The high-pressure marketing budget and strategy planning season seems to kick-off earlier each year. It’s as if your boss is asking you to magically construct the perfect strategic and tactical mix at the right budget for 2020, without having enough of 2019 under your belt to predict the best approach. After all, you don’t know what the future holds, right?
As they say, hindsight is 20/20. So, why not leverage that to get some 20/20 foresight?
Like you, we at TopRank Marketing don’t have any magical crystal balls or employees with psychic powers. We don’t use witchcraft to brew mystical marketing love potions. And we certainly don’t engage in any sorcery with enchanted mirrors, but we’ve honed our craft over nearly 20 years and we do find plenty of value in reflecting.
Just a mystic or a wizard or an enchantress gathers their crystals, herbs, or sacred artifacts, you too have transcendent tools available to you. Read on to learn how you can cast your spell, summon your marketing spirit, or connect with marketing’s natural elements to create a strategic 2020 marketing plan—without relying on the supernatural.
As a marketer you don’t know what you don’t know. And, that’s okay. Clairvoyance is not part of the job description. Begin your brew with some thoughtful research.
Now that you’re tuned up, use your knowledge to spark new ideas, strengthen your plan recommendations, and back up your recommendations with solid rationales.
Every wizard, witch, psychic, or gifted mystic has had to spend a great deal of time to unlock the power inside themselves, you too must devote time to understand one of your most powerful tools: data. Anyone can come up with a striking idea, but it takes a special marketer to use data and unlock the insights within. Try this approach to uncover what you need to know to inform your marketing plan:
Leverage your tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to pull data from all of your tactics in the past year, including campaigns and ongoing programs. You can also gather audience data and benchmarks from the research you’ve been doing.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little time diving down rabbit-holes. At this annual reflection point, what better time to dig into an unnoticed trend or insight?
Don’t be afraid to spend a little time diving down rabbit-holes. At this annual reflection point, what better time to dig into an unnoticed trend or insight? – @ElizabethW1057 on 2020 #MarketingStrategy Click To Tweet
Look across your data to establish benchmarks fit to your brand that will be valuable in informing your decisions. Again, feel free to check out industry benchmarks, but remember your brand is a unique situation. For instance, are you a startup looking to create a demand for a new niche? Or are you an established enterprise looking to increase market share?
Now it’s time to turn that data into something you can use. Look for trends, outliers, big successes and big failures. Each one can teach you something and guide your 2020 plan to be more strategic.
Here’s a simple example of how you can go from data, to benchmark, to insight, to 2020 tactics:
Yes, there are many more metrics, variables, and considerations than simply number of visitors or a single promotional tactic, but you can leverage this approach to unlock some actionable insights from your data. Harness the positive vibes you uncover to inform your marketing plan, and bring your findings to the table to back up your recommendations.
Now, it’s time to combine elements for a comprehensive strategy.
To enable your success, you must stay grounded. It can be easy to go heads down in planning after one quick conversation, but avoid the temptation. There is nothing worse than presenting a complete marketing plan to a room full of confused faces because you missed the core objective or are suggesting using a new tactic that just failed in another business unit.
Chat with your budget stakeholders early and often about:
The water element governs relationships, and it changes shape based on whatever vessel contains it. Use the people around you to gather and mold your ideas this planning season.
The information you gather from your internal teams can be an unmatched input for keyword research. It can also guide your influencer research, inform your tactical mix, or simply spark new ideas or ways of looking at problems.
Transformation, passion, and action are the domain of the fire element. Your marketing agency should embody this completely.
Every fruitful client-agency partnership is rooted in a collaborative passion and drive for your success. So, who better to ask for help on your 2020 marketing plan?
Your agency should have its finger on the pulse of the latest marketing strategies, tactics, and measurement techniques. And, it should be a consultative partner, giving you what you need to make the case for your 2020 budget. Tap your agency for anything from an informal brainstorm to proposing new ideas and tactics, and from campaign extension ideas to full collaboration on your entire plan.
The final element is wind or air. Air is sometimes a harsh element. It cuts away the nonsense and gets us right down to the facts. This is where your plan comes together and you begin to shine.
Collect everything you’ve researched, studied and gathered, and reflect. Wipe away your emotions and what you feel like you should do. Give new ideas space to grow and be molded by your data and what you learned communing with your teams.
You started making your magic marketing potion with research, filled it to the top with data and sprinkled in all of the world’s natural elements. Now, the power is in your hands.
You’re ready to concoct your 2020 marketing plan. Don’t hesitate to check back in with your team while you brew. Gather their feedback and refine, because collaboration is how the magic happens.
Would an agency partner be helpful for your 2020 planning? We’d love to help. Get in touch today.
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