2021 Annual Planning: It’s Time to Gather Key Materials for Your Strategic Marketing Plan

What better way to forget about the lows of 2020 to start planning for 2021? More specifically, how is that annual marketing plan coming along? Many marketing teams are patiently waiting for the company’s 2021 business plan to be complete before starting their marketing plan. But although many of the key components from the business plan will slide over to the marketing plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t get started now on pulling the rest of your materials together.

To create a strategic marketing plan, you’ll need to gather information from several groups within the company, including the CEO, sales, business development, human resources, product management or marketing, and of course, from your own marketing team.

So, what specific materials do you need, and from which groups? Here are some of the materials you’ll find valuable as you develop your plan:

From the CEO:

  • The company’s business goals for 2021. Everything you do as a marketing organization should track back to these goals
  • Any expected financial events, such a planned IPOs, acquisitions or mergers

From Business Development:

  • Upcoming partnerships and partner relations
  • Association relations, strategic alliances and partner relations activities
  • User group events and initiatives

From Sales:

  • Revenue and sales goals for 2021
  • A sales pipeline for each business unit
  • Specific targeted verticals
  • Specific targeted regions

From Product Management:

  • A product roadmap, even in draft form
  • Any upcoming trials or beta tests
  • Milestones, such as a certain number of products shipped, number of customer installations, and other metrics that can be used in marketing

From Your Own Marketing Team:

  • A list of marketing goals to support the company’s business goals
  • A recent competitive analysis
  • Current positioning and messaging
  • Content marketing goals and strategies
  • Public relations goals and strategies
  • A press release pipeline inclusive of customer, part­ner, corporate and industry announcements
  • New collateral that is being developed or will need to be
  • Social media marketing goals and strategies
  • Team member roles and/or evolution of those roles
  • Trade shows or events you are evaluating for the coming year
  • A list of paid analyst relationships for 2021, and all of the benefits they include
  • Any additional marketing deliverables for 2020 that will carry over into 2021 (for example, advertis­ing space, events and webinars)
  • What analyst firms are predicting about your market segment for 2021
  • Cooperative marketing activities with partners and customers

Gathering these materials now, with a goal of collecting all of the information no later than early November, will save you valuable time and allow you to have an approved plan in place so you can hit the ground running in January.

For more information on how to create an annual marketing plan, download Calysto’s white paper.

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