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2021 Prep Work That Can’t Be Ignored

Proper planning is the necessary launching pad for business success. Don’t force your team to guess or be scrappy with their efforts.

The number one place to start from a leadership perspective is to establish specific business goals that your organization will focus on. Avoid being vague or generic with business goals such as Drive Sales or Increase Profitability. Drive Sales in what part of your business? Push your team to develop business goals that are specific and are defined with a specific time period (by the end of 2021), include a numeric value that provides a measurement goal (capture 20% market share), and focus on a specific initiative (launch a new mobile content management app).

Once your business goals are established, your internal or external marketing team can dig in to determine what role marketing will play in achieving them. Don’t rush in--do this critical prep work.

One-on-One Conversations

Before authoring a marketing strategy, spend time with the greatest assets to your organization: Your team. Whether a job function has direct contact with the end consumer or not, every role is watching and experiencing the output of the brand.

  • Your receptionist hears how consumers refer to the product or service you offer.

  • Your logistics manager understands the behind-the-scenes operations required to satisfy the 24-hour delivery process.

  • The IT staff is critical to connecting your marketing tech stack to the rest of the organization.

  • Your customer support team has a direct line into the most common likes and dislikes of current customers.

  • Your sales team understands why prospects say “yes” and why they say “no” to your business. The “no” insight is extremely powerful--both to pinpoint the communication objectives you need overcome, and to inspire product development ideas.

Scheduling one-on-one conversations with various members of your organization will provide you with invaluable insights. Your goal with these conversations is to balance framework and flexibility. It’s important to stick to the same questions with each person--so you can evaluate responses on an equal playing field--and to be open to hearing what your peers have to say.

Here are some sample questions to start with:

  1. As you think over the last year, what do you think went well / didn’t go well from a marketing perspective? What caught your attention? What do you think we could have done differently?

  2. From your point of view, why do you think current customers continue to do business with us? Why do you think prospects decide not to go with us?

  3. How do you think the relationship between marketing and your [department/role] could work together? How do we get insight from each other?

  4. Before a company/individual becomes a customer of ours, what frustrations or problems are they facing? Why is what we offer a possible solution?

  5. What are two examples or ideas you have for marketing in the upcoming year? What do you wish we would do but haven’t?

Adjust the above to fit your organization.

What you’re really doing during these internal one-one-one conversations is gathering insight. Your partners in HR will have a different perspective than the CFO. And that’s good! Your job is to ask questions, listen and gather pieces of information. Whether you use that insight for your marketing strategy or gain foresight on a potential roadblock, file the information and use it to your advantage.

Final Thoughts

For clients that have engaged with Weber Marketing, the above will sound familiar as it represents the onboarding process we follow to truly understand our clients’ brands, regardless of company size or marketing budget. It pulls out strengths and weaknesses and brings to light opportunities that lead to formulating a competitive marketing strategy.

Ready to set your company up for success in 2021? Hit the pause button and do the prep work. I can guarantee you’ll be glad you did. And Weber Marketing would love to help.

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