The holidays are just around the corner. Thus, much is needed to be done before everyone sets their email boxes to the “out of office” mode.
For business owners, the end of the year is not really about the end. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A change of season is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the work that has been done, set ambitious goals for the future, and get ready to reach new heights.
There is probably no need to emphasize that any ambitious business goal can’t be achieved without an ambitious marketing plan. At least not in 2022! This checklist for B2B marketing will help you prepare your marketing strategy for the coming year and make sure everything’s in place once you are back in the office ?.
1. Look back to move forward
Reflect on the past year first, then make plans for 2022. Depending on the size and the structure of your organization, you can decide what is the best way to approach this task. You might want to conduct a Zoom call with everyone on the team, gather for dinner in a friendly atmosphere, or send out questionnaires.
We encourage you to put enough time and effort and collect as much feedback as possible. At the end of the day, it’s more than one of those reports that needs to be done by the end of the year. Consider this task as an opportunity to see what was done well and what needs improvement.
Be generous with your questions. It’s not the time to keep it short and simple! What did the team do well? Which tactics showed the most effectiveness? What didn’t work so well? Did you meet your goals? Make sure you talk to your colleagues and employees, gather data from your website and social media, talk to your marketing department/agency, and look through the clients’ feedback. Use all the resources available to create a complete picture of how the year went.
2. Define (or redefine) your audience
Everyone knows that Batman needs Robin, just like everyone knows that any successful business needs a clearly defined audience. Deep knowledge of the audience has proven to be crucial for successful marketing campaigns. As stated in HubSpot, when you know your audience, everything you do is more likely to resonate with the people who matter most to your success: your leads and customers.
If you are new to this topic and not sure how to define your audience, we suggest taking a look at our recent article Introduction to Ideal Client Profile: How to Create ICP. You will learn more about what ICP is and the dangers of not having one. You can also find a fillable guide in our second article from the ICP series. This will help you define your audience in no time.
3. SWOT & Competitor analysis
Now that you have carefully looked back at the past year and identified your audience, it’s time to re-evaluate your place on the market.
One of the most common methods to conduct such evaluation is called SWOT analysis. For those who are not yet familiar with this model, SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is a simple but powerful tool that can help you analyze what your organization does well and what should be improved. It also provides an opportunity to look at your company more critically as you examine the threads that are holding you back or might appear in the future as the company grows.
When conducting a SWOT analysis, consider asking the following questions:
Source – WordStream
A small tip from us: conduct the SWOT analysis along with the competitor analysis. The SWOT structure will help you to stay focused and notice the details you might miss otherwise.
Don’t forget that analysis of other companies in the industry offers a fresh perspective on old things. It’s easy to get trapped in a bubble as you are developing your own product but looking at others in the same field is an opportunity to learn and come up with innovative ideas.
4. Set goals for 2022 and KPIs
Perhaps the most exciting yet complex part of the process! There are various challenges that frequently come into the game when setting goals for the year.
One of the biggest issues is narrowing down the list of options. There might be many great ideas, but you also want to set goals that are reachable. Quality over quantity, remember? Once you decide on the final goals, run them through the SMART goals model. Just like with SWOT, this tool allows one to take all the puzzles apart and then put them back together into one logical piece.
As you set the goals for the year, we would recommend dividing them into smaller objectives. These milestones along the way will help your team to stay on track and reflect on the progress. Make sure you leave some space for flexibility. It can be hard to make long-term plans when the business is constantly changing.
5. Trends in 2022
You surely don’t have to become the next Miranda Priestly choosing the right blue belt, but you might want to take a look at what is popular out there. Knowing the trends allows you to understand the market better and adjust accordingly. Don’t take it the wrong way, you certainly want to have a unique selling proposition that makes you stand out from the services out there. However, being aware of the trends can help you reach a wider audience and thus make your services more visible.
For instance, one of the trends in 2022 you should take a closer look at is account-based marketing (ABM). HubSpot reports that in 2021, 62% of marketers leveraged account-based marketing, or ABM, to win over customers; while 33% of marketers who haven’t used it are planning to invest in it for the first time in 2022.
Account-based marketing helps in communicating with high-value accounts and allows a business to personalize the buyer’s experience. As it also helps to focus on specific prospects, ABM can significantly improve the overall ROI.
Another trend you might want to pay attention to is original research. Although we know that high-quality information has always been in demand, the expectations will get higher in 2022. According to the Content Marketing Institute, around 80% of marketers report that useful content helps them succeed in achieving brand awareness. 75% say it builds credibility/trust, and 70% say their content marketing educates audiences.
6. New marketing tools
We are flooded with an endless number of digital tools that promise results the world has never seen before. Of course, you don’t need to use all of them, but taking a few and applying them to your work can be quite beneficial.
Many automation tools help businesses save not only time but also finances. Once you learn how to use them, they can become handy in many processes within the company. Starting from recruiting and finishing with sales, these tools will certainly help. Just remember to not overuse them or run the risk of becoming too dependent on them.
Another tool to think about is advanced customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. A CRM system compiles data from a range of communication channels like marketing, sales, and support and uses them to create a better experience across the entire client lifecycle.
As you explore these options, remember that personalization should always stay as your first priority. The tools can help you reach more clients and spread the word about your services, but they are merely a tiny addition to your “team”, not a replacement.
7. Timeline around Peak Dates
Holidays—who doesn’t love them (except Chandler Bing)? Marking the holidays as your peak dates can help you plan your resources well, predict where you might need some extra help, and when you can take a day off.
You don’t need to include every holiday on the list, but as a business, you should put your clients first. Make sure you pay attention to the different backgrounds where your audiences come from and take this information into account when preparing your next holiday message.
Points 1, 2, and 4 of this checklist should help you gather enough information to create a well-structured timeline.
The top of the mountain [play the Star Wars – The Imperial March song to make it more dramatic]. There are many reasons why you should take the marketing budget plan seriously. Some of them are as follows:
- It helps to stay on track financially and ensure you have enough resources to achieve the desired goals;
- It helps to allocate resources into the right projects;
- It helps you set long-term goals.
Many companies, however, reduce their marketing budgets in recession; but, as Harward Business Review says, “that is today’s equivalent of bleeding—an old-fashioned but once widespread treatment that actually reduces the patient’s ability to fight disease.”
Nowadays, investing in marketing is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity that shouldn’t go to the end of the priority list.
How Respect.Studio can help with your marketing strategy 2022
For more than five years now, we have been helping our clients create successful marketing strategies. Our team has expertise in conducting in-depth market research in a wide range of industries and helping organizations to identify their target audience. Check out this case study to find out how ICP testing helped our recent client boost their lead generation campaign.
Our services also include B2B lead generation campaigns, LinkedIn branding, email marketing, content creation, and digital strategy development. We can help you out in any of these areas and set the goals for the coming year. Contact us to find out which service is the best fit for your business case.
For business owners, the end of the year is not really about the end. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A change of season is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the work that has been done, set ambitious goals for the future, and get ready to reach new heights. There is probably no need to emphasize that any ambitious business goal can’t be achieved without an ambitious marketing plan. At least not in 2022! This checklist for B2B marketing will help you prepare your marketing strategy for the coming year and make sure everything’s in place once you are back in the office ?.