Have you been planning your marketing for this year? Don’t let last year put you off your planning.
I’d always recommend researching, writing and following a marketing strategy… and the whole Covid situation doesn’t change that. A strategy is based on research, it provides the reasoning behind any activity, and certainly should be revised if there’s a market shift.
Strategies contain a contingency plan – so that if things go wrong (whether those things are within your control or not), it doesn’t mean scrapping the lot and starting again (or worse, doing nothing). It’s more about refining your activities, knowing what’s the most effective, and tailoring your content to the context.
It’s easy to rely on what you’ve always done, or to reduce or stop marketing activities until the dust settles (and when will that be?), but perhaps that’s not the best thing for boosting your visibility. Now could even be the time to try something new.
Marketing budget cuts?
If your budget or resources are tight, you’ll need to think even more creatively.
Review your buyer personas. If you do it in-house, this costs nothing but time, but it’s an important step if your ideal customer is behaving differently, so they need to be refreshed (or at least read!) regularly, and shared within the business. We know that purchasing habits changed in 2020, and there’s an understanding that behaviour will never return to what it was pre-pandemic, so they could have moved on.
If you don’t have anything pinned down about your ideal customer, research and write your buyer personas – I talk you through how to do it here. The time you spend doing this will be mitigated by a more thorough understanding of your market, how to reach the customers you want and the content that will engage them.
This could trim your activities as, rather than doing what you’ve always done, you can concentrate on the ones that are more likely to engage and convert.
Try something new
Don’t be afraid to try new avenues or channels. This might sound time-consuming if there’s a learning curve, but it’s worth the investment if it’s where your audience is. Continuing with the original plan is what could actually be a waste of time as you fight to engage a dwindling audience.
If in-house knowledge is a limiting factor, consider employing a freelancer or agency to fill that gap. It will free you and your team up to focus on what you’re best at.
By building regular performance monitoring into your marketing, you can help mitigate drastic changes, by pairing it with the “test, learn, optimise” theory that I’ve always used. If you know how your marketing is performing, channel by channel, or campaign by campaign, and are used to making incremental improvements, it will mean that pivoting won’t be as difficult as you’ll already know which activities work – what’s raising your profile, what’s getting people engaging, what’s generating leads.