Mapping Out Your Marketing Approach – Timeline for 2021


marketing plan

Have you thought about your marketing approach for 2021? After the tough year that has been 2020 (ok, we know it’s not over yet, but we can dream, right?) it’s going to be more important than ever for marketing teams to deliver value in 2021, with 76% of surveyed marketers saying they feel increasing pressure to deliver leads in the wake of Covid-19.

So, if you’re in a service-based or B2B industry that’s not caught up in the Christmas chaos, now is the time to start mapping out your 2021 marketing approach. We’ve put together a timeline of what you should be doing and when between now and December, so that you can be on the front foot when it comes delivering leads and conversions next year. You can thank us later 😉 


Number crunching 

October is your time to do a deep dive into your numbers. Take a look back at any reporting you’ve done for the last 12 months, and try to pull out the most actionable insights from your marketing channels. What worked well in terms of driving leads and sales? Did any of your marketing efforts fall flat? Is there a snag somewhere in your funnel that’s causing leads to drop off? Use these numbers to do an audit of your full digital strategy and assets, including things like your website, landing pages and lead nurturing email sequences to help you diagnose any problems or areas of improvement.  

Researching and forecasting 

Now that you’ve crunched the numbers, you can use them forecast what you can you achieve in terms of leads and revenue in 2021. Your audit may also have shed some light on areas of your marketing that need more research. For instance, if you struggled with conversions in 2020, you may need to do some more research about your target audience, and revise your customer personas to make sure you’re reaching the right people with the right messaging. 

Strategy and goals 

Now that you’re armed with research and have some figures and goals in mind, you need to have a solid digital strategy to make sure you can achieve those goals. One way to nail your strategy for 2021 is to get your team to run through a strategy workshop. You can do this internally with your team, or call in the help of an external marketing consultant. The advantage of getting in a consultant to run a workshop is that they can offer a fresh perspective on your business and industry (based on what they know works for other clients in your niche), as well as fill in any technical knowledge gaps in your own team, like SEO or social media advertising.  


Touch base with current clients 

It can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. In order to maximise value, your marketing approach for 2021 needs to include plans for customer retention as well as driving new leads. Use this time to check in with your current clients. What did they love about working with you in 2020? What do they think you can improve on? Is there anything you can do right now to drive customer loyalty? Admittedly, 2020 might not be the year for Christmas cocktail parties with clients (it’s pretty hard to mingle via Zoom), but think about creative ways to make sure your existing clients feel taken care of, and build this into your approach for 2021 so it doesn’t come as an afterthought.  

Book in experts and consultants 

Now that you’ve done a digital audit and run through a marketing workshop, you should have a pretty clear idea of any gaps and areas you’ll need help with for your 2021 strategy. If this includes getting in experts to help with things like SEO, website fixes, or developing content, start engaging those people now. Things like SEO can take a while to have an effect, so the sooner you get the ball rolling, the better off you’ll be next year.  


Map out your content 

If your 2021 strategy requires new content, whether that’s for social media, email sequences or your website, plan it out in advance. Good content looks easy, but it takes a whole lot of time and thought in order to deliver content that resonates with your audience, and ultimately helps you drive leads. Now is a good time to book in photographers or videographers for January if that’s something you need, or work with your SEO specialist to plan out your keywords for your blog content.  

Run a test campaign 

Depending on the service you offer and the length of your customer journey, this could be a good time to start running some campaigns and building your audience of potential leads. If you offer financial services, your customers might not be ready to engage your services in December, but once they’ve made it through the festive season and start to think about getting their finances in order for 2021, your business will already be top of mind. This will also give you a chance to test and tweak things like conversion pages, lead nurturing sequences and any new content you’ve developed to see how it performs with your audience.  

So, there you have it! Your 2021 marketing approach is going to be all about delivering value, and driving leads and conversions. Work through this timeline to make sure you’re thinking strategically, and not flying by the seat of your pants when 2021 comes around! If you’re ready to jump into workshop, our team of experts are ready to help you nail your marketing strategy for 2021. Get in touch today.  

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