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Marketing strategy for 2022? How is yours?


As we approach the end of 2021, I think it is significant to pause and take stock. Look at what you are doing, why you are doing it and what has changed around you doing it. Personally and as a business.


There is much I would like to share. A lot of what follows comes from various webinars from early December 2021, mainly from Chris Cardell of Cardell Media. He has been around a long time and knows what he is talking about - and he has given so much freely.

There are a number of significant principles, especially to businesses. Have a look at this and consider a) if it applies to you and b) how much it applies to you. Then consider your marketing strategy.


Principle #1 – Your possibility paradigm

It is interesting that this is considered more significant than marketing or anything else. This is all about what you believe, and what you think is possible, achievable and right. It is all tied up with the cultural belief systems and your own belief systems. Consider back in the 1950s, the paradigm around smoking was that “it was cool”. All of the depictions in media and advertising was around being cool. Yet now it is not cool. Beliefs and paradigms are not necessarily fixed. Neither are they necessarily right.

Not in any woo-woo sense, but realistically – our beliefs will drive our reality. What are the beliefs and paradigms for your company? Or, more specifically, what are the ceilings of your beliefs of what is achievable for your company in 2022? This will drive what is achieved in 2022.


Bear in mind, the barrage of negativity we face every day, everywhere. Especially if you watch the news. It can be crushing, and it is easy to get pulled down by it, and have your hopes and enthusiasms, pulled down by it and squashed.


In these times economically, many businesses and companies have gone to the wall. Many probably won’t survive. But, in every niche, there are business who have done extremely well. What did they do that was different to everyone else? The real truth is that there is huge opportunity out there. Many competitors are scared and are pulling back. If it is done right, there is room for success. Successful companies do what is smart. You have to break free of the negativity, or it will pull you down.


Your possibility paradigm drives everything.

Principle #2 – be less obsessed with sales numbers and more obsessed with profit margins.

It is easy to see sales numbers going up and think, “Hey, we’re doing great...” But a more significant metric or KPI is profit margin – for two main reasons

  1. the cost of getting a customer is going up and up (consider Facebook / Google ad costs 5 years ago). This is becoming a significant to business. Your profit margins need to be able to fund this.

  2. Staff problems. Many business are finding it harder to recruit staff. This is actually not a case of “you can’t get the staff”. Rather, it is a case of “you can’t get the staff at the rate you used to be able to pay them”. For good staff, you need to pay more and your profit margins need to be able to fund this.


What are realistic profit margins for 2022? What is your strategy for achieving this?

What are realistic (not pie-in the sky hopeful, but realistically achievable) figures for:

sales numbers profit margins


These are key, key figures to know. Every three months or so, check progress towards achieving these and adapt as necessary.


Principle #3 – find the best customers and sell more to them

This is an obvious one – but easily overlooked. Not all customers are equal. Know the attributes of your best customers and get more like them. Tailor your products and prices to sell more to them. You need to really, really know your target audience, and how to communicate with them. This principle is key.


Principle #4 – the health crisis and lockdowns have changed the world

The world has fundamentally changed with recent health issues. Existing trends towards digitalisation have been accelerated significantly. There is a big change in customer behaviour. Much that has worked in the past is simply no longer good enough, and no longer works. If you want to flourish in today’s world you have to adapt to these changes.

  • Customer buying decisions have moved online. When a buying decision is being made, potential customers will do web searches, look at your website, look at reviews, look at competitor websites, they will check you out on social media. Both those who do become customers and those who decide not to become customers. Today your online presence is critical. Your website presence and your social media presence is critical.

  • The inexorable rise of social media. This trend goes hand-in-hand with increasing technology capability, both in physical devices, in communications infrastructure and capacity, and in AI. All of this will significantly impact customer behaviour and customer expectation. There are over a billion users on both Facebook and Instagram – relevant for both B2C and B2B. Social Media interaction is an increasing part of many peoples lives, they are spending more and more time on social media platforms, and that is where many buying decisions are being made. Checkout the stats of this for yourself, know the trends, understand what you are working with. Some people favour Facebook, some Instagram, others Linked In. Potential customers will be checking you out on their platform of choice. If your business is not there, and your competitor is there … that will guide what their buying decision is. Whether a business owner likes Facebook or not isn’t the point. It is customer behaviour that is the point.

I think, critical here – recognise what activities are no longer working and stop doing that.


