Choose S.M.A.R.T. Goals
SMART goals aren’t just clever; they are effective. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Attempting to set goals without understanding exactly what to do to achieve them is a sure way to waste time, money, and effort. Look at past campaign performance to figure out what a realistic goal would be, then choose the appropriate key performance indicators to measure it. An example of a SMART goal would be to increase click-through rates by 10% for the calendar year through updated blog content.
Analyzing your competition is an excellent way to gain inspiration for your marketing campaign. The first step is to identify your competitors. While it may seem obvious, you don’t want to overlook emerging brands that are gaining traction.
Find out what is working for the competition, then use their successful strategies to your advantage by incorporating them into your campaign. Discover where they are advertising and give them a run for their money. There is no reason to let your competitors have the entire audience to themselves. Some benefits of conducting competitor research include:
- It helps you clarify what sets your brand apart from the competition.
- It allows you to focus on what is relevant now by identifying your competitors’ successes.
- It lets you use their failures as your proving ground, allowing you to create more strategic, targeted campaigns.
- It gives you a goldmine of customer feedback on what their products do right and wrong so that you can incorporate more of what’s right.
- It gives you benchmarks with which you can set goals and measure your success.
Set Your Budget
Now that you’ve set your SMART goals, you can use them to create your budget. What is it going to take to achieve your goals? In the example above, do you need more resources to review, revise, and edit your content? How many new or revised blogs do you need to do each month to meet your goals? Use those costs to ensure that you can still attain your expected return on investment (ROI).
Select Marketing Channels
You’ve invested a significant amount of time and effort to understand your target audience. You can leverage that knowledge to inform your choice of which marketing channels will be most effective for your campaign.
However, do you know the best radio station for your audience or whether event marketing is more effective than digital marketing for your demographics? Those decision points are where a marketing expert can help you decide the optimal choices.
Radio has a huge reach and is an ideal platform to attract local customers. Popular radio hosts not only have a significant influence on consumers through their shows, but they extend their reach through in-person community events. Digital media can be integrated with radio messaging. That keeps seamless continuity across social media, mobile applications, email, affiliate programs, search engines, and websites.
Ensure the Success of Your Marketing Campaigns in 2021
You are positioned for great success in the year to come. There have been unprecedented changes over the last year in how consumers engage with brands and, with some careful planning, you can leverage those trends to see an impressive ROI from your 2021 marketing campaigns. Your marketing checklist will be a vital component in reaching your sales goals for the year. To optimize your opportunities and increase your chance of success, work with the account executives at Hubbard Chicago. Contact us today for help in selecting the best marketing channels for your brand.