5 Things to Consider When Creating Your Marketing Plan for 2021

5 Things to Consider When Creating Your Marketing Plan for 2021

If you’ve already set aside time to create a marketing plan for the upcoming year, you’re ahead of most small- and medium-sized business owners. But has the coronavirus made you feel behind?

In order to position yourself ahead of the competition in 2021, you’ll need to be agile. Your business was likely challenged as a result of the pandemic’s shelter-at-home mandates, and experts agree changes in consumer behavior will continue to evolve. By strategizing in advance to modernize your marketing initiatives, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes.

Here’s a look at five things to consider for developing the best marketing in 2021:

1.  Plan for Budget Cuts

Many industries saw the impacts of the economy’s dramatic downturn as a result of COVID-19. Hospitality, food and beverage, and retail shops all took a big hit as consumers choose to stay at home. Is your business one of the 70% that expected cuts in the marketing budget in 2021? Regardless, it’s wise to plan for reduced spending.

Of course, budget cuts don’t translate to fewer expectations when it comes to developing customer leads and enhancing brand recognition. The key is to pivot from simply prioritizing paid advertisements to integrating organic outreach and customer support.

This requires creativity. Look at ways to use customer data you’ve collected over the year to personalize your messaging using direct email marketing and social media. If you haven’t started sharing useful content through SEO-friendly blog posts, 2021 is the year to begin.

Brainstorm your brand persona and ensure that all paid and organic content offers high quality for your target audience.

2.  Focus on Digital

While brick-and-mortar businesses took a big hit in 2020, online retailers reported a 68% increase in sales compared to the same time the previous year. Without a doubt, businesses with a strong online presence will be better positioned in 2021.

Your marketing plan should include a critical analysis of your business website. Is it easy and clear to navigate? Is it optimized so that your site organically ranks high in Google searches? Is your website mobile-friendly?

Along with a modern website, your marketing campaign should also include added efforts in social media. Half of Americans have reported an increase in social media usage since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Share engaging photos, offer educational blogs, and create videos to keep your social media presence dynamic. Target your audience with paid advertising on social media as well.

3.  Go Omnichannel

While you’re adding content to social media, don’t forget to include enhanced customer service options online as well. Today’s consumers want your brand to be wherever they are online, a concept known as omnichannel outreach. That can feel overwhelming until you develop the infrastructure. In 2021, set up systems that modernize your customer journey.

Make it easy to order or schedule your products or service online. Consider contact-less methods of delivery. Show your customers personal attention through thoughtful improvements that you are responsive and reliable.

4.  Create Loyalty Through Values

In 2020, marketers recognized an unfortunate drop in customer loyalty both during shelter-in-place mandates and after stores began to reopen. Now is the time to develop a new strategy to reconnect with your customers — and one avenue is through your shared values.

When you update the brand persona of your target audience, you’ll want to think about what’s most important to them. Your marketing plans should always integrate these values. Millennials, for example, consider their purchases to be an expression of their personality, placing added value on experience. How can you translate your service or products into an experience in 2021?

5.  Review Your Metrics

Finally, your marketing plan in 2021 needs to have set goals and metrics to determine if you are reaching those goals. Learn how to maximize analytics tools that track your initiatives. For example, Facebook Ads Manager allows you to complete A/B testing for your paid advertisements to ensure your budget goes to effective messaging.

Schedule monthly or quarterly assessment periods of your annual marketing plan, so that you can stay nimble throughout the year as situations change. It’s possible to improve ROI by creating priorities based on your goals if you’re willing to shift resources to what’s working best.

Be Prepared and Stay Positive

Businesses that failed in 2020 did so because owners weren’t able or willing to adjust their marketing and business strategy to meet the changing behaviors of consumers as a result of COVID-19. Have confidence that a modernized marketing plan will help your business to not only survive in 2021, but thrive.

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