5 steps to craft a marketing plan for 2020
We are already in October, the fall is truly upon us which means it is also time to start planning the marketing activities and plans for 2020. Wow, a few years back 2020 seemed so far away, and now it is less than 90 days left until the new year is here. Actually, I'd argue if you're planning for 2020 now, you're already running a bit late. So the time is now!
So let's just jump into my 5 steps for you to take, so that you can craft a solid marketing plan (or strategy if you like that word better) for 2020.
1) Know what your Goal is.
Goals are super important to set because it makes everything you do; the tactics, actions, and assets be aligned towards reaching that goal. For the team, for everyone in the company, it is great to be informed and involved, so that everyone pulls in the same direction. Now - before you can set the goal, you need to take a real hard look at where you are now. Run a full diagnosis of the current state of affairs. What is the status quo of the company? How did you perform against the goals you set 365 days ago? The reason for this is to make sure you have a realistic point of view before even thinking about defining the goal for 2020. Plus you can’t make a plan on where to be if you don’t know where you are. So to sum up;
1: How did you deliver on last year's goal
2: Where is the brand/company right now
3: Where do you want to be at the end of 2020 and beyond.
2) Market research; Set your objectives.
You probably developed a pretty good gut feeling about the category and customer base for your brand. It’s great and most likely a strong indicator of what is correct. However, supporting that gut feeling with some facts and figures makes it easier to convince the team - as it will be based on insight and data, rather than “trust me, I know what I’m talking about”. No offense, you probably do, but it's more convincing to have solid facts and figures that prove the gut is right. And it is also okay to adjust that said gut feeling if the numbers show a slightly different way to go about it. What I am saying is once you’ve done a solid diagnosis of the company, defined the goal, you can clearly; based on facts and figures set the objectives for 2020.
3) Review your marketing channels.
I don’t know about you and your brand, but most companies don’t actually take the time to review, rethink and revitalize their channels once they are up and running. However, taking some time to review the marketing channels you are active on, evaluate them against the goals, objectives, facts, and figures might be a healthy exercise. This also means to review your target audience. Which channels are the audience most active on? Has something changed in the past year? What about the psychographics of your existing and potential customers? What are their drivers, barriers and what desired outcome you are hoping for? Are you active on the right channels? Should you add or remove any? These are important questions to use when reviewing your marketing channels for 2020.
4) Show me the money!
There is no such thing as a free lunch (as the old saying states) and when it comes to marketing it is so true. Yes, we have own, earned and paid media, and there is always the hope of getting some “free marketing”, but at the end of the day, to get earned media is also connected to a cost. The worst thing for any company or brand is to have zero money for marketing. Yes, you need to take care of the existing customer base, which means you need to engage them with content, context and community-driven activities, which comes at a cost if you want to be ahead of the curve. And then there is the thing of reaching new people. That requires a certain budget as well. The most effective social platforms; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok etc, if you want to reach massive amounts of people on these platforms, you need to have a budget. You will not make a dent in the universe by organically reaching 1-2% of the people that are following you on different platforms. Nope - you need cold cash to make something more happen, so figure out what that number is. It doesn’t have to be insanely high, but defining how much money you have to spend, makes it a lot easier to figure out which activities are useful to focus on. This means you need to have an honest conversation with the CFO or whoever is in charge of the bank and align the goals, objectives with the expected results from the marketing activities.
5) Who is in your corner.
What I mean by that is; who is part of your marketing team, both internally and externally. Do you have the resources that are needed to achieve the said goals and objectives for 2020? External partners? Make sure you have a good fit, especially when it comes to external partners; review their performance, challenge them to come up with their own plan and KPI's for the year and how they will help you reach said goals and objectives. Include them and make sure you are on the same page. But be really critical about the team, both internally and externally. You need them all to pull in the same direction, which means they have a joint clear understanding of where you are, where you want to go, and what is your definition of success.
Marketing is the backbone of success to every company, be it a startup or a Fortune500 company. Be it in B2c or B2B, While the outcome might be a simple and tangible plan with visuals and that one message carried across all tactical assets, it is important when making the game plan for 2020 that might just change the game for your brand.
So these are my 5 (simplified) steps to craft a solid marketing plan for 2020. It might seem easy and a walk in the park for the skilled CMO out there, and hopefully a good reminder of what to do. But for those of you that feel a bit intimidated about these 5 steps and wonder how to get this done, fear not. I can be of assistance and guide you and your team, I can review, and help you get the right pieces in place if you want to. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be there alongside you all the way. After all, I’ve done this now for more than 25+ years, so I do know what I’m doing. :)