Before you commence planning for 2022, it’s crucial to have an in-depth understanding of the business’ plans for next year and the future.
Asking smart questions is the quickest route to smart answers and can help you define your digital marketing goals. Before blindly jumping into creating your strategy for the year ahead, we’re sharing seven important questions to ask your senior team to support the planning of your digital marketing strategy.
1) What are the business goals and objectives?
If the wider business is yet to define a focus for 2022 including what they plan to sell and the audience they want to target, your marketing strategy has little chance of being successful.
That’s why it’s important to begin by clearly defining your business objectives in a quantifiable way. Business objectives should be precise and clear, for example:
- Improve profit margin by 3%
- Increase revenue from £60K to £80k
- Increase customer acquisition by 10%
2) How will success be measured?
If you don’t know how your senior team will measure success, how can you know where to focus your efforts?
Use this opportunity to define KPIs and measurement methods so you can determine whether your efforts have been successful or not. You can’t recognise progress if you don’t know what success looks like.
Not only will this make it easier to measure the success of your marketing efforts, but your team will also have something clear to aim for which helps to keep motivation high.
3) How much do we have to spend?
A defined marketing budget will give you a clear view of how much you have to spend. This figure will determine the channels and activities you can invest in during 2022, allowing you to understand the costs associated with your efforts.
4) What has been done in the past?
Before you make any decisions on your marketing for the upcoming year, understand what marketing tactics have been used in the past including what worked and what fell short.
If you have previous performance data to use, you will be able to see what’s been done and how it performed. This gives you the opportunity to learn from the data and adopt the tactics that worked well. The more information you can gather before you start making new decisions, the better informed your decisions will be.
5) Who’s the competition and what are they doing?
Take this opportunity to look at the wider landscape including the businesses you compete with.
It’s important to be aware of who your competition is and how they’re representing themselves in the market. While you should aim to stand out and not replicate what your competitors do, you might get further insight which can be hugely valuable when choosing where to focus your efforts. With this awareness, you can create a higher-performing strategy that takes the competition into account too.
6) Who is your target audience?
Who are you speaking to? Who are your activities aimed at? What do they care about? Where online will you find them? Before constructing a plan for the year ahead, it’s vital to know exactly who you plan to target to ensure your efforts are aligned with the wider business.
Your target audience will impact many important decisions that you need to make for your 2022 plan. From the channels you use to the copy you write and the tactics you deploy, the more defined the target audience, the better your plan will be. With this insight, you’ll be able to create your marketing messages, ads and campaigns with your audience in mind.
7) What resources do we have?
There’s no point in creating a marketing plan if you don’t have the financial or resource capabilities to execute it. One of the main reasons effective ideas and strategic plans go unexecuted is because who’s going to execute them wasn’t considered. Don’t let a lack of resource negatively impact your marketing performance.
Taking an inventory of people inside and outside of your organisation who can assist you with implementing your strategy is worthwhile. This allows you to spot where skill gaps are, allowing you to source the team members you need and further develop the skills of your existing team members.
Are you prepared for 2022?
The planning period for next year is one of the most pivotal times of year as a marketer. An opportunity to find out more about the business’ plans, focuses and motivation, a clear marketing strategy will help you carve out a successful year and keep you on track.
Getting answers to these seven questions will help you lay the foundations and get started on the right foot. During this planning period, an agency can help you gather the insight you need to effectively plan for the year ahead.
With a commercial mindset, in-house expertise and exclusive data tools, we have years of experience creating high performing digital strategies for a variety of businesses. Contact us to find out more about the way we work and how can help you in 2022 and beyond.