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If you are choosing to walk into 2021 without a marketing plan, you should reconsider. Having no marketing plan is a recipe for disaster. You need to have a plan for a number of reasons. A plan can help you prioritize, establish organization, increase productivity, improve team consistency, and set goals for the new year. I know marketing can seem overwhelming, but don’t throw in the towel just yet. We are going to teach you how to build a marketing plan for 2021. 

The good news is you can decide how simple or complex you want your marketing plan to be. It doesn’t have to be a 200 page manual or overly complex. It can be a simple powerpoint or 1-3 page document outlining your strategy. What really matters is that you have some sort of marketing strategy in place. In order to learn how to build a marketing plan for 2021, you should follow these 5 steps.

Step #1: Reflect on your current marketing efforts

In order to successfully execute any marketing goals you have for 2021, you need to look at your marketing data from 2020. It is essential you discover what brought you success and what ended up being a waste of time. You want to start off the year maximizing your time and efforts into results driven marketing. The best way to do this is to look at data. You should compile an analysis of all of your data from the past year. A simple way to do this is to categorize each aspect of your marketing such as social media platforms, website traffic, click through rate etc. Next, input the insights from each category into an excel sheet. Updating your analysis consistently will provide the opportunity to reflect on what is working and what isn’t. Once you have found which marketing tactics brought you desired results, you can implement them into your new marketing plan. 

Step #2: Define your marketing intentions 

What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase the revenue of a certain product by 40%? Do you want to build a stronger social media presence? Is your goal to grow your business revenue by 1.5x  in 2021? It could possibly be all of the above, which is great. What really matters is that you define exactly what your objectives are. You can do this by creating SMART goals. The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If you create a goal with each aspect of the SMART acronym in mind, you will have set great marketing intentions. It is important that our marketing intentions are delivered effectively, which brings us to our next step. 

Step #3: Know your audience 

This step may be one of the most important. It is quite contradictory to establish a marketing plan, if you don’t even know who you are marketing it to. It is vital you know your audience. Marketing is all about showing your value to a target audience.  If your product is communicated to the incorrect audience, your marketing efforts will have been in vain. It is like trying to sell beard oil to a group of women. You could be selling the best beard oil in the world, but chances are you won’t sell anything. In addition to finding the right audience, you need to make your target audience very specific. It is important you don’t just say, “I want to market to men.” The product you are selling could be organic, higher quality, or health specific, which would require you to target a more niche audience. Whatever you decide your target audience is, it needs a precise definition. Now that you know your audience, we can move to the next step. 

Step #4: Research your competition 

It is important you analyze your competitors marketing efforts. You should look out how you compare to your competitors? How is someone’s service or offering better than yours? In asking these questions, you can find out what your competitors are missing and how you can fulfill those missing pieces in your business. In conducting a competitor analysis, you should discover your weaknesses, as well as how to provide new strengths into the market. It is the best way to give you an advantage over the competition. It should be noted that the point of researching your competitors is not to copy what they are doing. Researching your competition should inspire you to do what you need to do, in order to become the best. 


Step 5: Set your budget 

Last but not least, you need to set a marketing budget. In order to execute the marketing plan you have devised, you need to know what your budget is. If your strategy includes social media advertising, you need to decide exactly how much you can spend on advertising each month. It is no secret that marketing takes time and money. The good news is, you have a few different options to achieve your marketing strategy. You can hire an employee to execute your marketing plan, but that can get quite costly. Another option is to hire out help for certain aspects of your marketing plan. If you need help with social media, Lift Local provides an entirely hands-off approach to managing your social media, among other things. Ultimately, you have to decide what amount of money you want to allocate in order to achieve your marketing goals. Deciding this should be based on what you can rationally afford and what your specific goals are.


Ready, Set, Market!

Now that you know how to build a marketing plan for 2021, it is time to implement it. Make sure you devote time to check-in on how your marketing efforts are going. Don’t wait until the end of the year to reflect on your progress. Take time to analyze and reevaluate your goals once a month, so make sure you are staying on track. If you need additional help in owning your market, Lift Local helps businesses create and execute solid marketing strategies at an affordable price. Our team customized marketing plans are designed to lift you above your competition. Think of us as an extension to your office, here to relieve stress and ensure success.