2020 is Hindsight: How to Plan for 2021

December 4, 2020
2020 is Hindsight: How to Plan for 2021 Featured Image

We’re ecstatic to wave goodbye to 2020, and can you blame us? What a year. But as 2020 quickly comes to an end, planning season is in full swing and it’s got us dreaming about all the ways 2021 could outshine 2020. We’re excited to have another year ahead of us to innovate and create for our clients!

Whether you’re struggling to get your 2021 marketing plan together or just need an extra kick in the pants to come up with your next big idea, we’ve rounded up our top strategic planning tips for the new year.

Observe, test, and iterate is the mantra for 2021. You must remain agile to adapt to ever-changing market trends, forces and social norms. Within your marketing plan, be sure to build in the capacity to respond, in real time, to the new landscape we are navigating. Evaluate your past (weekly, monthly, and quarterly) and apply those learnings to your future. Develop readily achievable goals, reassess your tactics and techniques, and bake in more feedback mechanisms to measure your progress and efficacy. Be prepared to modify your plan and change the steps you need to reach your goals.” — Brenda Showell, Account Director

“So you’re gonna do some Covid communications, eh? The heart was in the right place for every ‘we’re in this together’ and ‘thank you for what you do’ ad we witnessed this year. But I think most can agree, by early May-ish we were already getting pretty desensitized and maybe even a little annoyed by the repetition and sameness of it all. If 2021 offers you an/more opportunity to do Covid-related messages, might I suggest a different approach? You can show you care without literally saying ‘we care’ (over and over). And I would posit something like a practical yet unexpected tip for staying safe or a few little ‘new normal’ life hacks will create much more goodwill than some lofty, corporate (and at this point, generic) ad speak can.” — Trevor Villet, Creative Director

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things can change quickly. The same marketing tactics you have been using all along might no longer resonate or be relevant. This is the time to go back to the drawing board, reassess assumptions and look at how your audiences’ behaviors have changed in the last year. Reassess the marketing platforms you’re on. Are they still the most effective or do you need to expand your presence in the market? Evaluate the frequency of your outward communication. Is it enough to capture the busy CEOs attention or the stay-at-home mom who’s now also teaching from home? Consider your company’s newsworthiness. Do your PR efforts require more effort to cut through the now cluttered media landscape? Take a good look at your tried and true marketing tactics and determine if and how to invest in them moving forward.” — Ashlene Larson, Director of Public Relations and Social Media

“Find a hidden gem that reveals something original about your target audience. The best marketing — from planning to buying media to designing creative and sharing through multiple channels — thrives when it is culturally relevant to customers and consumers. To fuel a plan that resonates deeply, discover something special about what makes your audience tick. What friction do they feel, and how does your brand ease that friction? What’s something surprising they value or believe? If you don’t know where to look, website analytics (often free!), social channel engagement metrics, and quick online surveys are often a great place to get a read on how people spend their time with your category. Just one keen insight can drive an entire strategy and be the difference between an expected plan and one that shifts the paradigm.” — Jack Spaulding, Executive Director of Strategy