Planning for 2021 — B2B Marketing
I have spent the last two weeks both onboarding with my team and looking forward to 2021. As a new leader in the organization, I find myself still in the listening phase of my first 90 days and see that in stark contrast with also setting a strategy for 2021.
I then remind myself that as a leader, I am not tasked or solely responsible to have ALL the ideas. Yes, I said it… you do not need all the answers. Remember you have a team of talented marketers who are owning their area of marketing expertise; content, social media, product marketing, paid ads, demand gen, revenue ops etc.
A leader needs to inspire and empower great ideas from their team. It is the individual contributors & experts that know first hand what has worked, what didn’t and what needs to be done next to build the right marketing channel mix, how you get your buyer to “raise their hand” to learn more and how to support sales along the process of closing a deal.
The very condensed “in the nutshell” process I use to uncover these ideas from the team is a series of structured but open forum brainstorms focused on the company goals for 2021 as the north star.
It is important before you launch into these sessions with your marketing team there are goals approved by leadership for where the company is growing in 2021 and what each department is responsible for to hit those goals.
- Lead a Bluesky Brainstorm (2 hours at least) Everyone shares all and any ideas they have that will move the needle on the 2021 Marketing goals (ex. GOAL: Drive $1M in pipeline through marketing-led programs IDEA: Launch a monthly webinar series targeting the ICP in paid promotions) Review all these ideas and group similar ideas together to prep for the next step.
- After you review all the ideas and share them as a group take the ideas and re-plot them on a 2x2 grid Impact vs Effort. Anything in the box (Low Impact High effort box is taken off the table and eliminate — BE HARSH 2021 is not a time to waste time)
- Focus on the ideas in the top quadrants High Impact Low Effort: This need to be done in Q1, they are your quick wins High Impact High Effort: These need more planning and may need two quarters to complete so get a plan in place to tackle these
- Now look at these top quadrant ideas and put placeholders for each quarter on what activities you will focus on to drive marketing outcomes. Remember you cannot do it all, all at the same time! 5. The final step to ensure everyone on your team has defined projects that are aligned to the overall business goals — ask each team member to look at the prioritized projects and complete their own 2–3 top goals for Q1 and metric that will define success for each one. Come together as a team to share and tweak where there may be overlap or gaps.
BONUS: Ask each of your team members to print out their Q1 goals and post them near their work desk to use as a gut check to ensure their days/weeks are prioritized on the right activities.
It’s a process and doesn’t happen in a day. Give yourself 1–2 weeks to get through each of these sessions and give your team time to distill on their goals.
Normally when in person we would host the brainstorm in a board world with post-it notes and a large whiteboard. In lieu of that this year I used the tool miro.com and it was amazing and extremely interactive. Highly recommended!
How are you prepping for 2021? How will you come back in the new year and hit the ground running in Q1?