Marketing Planning For Businesses in 2021

For reasons we that don’t need to go into, 2020 has been a year the vast majority of smaller businesses would prefer to forget. Likewise, it goes without saying that the ‘rulebook’ for success in 2021 isn’t what you’d call a quick read.

Many businesses have been forced to completely alter their approaches and diversify like never before, simply to survive.

Nevertheless, there are three important things all SMEs will need to focus on next year, in order to survive and (hopefully) thrive. If you’re finding it difficult to know where to start with your advance planning, these are the three things you should most likely be prioritising:

1​. Get your marketing strategy right

‘Getting it right’ may come across as a little vague, but what’s actually meant by this is to start taking your marketing strategy seriously. Or at least, get out of the habit of simply making things up as you go along, Who are you are targeting and why? Where can you find them and when? How have their expectations and demands evolved in 2020? How can you provide them with a more appealing offer than your competitors? How are you making efficient use of all available channels? To what extent you monitoring and analysing the performance of all aspects of your marketing strategy?

All questions you should be considering right now.

2​. Put a human face to your brand

More than ever, consumers are demonstrating growing distrust in the brands and businesses they encounter online. That is, with the exception of those that have a clear and relatable human face. There’s a ton you can do these days to lend a human face to your brand - particularly when it comes to your blogging and social media strategies. Take your audience behind the scenes, show them the people behind the brand and let them get to know your personalities. Encourage the submission of user generated content from both your audience and those that work for your business, in order to help maximise the humanity of your brand.

Being involved in the community and staying engaged with your audience at all times is also essential if you’re to come across as a trustworthy human being.

3​. Focus on customer service

Last up, product quality, availability and even value for money are no longer the most important cornerstones for success when running an online business.  Instead, it’s all about credibility, trust, respect and the overall customer experience. All of which call for heightened focus on customer service, over and above the more traditional priorities. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and scrutinise every aspect of their journey from start to finish. Then ask yourself - which aspects of your customer service strategy could stand to be improved?

Offering quality products and/or services at a decent price is important, but not nearly as essential as making every customer feel valued.