Building your 2021 marketing plan
Updated: Nov 25, 2022
As we enter the final months of 2020, it is time to start planning for 2021. Of course, as we have seen with the life-altering, unexpected events of this year, no plan is ever carried out perfectly, but that’s not the point. I love a plan because it gives you something to start from when circumstances change.
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be taking you step-by-step through building a marketing plan. I’m splitting it up so that it is more manageable, as each step will require some thinking and you might want to revisit some steps later. I’ll also be including links to current resources that will help you build out your plan, as well as templates I’ve developed for you to use.
If you look up "marketing plan" online there is a dizzying array of approaches and templates out there. I'm going to aim to keep this jargon-free and straightforward for small business owners. Marketing isn't rocket science, a lot of the time it's just common sense, but it does require some thought and work to get right.
If you want, treat this like a class assignment, it might be fun. However, if you’re a homeschooling parent, this might be a little close to the bone, so maybe don’t.
The assignment: 2021 marketing plan
For this assignment you will need:
Thinking time and space
Pens and paper for brainstorming
A computer with internet
A friend to bounce ideas off (optional)
Remind yourself why – Remind yourself why you’re in this game and what you're trying to do – this is at the heart of everything
Who are you talking to? – Creating your audience personas/customer avatars is part of the foundational work of any business plan, but as your customers change over time, they need to be revisited and updated regularly to make sure that they’re still relevant. If you'd like to get a head start, you can watch my free 30-minute course on creating audience personas.
Set your business goals – Marketing is pointless if it doesn’t help you move your business forward so we need to establish what you want to achieve
Aligning your marketing goals and overall strategy – How to set up solid marketing goals and strategies
Reviewing your context - How to look at the trends going on around you so that you don't approach marketing in a tone-deaf way
Channel strategies – Now we get into the fun bit of working out which marketing channels are best for you
Creating content - You now know who you're talking to and how you're going to reach them, but what are you going to say to them?
Managing through measurement – How do you know it’s working if you’re not measuring? We’ll look at how to set helpful metrics that help keep you on track, without bogging you down in admin
Stay tuned for the first part next week and make sure you follow my Facebook or LinkedIn pages to be notified when each one is live, or sign up for the blog series by entering your email at the top of this page.
If you have any burning questions about marketing strategies, please drop me an email and I’ll try to answer your question in my guide (firstname.lastname@example.org).