Marketing Planning for 2021


  1. Revisit your business strategy

Spend time with your business development manager / strategist and find out in detail what the goals for the business are. Even if its information you feel you already know, it’s important to ask insightful questions that will inform your marketing plan. Is the business in a growth phase? Has business slowed down? Are there peak months for sales and then slump periods? Is the business getting ready to expand into new territory? These questions are about where the business is now, and where its headed and are important factors to consider in your marketing.
Example: Netflix is fairly new in the South African market, an expansion into our region was part of their business strategy, and translated into marketing strategy by using local influencers to promote the brand (influencer marketing).

  1. Understand your customer

This is a no brainer, but always worth re-exploring. Understanding your customer is vital to putting together a winning marketing plan. More than ever, consumers want brands and companies to understand them and appeal to their lifestyles, needs, ethics and ideologies. Make sure you have a good understanding of your customer segments – the different demographics that make up your customer base. What age brackets do your customers fall in? What are their interests? Do they have a specific set of beliefs? Where do your customers shop? What influences their purchases? What are your customers’ pain points? These are just some of the questions you need to ask to get a good understanding of your customer. Once you understand your customers, you can market to them better! You can diversify and target your marketing based on your customer segments, and you can address their pain points early!

  1. Collect information

Related to point two above – data is king! Collect information before you start marketing, during your marketing and after! Pre-marketing data collection should focus on customer behavior. Analyse your customer segments and do research on where and how they purchase. Some age groups are more comfortable with internet shopping, while others specifically prefer going through Instagram shops to buy local. Knowing where your customer is, allows you to meet them where they are – internet shopping? Try banner ads. Instagram shopping? Opt for paid ads on social media. Collecting data during marketing is key! This will allow you to evaluate how well your marketing strategy is working, and whether you need to make adjustments. At the end of the day, marketing is meant to be a calculated “spend money to make money” exercise. During marketing campaigns, you can establish your reach, and track which campaigns lead to increase in revenue. After a campaign is over, you can use different marketing tools to understand your customer better. This is especially true of digital marketing. With the wide variety of tools available, you can get an in-depth analysis of your customer base, and therefore a more refined marketing strategy!

  1. Know your story

People connect with stories. It’s important to know your brand and weave the story of your business into marketing. Make your business personable! More importantly, in 2021, lead with your values and ethics. This is especially important if you’re a small business. People care. They care about the environment, they care about impacting humanity, they care about politics and they care about what the statement they make when they give their money to a company. More than ever, we’re seeing a push toward locally made, ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products. Knowing your story is about more than that, however, it’s about understanding how your business addresses a pain point and contributes to a better life for your customer. If you’re an HR consultancy, you’re not just linking employers and employees – you could be restoring dignity to a home, kick starting a trailblazing career or helping a company fill a gap. Knowing your story is essential to your marketing strategy, and you should take every opportunity to remind people that your business stands for something bigger.

  1. Keep it current

Few things in life are worse than a company that can’t keep up with modern times. At best, its cringe, at its worst…well, ask Click’s! Keeping up to date with what’s relevant to your target market is incredibly important! Not only does it keep your marketing relevant, but it shows your customers you understand them. Netflix is brilliant at keeping up with global and local conversations, and often their marketing feels like a conversation with a friend – and truly, there is no higher compliment in marketing than this. Authentic, current and creative marketing is the goal! The world is constantly changing, and marketing must respond to these changes. We all saw the effect of the pandemic on marketing last year; the sharp increase in digital is here to stay. Authentic, current and creative marketing became more important than ever – a great lesson from 2020. You don’t need to hop on every trend (its tacky), but you should speak to the news that speaks to your audience. Let’s make 2021 the year of great marketing! Authentic, current and creative marketing.