The beginning of 2020 was just like any other year. Companies were gearing up for a brand new start and marketing teams were ready to roll out their fresh, innovative campaigns. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit the world and everything changed. As we start planning the marketing strategy for 2021, how different will your marketing plan look?
A new normal – managing your messaging
As the COVID-19 and lockdown situation evolved throughout the year, lessons were learned on how to deal with ever-changing rules and restrictions. Many marketing plans simply were no longer feasible.
While some ideas inevitably could not happen due to the lockdown – perhaps due to furlough, product availability or grappling with technology – other strategies would have just been ineffective in the face of a pandemic.
In 2021 there needs to be a sensitivity to your approach. Your messaging and communication methods won’t be the same in a restricted lockdown compared to a more relaxed “socially distanced” world.
Consider short term, flexible strategies
No longer can marketers rely on long-term marketing plans. For 2021, you cannot plan for the entire year from start to finish.
While your plans should still be forward-thinking and focused on how to operate in a “new normal”, your customer always needs to be top of mind. That means you constantly need to be reviewing your messaging and staying up to date with the world around you.
If you do set yearly, bi-annual, or quarterly goals, keep in mind that they might need to shift drastically based on the state of the world and restrictions on your business.
The importance of data
It’s quite lucky that online marketing has proved so successful during the pandemic because the return on investment and efficacy of any strategy are extremely easy to ascertain.
Even in the best of times, it’s important your marketing campaigns perform well, you track the results and data is analysed before renewing existing or implementing new plans. Ensure that these results are shared with decision-makers so they continue to support marketing and don’t be afraid to defend your plans with the data you worked so hard to produce.
Content is king
During the intermittent lockdowns, most businesses took to the internet to keep the lines of communication open. An online presence with social media and fresh content should top the list of your marketing communication strategy.
Take a look at what performed well this year and invest in producing more of the same content. Evaluate why the things that did not go down well were not successful and learn from any mistakes.
Businesses that produced thought leadership content and branded themselves as industry experts saw great success through the lockdown. You don’t want to just push your sales message constantly. Create and share unique, informative, or entertaining content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your field. When your customers trust you, they’ll think of your business first.
Taking a unique angle on topical conversations is also a good strategy – but be mindful of just ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. If you don’t have any value to add, it’s better not to say anything.
Change with the times
It might be daunting trying to ensure your business not only stays afloat but thrives and grows in a post-pandemic Britain. Cost-effective, informative, and trackable content should be a key part of your small business’ 2021 marketing plans. This is where investing in marketing consultancy can help.
Marketing Square can support you by outlining your marketing plan for the year and working with you to adapt your overreaching plans into short-term goals and checkpoints that can help you keep track of your business performance in a constantly changing environment. Contact us to get your year off to a well-planned start.