Marketing planning (Where to even start?!)


Tips And Resources For 2021 Marketing Planning

Wow! Could there be a stranger and more chaotic year to assess, digest and attempt to learn from?

There’s no doubt that 2020 has forced us as marketing and sales professionals to:

  • Adapt,
  • Pivot,
  • Re-invent and
  • Re-imagine.

This agile mindset will serve our profession well as we speed into 2021.

It’s time to utilize it as you consider your marketing plans and priorities for next year. How have your customer journeys evolved and shifted because of the pandemic and other factors? Now is a great time to audit and assess your ideal customer profile (ICP). It’s also an excellent opportunity to assess your company’s sales and marketing alignment (or lack thereof).
Many of our clients have taken time over the last few months to audit how efficient their marketing and sales processes are related to:

  • Data management,
  • Content alignment to the buyer’s journey,
  • Digital presence, and
  • Sales enablement savviness.

As a result, they are now better prepared for business opportunities and growth in 2021.

What have you done to evaluate your current situation and prepare for next year? It’s not too late to start now. We’ve created a set of marketing scorecards that you can use to assess your current performance and where you need to improve in the next year. We hope they provide value to you!

Download our marketing scorecards here

Once you’ve completed these assessments, an excellent next step is to investigate how your organization can take advantage of new trends in marketing. We’ll be exploring a number of these in upcoming posts. Here’s one that’s on our radar now:

The rise of agile marketing

One trend that we’re closely watching is the growth of agile marketing.

Agile started out as a revolutionary approach to solve several major problems with traditional methods of software development. They tended to be slow, error-prone and delivered finished products that didn’t address the needs of their users. Using the agile methodology, teams conduct many small, frequent experiments and apply what they learn to their next round of work. It enables them to rapidly iterate, improve and deliver higher quality software that’s better aligned with user needs.
Savvy marketers have adopted the agile model, which enables them to respond to rapid change. It’s ideally suited to the needs of today’s turbulent business environment.

Agile marketing is gaining momentum. Research by Agile Sherpas reveals that over half of the marketers it surveyed plan to implement it during the next year. The top three benefits they cite include the ability to change gears quickly and efficiently (53%), better visibility into project statuses (44%) and the ability to identify roadblocks and problems sooner (40%).

How can you put agile marketing to use in your organization? We recommend first establishing marketing goals and objectives and then using agile marketing strategies to deliver maximum customer value. Of course, this requires first understanding what your customers value and aligning your product, marketing and sales approaches to them.

This is referred to as customer value alignment.

In most organizations, the value you provide to prospective customers is somewhat aligned with their needs and values. But often there are big areas of misalignment, as depicted in the graphic below.

Customer Value Alignment Image Opt

Customer value alignment is a process that marketing and sales can use to identify the characteristics of your ideal customer – the organizations that are best aligned with your solutions and where you can create the greatest measurable value.

This savvy approach can help you build more persuasive business cases. It also enables you to leverage referrals from existing customers to help you win new business. In addition, it enables marketers to align their messaging to this sweet spot, so it can drive more ideal prospects and fewer low-value ones to your sales team.

In short, stronger alignment between your value proposition and what your customers need can become a powerful driver of growth for your business.

Learn more about this powerful strategy in our on-demand webinar. In this 44-minute session, Jeff Koser, CEO of Zebrafi, will reveal how to use customer value alignment to grow your business.

View the Win More Business: Discover How to REALLY Engage Decision-Makers webinar here.