Kick Start Your 2022 Planning

Jon Duke

VP, Strategy

In the last in our series on planning we provide some actions to help get you started. In previous pieces we’ve covered some of the challenges facing marketers for 2022 and the planning cycle that guides the planning process.

Now you’re ready to get planning, so here are some actions to get your started.

  1. Process: Plan your marketing plan just as you would any other project including timelines, feedback loops and key milestones.
  2. Outline: Develop an outline that works for your organization. At a minimum you’ll want to cover goals & objectives, audiences, 4Ps, positioning & key messages, tactics, resources, timing, and measurement & reporting plus appendices providing background. You will likely have a few key initiatives that you’ll want to go a little deeper on, even if all the details aren’t worked out yet.
  3. Identify Gaps: What additional information do you need to complete the plan? How will you get it? This might include market projections, consumer insights, or internal sales data.
  4. Current State: Prepare a synopsis of competitive forces, consumer insights and internal historical data. Present a short summary to senior leaders and engaged peers as the first checkpoint for discussion. If you’re doing research, make sure you’re doing it right as bad data is worse than no data.
  5. Internal Communication: Reach out to other departments and leaders to get a sense of their priorities for the coming year. Let senior leaders know when and how you’ll be engaging them more formally.
  6. Ideation: Prepare for an ideation session to talk in aspirational terms about where you could be as an organization and how you might get there. Sometimes this is broken into two sessions after potential directions and initiatives have been prioritized. You’ll want to ensure all participants have a pre-read ahead of time. Book time in participants’ schedules a few days prior to ensure everyone has done their homework and time isn’t wasted in the room.  Approaches like design thinking can help you structure your session.
  7. Decisions: Now you’ll need to decide what not to do. This is the hard part. You’ll likely have many options in front of you competing for resources, each with their own champion. Remember, projects always cost more and take longer than you think. Leave room in your budget and work plans for opportunities that will arise during the year. Be sure to keep the ideas that don’t make the cut, as your situation may evolve during the year and end of year money may become available.
  8. Implementation: This is where the real work starts and could certainly be a blog series in itself. Start by communicating the plan or a summary of it. Consider live briefings for key internal stakeholders and external partners. Brief early and in totality rather than in a piecemeal fashion. Ensure each priority has a high level work plan and owner attached. Setup a time each month that you review the plan and progress and adjust as required.
  9. Mindset: Start by testing key assumptions and messages using an agile marketing approach. It can take time to build the platforms you’ll be using for the year. So start with some low fidelity content or ads to test market reaction. And remain open to new opportunities that come up during the year.

That’s it. There’s no number 10. We hope this series has been helpful. Now go get planning!

m5 is one of the largest independent agencies in Canada. We help our clients find new perspectives on their business and consumers. If you could use some outside advice on your planning process let us know!

Jon Duke
VP, Strategy
[email protected]