Principle #5 – get your website right

This has become increasingly significant as more and more activity has gone on-line. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop and a hundred people come into your shop, and 99 of them buy nothing and walk out again – you can see that, and look at why. If a hundred people visit your website, and only one interacts - would you know?


All too commonly, websites are built by web designers, visual designers. Obviously. But the primary role of a website is not to look good, or act zingy. The main purpose is conversion - nothing else. It needs to convert a visitor to a customer, or at least a potential customer. Anything else is beside the point, and if it detracts from the process of conversion it is detrimental. Potential customers will check you out on social media, but the conversion of a customer into a client is unlikely to happen on social media. Conversion happens on your website. Your website and your social media need to work together, and this has become increasingly critical.


Is your website converting effectively? Get this one wrong and it will pull you down.

Principle #6 – plan for “Mobile First”

This principle is huge, and applies to pretty much all marketing activity. It is influenced by a wide range of factors including increasing mobile device capability, increasing comms capacity, increasing social media uptake, lockdown, changes in consumer behaviour and expectation…


Today, use of mobile devices is up to 70%. This has a significant impact on the effectiveness of your website, your social media copy, your e-mail copy, customer behaviour, user distraction, user attention span, formats for consuming content, effectiveness of different calls to action (CTAs)… Pretty much every avenue of communication you have with customers and potential customers. It needs to be a part of your planning and implementation of your marketing.


Principle #7 – Video

How do you counter shorter attention spans and increased user distractions (while your potential customers are looking at your website while watching Netflix)? Video.

Today, video is a must. Customers expect it. You need it on your website, in emails (virtual sales letters or VSLs) in social media. Ideally, good copy for it, good filming, good editing good voice-over. Video is everywhere and necessary.

All of these factors we’ve mentioned above are significant each in their own right. But all combined together – the foundation of doing business has changed. The way of interacting with customers and potential customers has changed. Customer behaviour and expectation has changed. Liking this or not liking this is not the point. Get this wrong and it will pull you down.


Principle #8 – Get your marketing right

This is such a huge field. There are many methods of getting customers. Some businesses are built on word-of-mouth. Some do especially well on Google Ads, or trade shows, or passing foot-fall. If you have only one way to get customers you’re on dangerous turf. If that one way dries up, you have a big problem. With no customers you don’t have a business – even if you have a superb product or service.


Marketing is rooted in human behaviour. To be effective it needs to take into account what people are doing. Above we’ve looked at some of these behaviours. Today’s marketing system is complex. Some components are especially complex. Some components require specific talent and training. All of them need to be co-ordinated and integrated, and working in the direction of your key targets. All of them need to integrate into the rest of your business. Some of these include:

Google Ads

FB Ads

Instagram

LinkedIn

Direct mail

E-mail

Trade shows

Direct phone call

Printed material, brochures, fliers, posters

Websites

Videos

Conversational commerce and chatbots

Copywriting – this threads through everything, the art of creating compelling copy


Any one of these that you are not doing, or are not doing well has the potential to drag you down - each one a little bit more, and some more than others.


These are some of the components of a marketing strategy. Remember, without customers, you simply don’t have a business. Cut corners on marketing and it will inevitably drag you down.


Conclusion

Obviously, we have only touched on a handful of the many factors and principles involved in running a successful business. It is a complex, challenging and ever-changing adventure.


In summary, to pull together some of these myriad threads, consider some highlights.

1. There are three core ways to grow a business:

increase the number of customers

increase your prices

increase the number of purchases made by each customer

How are you going to do this in 2022?

2. What are the ceilings of your beliefs of what is achievable for 2022?

3. What are realistic

sales numbers?

profit margins?

4. Is your website effective in converting visitors?

5. Is your marketing strategy taking into account the changes in the nature of the online environment and in customer behaviour?

6. By how much do you want to grow your business in 2022? What are these numbers, and what is your strategy to achieve this?


Documents like this might not be that useful for big companies. They have whole departments looking after all of these various components. But for smaller companies, and especially sole entrepreneurs working to get their businesses off the ground, it is hard to know what you don’t know. I think this document could be especially useful for them.


New Year is a good time to look at this. Take a step back , re-evaluate what you are doing and where you are going, take stock, plan.


I hope you have found this useful. I can help with copywriting, especially e-mail marketing campaigns and conversational commerce / chatbots … as well as marketing strategy.


If you want to discuss anything raised here, give me a call. Whatever your decision, I wish you all the best for 2022.

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