Are you ready for 2022? 😱
It feels like 2021 just started, but we're actually well into the fourth quarter — which means it is time to start outlining your 2022 marketing plan. Good times, right?
Don't worry; we're going to make it as easy as possible.
Here's the thing -- there's plenty of resources out there for creating B2C and D2C marketing plans, but B2B companies seem to get left high and dry.
B2B companies, especially those in SaaS and tech like Leadfeeder, face different challenges and have different goals. You have to consider how your target audience and industry impact what marketing strategies are effective for your business.
So, we're going to share the process we're using to design our 2022 marketing plan. I hope this step-by-step guide (and marketing plan template!) will help you start the new year off right.
Note: Leadfeeder is the lead generation tool you've been dreaming of. Sign up for a free trial and start finding hidden, high-quality leads today.
Why do you need to create an updated B2B marketing plan?
Marketing changes, fast. 🚀
The strategies and tools you used this year might not help you get ahead next year. Even if the core tenets of marketing are the same (think lead generation, SEO, paid ads, and content marketing), the strategies and martech tools you use to implement a successful strategy may have.
Additionally, COVID-19 has impacted how many companies work, who they hire, what goals they focus on, and even their revenue.
As a B2B company, it's crucial to adjust your marketing plan to those changes.
For example, at Leadfeeder, we use IP addresses to identify what companies visit your site. We had to change the way we track users to make sure we could still identify visitors accurately.
Other companies have changed the platforms they use, the ads they create, even the type of content they publish.
It's not a whole new world, but things have definitely changed.
To be successful, your 2022 marketing plan needs to match the new reality. Here's a six-step guide to get it right.
6 steps to create an updated B2B marketing plan
B2B companies struggle to generate more leads, find effective marketing strategies and improve conversion rates. A well-planned marketing strategy can help you overcome those challenges.
Not sure where to start with your 2022 B2B marketing plan? This six-step guide will get you started.
Examine your past marketing success — and failures
Before you set goals for next year, consider what worked last year. Did your email marketing strategy kill it? Was your new lead generation tool a flop? Are paid ads spending more than they're bringing in?
You can also use tools like Leadfeeder (and obviously Google Analytics) to see what content your website visitors spent time-consuming vs. quickly bounced from. Hotjar could be another neat element to bring in to literally see where people hung out on the site.
I'm going to be honest — this step can be lengthy, but it's crucial to avoid wasting time and resources on strategies that don't work.
Review each segment of your marketing strategies and answer these questions:
What was the goal of this strategy?
Did we meet those goals? Why or why not?
What tools did we use? Did they meet our needs?
What can we improve? (Or, should we scrap this strategy entirely?)
Pay attention to new and changing marketing trends in 2022
No one can predict the future, but paying attention to the current marketing landscape is crucial to designing an effective 2022 marketing plan.
Here are a few trends our team is paying attention to this coming year:
Automation: Automation is taking over the marketing world. While we don't suggest turning your entire marketing strategy over to the robots, there are areas it can help, such as marketing automation tools, automated bidding for paid ads, and automated integrations that push data from one tool to another.
Machine learning and AI: This is an exciting field that just keeps growing. Machine learning and AI allow algorithms to analyze a set of data or rules and use it to understand unrelated data. AI helps B2B companies understand our customers better, personalize our marketing, predict changes in the industry, and inform content creation.
Personalization: There's been a permanent shift towards personalized marketing efforts. More than half of all consumers say they will keep buying from a company that offers a personalized experience. Consider adding it to your marketing plan.
More (and better) content: B2B buyers read an average of 13 pieces of content before they decide to buy, so creating engaging content should still be a key part of your 2022 marketing plan.
SEO is still the reigning champ: Nope, SEO is not dead. In fact, Google is getting smarter and smarter. Pay attention to new SEO trends like natural language processing and passage ranking.
Review your buyer personas
A good marketing plan is designed to move a specific customer through the buyer's journey. Do you know who your customers are?
At Leadfeeder, we actually have two main buyer personas — sales and marketing teams. We've found that most of our top customers derived from the marketing side, so we've adjusted our content and marketing strategies to focus on them.
And it's made a huge difference. We wouldn't have realized the shift if we hadn't taken the time to review our buyer personas and make sure we were targeting the right market.
Consider new marketing tools
There's a ton of marketing tools out there. (That might be an understatement.)
It's overwhelming, I know. Rather than trying all the new tools out there, take a look at your biggest challenges of the last year.
Where did you fall short? What took up most of your time? Where do you want to improve?
Then look for marketing and sales tools that specifically target those tasks.
For example, if finding leads is a problem, Leadfeeder can help. Using a small bit of code, we track who visits your site and show you how to reach out to them. It only takes a few minutes to set up and we have an awesome free trial.
Here's a peek at our dashboard, where you can see new leads, filter them by location, industry, etc., and view contact information:
Other tools we love include Pipedrive, a sales CRM and pipeline management tool, and Mailchimp, a killer email automation platform — we have an integration with both of these tools.
The point is to find marketing tools that solve problems for you, not just ones that pay for the most ads on LinkedIn.
Outline short and long-term goals
Now it's time to lay out some goals. What do you want to accomplish in the next year? Does that goal align with the overall business goals of your c-suite? It's important to outline both short and long-term goals to keep yourself on track.
For example, your long-term goal might be to increase lead generation by 24 percent in the coming year, while your first-quarter goal might be to implement a new lead gen tool and increase leads by 15 percent.
Having both goals creates a framework to reach that larger goal.
We like to use the SMART framework for goal setting to ensure goals are clear and trackable.
B2B marketing plan template
After following the steps above, you should have most of the information needed to create your 2022 B2B marketing plan.
This checklist will help you create a usable document.
Success starts with a strong marketing plan
Creating a winning B2B marketing plan for 2022 is the key to growing your business in the new year. Yes, it can be time-consuming. But, investing the time now will ensure your team is ready to hit the ground running in January. Note: Is lead generation part of your 2022 marketing plan? See how Leadfeeder can help you uncover hidden leads and turn them into customers. Sign up for our free 14-day trial today.
Now that you're here
Leadfeeder is a tool that shows you companies that visit your website. Leadfeeder generates new leads, offers insight on your customers and can help you increase your marketing ROI.
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