Now is the time of year when CMOs around the world find themselves knee-deep in planning for 2022. The disruption and uncertainty created by the pandemic has only complicated the process, leaving many marketers wondering, what should my marketing budget be?
Answering that question requires asking another one first – what are your marketing goals for 2022?
Before you can set a single line item on your marketing budget, you must start your marketing plan where all successful ones begin – with concrete goals. Create those goals by answering three questions:
What do you want to accomplish?
How will you capitalize on trends?
How will you measure success?
Let’s answer those one at a time.
Your goals will define your marketing strategy, and they must support organizational goals to be effective. CMOs have a hard time gaining the trust and buy-in from their CEOs and are often considered the least influential member of the C-suite.
There are often two reasons for this – a lack of understanding about the value and purpose of branding; and a failure to align marketing strategy and branding activity to operations and organizational goals.
The first can be resolved by educating the CEO and other C-suite members about what branding is and how marketing helps achieve company goals. The latter is on marketers to make sure their marketing strategy and advertising campaigns are saturated in customer insight and designed to drive bottom line results.
To that end, step one in creating a successful marketing strategy for 2022 is to determine your goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
It’s natural for marketers to dive into tactics. We are responsible for executing strategies that drive growth. But, we must pause first to set our goals. Otherwise, our tactics, while executed flawlessly, may not achieve the right goals.
So, spend some time with your team thinking about where you should focus your efforts to support overall organizational success.
In a recent CMO survey, respondents said they plan to increase spending in the following four areas:
In that same survey, VP-level marketers said they feel increased pressure to prove the value of marketing, especially to CEOs. Respondents cited proving alignment, setting return expectations and explaining impact as the key ways they will make the case for marketing spending.
If you aren’t sure what your marketing goals should be, gain clarity on company goals for the upcoming year and look for ways to align your activity with the achievement of them.
Another factor to consider when setting your marketing goals is how you will intersect the expected trends for the coming year. LinkedIn cited five trends for senior level marketers to leverage in 2022:
Having once served as the CMO for Gateway Computers at the height of its success, I understand the importance of staying in step with trends. In fact, I’d say we set them with our digital home campaign, but considering the above, they’re all sound enough to factor in to almost any marketers’ goals for the new year.
In terms of aligning marketing with finance, PMG ran a great piece on how to ensure alignment. If the goal is increased revenue, digital marketing tactics can be used to supplement sluggish sales results.
A campaign designed to improve brand perception and communicate values at the very beginning of the sales process can help attract customers who are increasingly rating brand values as a key driver of purchase intent.
This is another critical step marketers often skip. In our haste to deliver results, we forget to determine upfront how success will be measured. This is critical.
By setting the appropriate metrics upfront, we can track progress toward marketing goals and make adjustments as needed throughout the duration of a given campaign.
It’s also helpful in narrowing down which tactics to pursue and which to ditch. This is particularly important in proving the value of marketing efforts and ROI to CEOs who want to see the connection to company goals.
If you can’t measure success with a given tactic effectively, it may be best to avoid that tactic.
For instance, thought leadership, while valuable at establishing and elevating personal brands for leaders within an organization, can’t be effectively measured. There’s no easy way to connect the time and resources spent on the content that must be created and promoted to customer acquisition or revenue goals.
If your situation allows for such leeway, go for it. However, if you need tactics that will show a direct line from marketing efforts to customer acquisition, consider integrated marketing campaigns that leverage lead generation, digital media and paid social tactics.
Those activities can be tracked and tied directly to new leads and sales. They’re also more likely to satisfy concerned CEOs and CFOs.
My full service advertising and marketing agency, OBI Creative, helps CMOs and their companies to set effective marketing goals with budgeting targets, research tools, media buying, marketing strategies and killer campaigns.
If you’d like some help making 2022 a banner year, connect with the OBI team today.