Like everyone else, B2B marketers experienced 2020 very differently from what they originally planned. When the global pandemic hit, budgets were cut and strategies were thrown out of the window, forcing marketers to rethink their approach and prepare for impact.
Many marketers are looking for a new start after 2021. However, Forrester predicts that companies will cut from $ 15 billion to $ 15 billion by 2021, so marketers may be asked to compensate by 2020, with less budget available.
As budgets are in high demand, it is more important than ever to maximize impact, even at a lower cost. While 2020 has tested our adaptability, many of us demonstrate the real value of the marketing role for senior leadership and sales teams.
With this increase in internal stakeholders, 2021 will allow marketers to use what we learned in 2020 to optimize our strategy for the new year.
Determine your strategy: adapt internally to your goals
When determining your budgets, it is crucial to link your marketing objectives to the overall objectives of your business. Marketing programs must help your company achieve specific goals, so it’s essential to align your strategic goals and the next budget – rather than being isolated – from other departments.
Suite C is less concerned with empty metrics than sales and ROI. To ensure your support, keep your interests in mind so that you can set clear expectations of success that everyone can agree on.
By setting well-defined goals in line with global business goals, you know exactly what your marketing team will be responsible for in 2021.
Plan: focus on three areas
While sales growth is primarily the focus, marketing goals differ widely between organizations. In addition to the initial coordination, I recommend focusing on three areas in the preparation of plans and budgets for the year 2021.
- Invest in your brand base
If your marketing goals for 2021 are to increase awareness or generate leads, don’t skip the most important element: building your brand.
A well-defined brand strategy can not only help you better understand your unique value proposition and ideal customer profile, but also strengthen your mission, values , and competitive differences.
Whether you are starting over or looking to reinforce what already exists, this period is an opportunity to assess the strength of your brand and create a plan for 2021 that will build your audience’s confidence by communicating your value clearly and concisely.
Investing in areas such as public figures, strategic positioning, and brand expression will ultimately lead to more conversions and revenue in the long run.
- Don’t neglect operations and technology
Operations are an aspect of marketing that is easy to ignore, but marketers are responsible for linking ROI to marketing expenditures, prioritizing match stacking, and data sanitization.
Improving the personalization and delivering relevant and engaging messages to the public will be invaluable in 2021. To do this effectively, you need clean data and the right martech tools. Understanding what you already have in your toolkit will give you a better idea of what you need and what you can cut. Take the time to research your tools to determine what works and what you can do differently.
Ultimately, a stack of optimized technologies should serve as an integrated toolbox to help you determine which marketing tactics really drive ROI, so you can focus your resources on the right strategies.
The ability to connect the dots between closed transactions and marketing costs, as well as a better understanding of the purchase journey through data, is essential to increase returns.
Once you’ve identified the tools you need, optimize your integrations so you can use technology assets to improve the customer experience and maximize revenue for the New Year.
- Focus on the channels with the greatest impact on ROI
The types of programs and campaigns you must implement in 2021 depend very much on the goals you have set for yourself.
It may be time to switch or adjust investments to meet your goals more strategically. Then, analyze the channels you have historically invested in and analyze the data in your technology stack to determine which channels you performed the best. It can help you make data-based budget allocation decisions for the channels that have the greatest impact on ROI and determine whether an additional investment in underperforming channels is worth checking out.
If you’re thinking of comparing your budget with the channels you own, earn, and pay for, remember that not all channels make sense for each of your audience profiles and some channels require different approaches and strategies.
Instead of dividing your resources, invest where your audience is most active to increase potential return.
Look ahead: take a step back before jumping
2020 was a difficult year. If you take a step back to analyze, base, and adjust your strategy before jumping to 2021, you will be rewarded.
While we cannot predict what will happen in 2021, we can use this year’s schedule to reflect on what we have learned and then rely on the data to help us invest our marketing money in the areas that have an impact next year.