The year is winding down which means the marketing predictions articles are winding up. These are the articles where a bunch of smart people guess what will happen over the next year in the world of marketing and communication.
I’m not going to lie. I read my fair share and while they are interesting they aren’t really that helpful. Not unless the main goal is entertainment.
These types of articles really have more in common with visiting a fortune teller than actually producing anything meaningful that you can use to raise your marketing efforts to the next level.
It’s not just the marketing world that has this problem. Prediction articles for every industry tend to range from guesses to wild guesses to the absurd.
Again, great for entertainment purposes.
I don’t want to bag on all these articles.
There are those who fall back on data to make a forecast of what will happen. These are much better and can give you something to think about.
The problem is that this niche of posts in the prediction category are few and far between.
However, since it is mid-December, I do feel obliged to give you some predictions.
My 2022 Marketing Predictions
Drum roll, please.
My first prediction is that you won’t do your research but you will expect good marketing results.
My second prediction is that you won’t have a strategic marketing plan.
I don’t know why. Planning is preparation and as the legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “When you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.”
My third prediction is that if you did take the time to create a plan, you won’t execute it.
Again, I don’t know why. You wouldn’t make a meal just to throw it away. The same type of thought process applies to your plan. Don’t throw it away. Pull it out of the desk drawer and execute it.
My fourth prediction is that you’re not measuring your efforts which means you are going to fail. Probably sooner than later.
There is more testing in marketing than most people like to admit including marketers.
It’s like a recipe that calls for you to bake the cake at 375. They came to that conclusion because they tested which gave them data to be able to determine how to make the best cake possible.
Your marketing efforts deserve no less.
Don’t Like My Predictions?
Of course, all these predictions are really based on the fact that you aren’t doing the things you need to do when you’re marketing.
The bottom line is that you need to be doing all four of these things.
It’s all optional unless you want results to get your business where it needs to be. Then it’s not.
Marketing and public relations aren’t magic. They take work.
Read the above sentence again. Did you do it? Ok, you can move on.
I was talking to a friend recently who commented that what I do seems complicated. The writing, dealing with the data plus everything else that has to be done.
Yes and no.
Like everything, the more pieces that are in play, the trickier it can become. But it doesn’t have to be or become complicated.
It boils down to your goals and then taking action to meet them.
This starts with research. While it’s not the direct action of marketing to your potential customers, it’s the way you will learn to understand them and the environment. You can then use this information in the next step.
The strategic planning process is where you make many important decisions and define your goals, objectives, and tactics.
The first two steps don’t include any marketing to your customers but without them, you will be throwing things against the wall and hoping they stick.
It’s a frustrating experience that would likely make you feel like this:
As I’ve been told, hope isn’t a strategy so do not skip the first two steps.
Execution is the action. A plan not being executed is just some words on a page. Nothing more.
If you’ve been wise enough to create a plan, killing it before you’ve ever put it into action isn’t the best idea. It also wasn’t the best use of your time (or your money if you hired somebody to help you develop a plan).
Take a lesson from Dr. Frankestein. Pull out your plan and bring it to life.
In order to understand how your creation is working, you have to measure.
Marketing is an experiment. You can be the smartest marketer in the known universe but without data, you’re not going to know what adjustments need to be made.
It could be you need to focus more on a particular tactic or dial it down. You may need to dump it altogether.
If you’re not measuring and gathering data, you’ll never know which means you’re wasting your marketing dollars.
Don’t be like Mr. Devito above. Unless you have money to burn, then by all means, don’t measure and watch your marketing dollars burn.
Better yet, just send me the money. I’ll put it to good use.
It’s Not Me, It’s You
Occasionally I run into somebody who tells me marketing doesn’t work.
I want to understand why they feel this way so I start asking questions.
“Have you done any research?”
“Have you defined your business and marketing goals?”
“Do you have a marketing plan?”
“Are you measuring any of the marketing activities that you are doing?”
No wonder they are down on their marketing.
This isn’t always the case.
Sometimes they have tried to do some of the work but stopped because it wasn’t working well.
They are now talking to me because they had that feeling they were throwing things at the wall and hoping would stick and when they didn’t it then dawned on them that were acting like Mr. Devito.
The bad news is if you are skipping any of these four things or aren’t doing them correctly, you will get mixed to limited results.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. If you do your research, create a strategic plan, execute it, and measure it to see how it’s working, you will see improvement in your marketing.
Going back to the conversation with my friend, it can seem complicated. Especially if you’re not sure how this all works and how to put it all together.
Even then, I’d be lying if I said there aren’t challenges that will pop up and they will have to be dealt with.
I’ll tell you what I should have told my friend.
Yes, it can be complicated but much of it is understanding the steps you need to take and doing them. Once you know this, it will become less complicated though not free of challenges. And, it does take work.
I hope my predictions are wrong but they are going to be influenced by the choices you choose to make.
Will you have the courage to make the proper investment? Because marketing is an investment.
Or, will you take the road of hope?
It’s up to you.