With all its uncertainty and change, 2020 has been a tough year for most businesses around the globe. Businesses that want to do better next year must take the time to study their markets and tweak their marketing strategies. This will help them to deal better with the various changes that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and help them cope with the “new normal”. Having clear goals and objectives for 2021 will help keep employees motivated and focused on reaching them.
For businesses that are ready to make a plan for next year, here are some suggested marketing preparations.
Study the Market and the Competition
The chaos in 2020 has brought about significant changes in most sectors. Many businesses have been forced to shut down, and many others have moved to a digital approach. Before you start planning your marketing strategy, you may want to study the market and your competition and see how they have survived the pandemic. You may find some great ideas and unique ways to engage your audience and do better than your competitors. You may also want to look at any recent innovations in the market, and see if there is anything you can adapt to fit your business.
Get in Touch with Your Target Audience
The best marketing strategies for 2021 will involve your audience, and so the best thing you can do is to ask them what they like and what they don’t like. Getting their comments is a great way to learn what is working for your brand. Besides, when your audience sees that you value their opinions, they feel connected and involved with the brand. It is bound to build loyalty over time.
Adapt your Offerings
After your study of the market, your competitors, and any new technology, and the feedback from your target audience, you can next look at your offerings to see how you can improve them to serve your customers better. Those companies that fail to adapt to the ever-changing market might find themselves falling behind and losing out to competitors that do. The companies that adapt quickly are more likely to succeed and to grab the attention of their audience.
Look at Channels to Reach Your Customer
The need for multiple channels to reach your customers is on the rise, as consumers want to shop both online and in-store. About 36% are also opting for the “click and collect” option, so keep that in mind when deciding on the best path for your brand. While online shopping is on the rise, consumers still like to have a consultant to check with, and live chats are gaining popularity with online shopping.
With more and more people moving online for shopping, networking, and more, a digital presence for your brand is essential. Your marketing strategy should take this into account. Select the platforms that are the best fit for your brand. B2C brands should look at establishing a presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest, whereas LinkedIn is a better fit for B2B brands. Do your research and find out which platforms are used by your target audience. Use the various tools available to create different ways of engaging them.
Review and Adapt
Within your plan, be sure to leave room for later changes and modifications. Schedule timely review sessions to look at the success of your various marketing campaigns, and see how they can be improved. Some ideas may have to be scrapped if they don’t perform the way you hoped or expected. Constantly reviewing your marketing efforts and tweaking them to see what works better is a good way to ensure that you get the best returns on your investment.