2022 Planning—Looking Ahead with Confidence

The past year and half have kept mar­keters and com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­als on their toes. We’ve used or heard the “piv­ot” word ad nau­se­am. From our van­tage point, we’ve been impressed at the ways our clients and peers have adapt­ed, and seem­ing­ly not missed a beat in reach­ing and engag­ing their audi­ences, even using new chan­nels or avenues to do so.

But while the pan­dem­ic drags on, we’ve been sens­ing the col­lec­tive feel­ing that ever shift­ing or open-end­ed plans are no longer com­fort­able or real­is­tic. We’ve estab­lished some “new nor­mals” and we’ve worn some paths that have now become famil­iar. We’re ready for some strate­giz­ing that will help us look more than a few steps ahead.

Most Decem­bers, the Bell­mont Part­ners team ded­i­cates a day to get off site, putting our­selves phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly in a new cre­ative space to do some big pic­ture, blue-sky plan­ning. Some of our best agency or client ideas have result­ed from these off­sites and serve us for years to come. This looked dif­fer­ent going into 2020, as our team wasn’t gath­er­ing in per­son and in many ways, we were still tak­ing life month by month or even week by week. This year, we’re re-com­mit­ting to big pic­ture, long-term plan­ning, whether in per­son or vir­tu­al­ly and encour­ag­ing clients to do the same as we head into the fourth quar­ter of 2021.

The fol­low­ing are some ques­tions that can guide these dis­cus­sions as you look to define your mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions strat­e­gy for 2022:

  • Your val­ue: The world doesn’t look like it did in 2019, so how has this affect­ed your posi­tion­ing? Have cer­tain prod­ucts or ser­vices risen above the rest as more rel­e­vant? What’s your unique val­ue to your stake­hold­ers in light of what indi­vid­u­als and busi­ness­es need and want today? Is it time to refresh any mes­sag­ing or branding?
  • Your tar­get mar­ket: Do cer­tain cat­e­gories of prospects now seem more viable? Have you had an increase in busi­ness with­in any indus­tries or demo­graph­ics? It will like­ly be worth eval­u­at­ing your cus­tomer base and see­ing if there are groups you could dou­ble down on reach­ing or engaging.
  • Your com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy: You’ve like­ly (for­give us) piv­ot­ed some tac­tics in the past year and half. What’s work­ing? What isn’t? What needs a per­ma­nent place in your bud­get mix? As the world has become more vir­tu­al, we’ve seen clients real­lo­cate in-per­son events or trav­el bud­gets towards webi­na­rs, dig­i­tal con­tent mar­ket­ing, media rela­tions and more.
  • The media you’re engag­ing with: The media land­scape has changed over the past year and a half as well…Have you done your home­work and kept your pulse on what your tar­get media is writ­ing about and inter­est­ed in these days, kept your con­tact lists updat­ed, asked how you can sup­port their edi­to­r­i­al needs (reviewed edi­to­r­i­al cal­en­dars) and revised your pitch­ing strat­e­gy accord­ing­ly? Plan­ning sea­son is a great time for that.
  • The sto­ries you have to tell: On a sim­i­lar note, what sto­ries are yet to be told from your com­pa­ny? Con­sid­er what van­tage points you can be lead­ing from – the cus­tomer, data or trends from with­in your com­pa­ny, var­i­ous depart­ments or sub­ject mat­ter experts? Think about what sto­ries rise to the top and how you can cre­ate an inte­grat­ed plan to tell these on mul­ti­ple plat­forms – through earned, owned or paid media.
  • Your team: Per­haps you’ve added or lost head­count, scaled up or down your bud­get and it’s time to reassess roles – who is doing what and how an agency could fit in. In ear­ly 2021, we shared some tips for how to make some of those deci­sions, includ­ing how agency rela­tion­ships can be flu­id and use­ful to fit your needs.

Wher­ev­er you’re at with your plan­ning, we’d be hap­py to help and can bring a need­ed strate­gic lens or 3rd par­ty per­spec­tive to ask the ques­tions that will set you strong path for 2022. Even with uncer­tain­ty lin­ger­ing in some aspects of life, we’re excit­ed to help our clients and col­leagues feel some pride in cre­at­ing longer term, strate­gic plans that can offer sta­bil­i­ty, ener­gy and excite­ment in the year ahead.

Leave a Reply

Person sits at conference table being interviewed
Q&A with Bellmont Partners’ new account coordinator, Chioma Uwagwu
November 18, 2021
Reporters gather at award presentation
Finding the People: Highlighting the “Who” in Media Relations
November 17, 2021
Four women sit around conference table
Bellmont Partners Named Agency PR Team of the Year Finalist by PR Daily
November 16, 2021
Pop Culture Incorporated: Five Marketing Lessons from Squid Game
November 15, 2021
Bellmont Partners Promotes Breanna Welke to Vice President
November 11, 2021
Partner Maureen Cahill Honored as “Champion of Hope” by Smile Network
November 2, 2021

Categories