We’re in the thick of the planning season. Here are eight tips to enhance your marketing plan. 

Tip #1: Know thy customer.
It’s easy to post on social media. It’s hard to deeply understand your customers to ensure you’re posting where and what they care about. 

It’s easy to spend money on ads. It’s hard to create a value proposition that differentiates your brand in a relevant, compelling, and meaningful way.

It all starts with understanding your customer and how your products or services can provide value. Marketing starts with brand strategy.

Tip #2: Start with a blank slate. 


COVID-19 has reshaped consumer behavior. You know the data. Consumers are in limbo. They’re working from home part-time or full-time. They’re navigating what they’re comfortable doing in person versus online. And, they’re buying more online and on social media. 

Scratch your 2021 plan, which was built for the lock-down. Scratch older plans, which were designed for a pre-pandemic world. 

Start with a blank slate.

Tip #3: Plan together.
A chronic weakness across businesses is the marketing silo. Marketing departments work independently versus instep with the sales, finance, customer service and product teams. 

Marketing’s job is to support the company’s goals. How can it do its job without understanding:

  • What new products are being introduced in 2022?
  • How do customers feel about the new products?
  • What are customers saying to the customer service team?
  • What trade shows are the sales team going all in on in 2022?

Tip #4: Use math.
How much can you afford to spend to acquire a new customer? It’s a math problem. 

That answer informs your budget, which impacts your plan. Don’t start planning without first understanding how much you can afford to acquire a new customer, and to retain existing customers too. 

Tip #5: Don’t wing it.
How are your search rankings? Is your social media program growing your community? How’s that pay-per-click advertising campaign performing? 

Many companies have internal marketing professionals with expertise in particular areas. Digital marketing is complex. It requires a vast array of skills. And, as a result, there’s a dramatic increase in highly targeted digital marketing boutiques.

No one is skilled at everything. Hire experts.

Tip #6: Know what you want and ask for it. 
We are all too busy to try to decipher cutesie headlines, abstract imagery, and language that doesn’t tell us what you want us to do. 

Want customers to share your email with their colleagues? Include a “share” button and ask them to use it. 

Want prospects to open an email? Use a subject line that’s short, specific and direct. 

Take a cue from these billboards, which clearly communicate their messages in as few words as possible. 


Tip #7: Test. Measure. Analyze. Repeat.
Every marketing program is a test. The world is always changing, which means the marketing program that exceeded your goals last year could flop this year. Hence, the importance of testing. And measuring. And analyzing. And trying it all again.

Testing includes your elevator pitch, calls-to-actions, and even how you answer the phone. 

Tip #8: Grow your community.


You already do a great job staying in touch with your customers through email marketing, social media, outbound calls from sales and account managers, and other targeted and personalized tactics. What’s in your plan to grow your fan base? 

The answer requires consumer research to uncover where your future customers spend their time. Is there a blogger they follow? What Facebook groups do they frequent? What are their go to apps and sites?

It’s not too late.
Pressure test your plan to ensure it’s ready to take on 2022. 

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