4 Things Not to Do in Your 2022 Marketing Plan
Joshua Scheer, EKR Digital Marketing Director
Here we are. 2021 is almost over. Did it go the way you planned it? Probably not. And listen, that’s not an indictment on you. The year was not what we expected it to be either. If we can say one thing with almost 100% certainty, it’s this: 2022 also will find ways to derail our best-laid plans. And you know what? We’re okay with that. It keeps us on our toes.
Is it even worth setting New Year’s resolutions for your marketing, then? Yes. But we’re going to do it a little differently this year. Instead of making suggestions for what you SHOULD do, here are some things to NOT do instead.
1. Don’t care about vanity metrics
If it’s 2022 and your primary definition of marketing success is impressions and clicks, then let this be a wake-up call. It does not matter if your banner ads received 5 million impressions. What matters is whether that ad spend positively affected the bottom line. Is your marketing budget being spent toward a common set of goals and are you measuring the effectiveness of each dollar?
At a basic level, what we mean is this: if your goal is to sell a product on your website, focus your optimization efforts on conversions. While impressions will give you an idea of reach and your click-through rate helps you understand how engaging your ads are, put your work into making sure those clicks convert. You could have a 50% CTR, but if none of them are buying, what’s the point?
Also, this does not mean your awareness tactics should be cut from the budget. Impressions, video views and cars driving past billboard ads do serve a top-of-funnel purpose. However, pay attention to how your goal metrics change over time as you adjust your spend on those awareness channels.
2. Don’t ignore changes in the greater marketing ecosystem
From a digital marketing perspective, 2021 kept us on our toes. TikTok exploded, iOS updates rattled social media and email marketing and Google announced more changes to their search ads platform.
If you’re not paying attention, you run the risk of being left behind. And by left behind, we don’t just mean irrelevant as a brand. You run the risk of poor ad performance and relying on numbers that no longer mean what they used to mean.
For example, you’re likely paying close attention to your emails’ open rates. And you should be. It’s typically a good measure of interest and engagement. However, Apple’s iOS 15 update from a couple months ago changes how accurate that metric is. The update allows Apple Mail users to opt into privacy settings that obscure open rates by making it look to the sender like an email was opened even when it wasn’t. Luckily for us marketers, adoption of the privacy setting is off to a slow pace, but you can expect it to increase over time.
Stay up to date with what’s happening and make sure you and your team are ready for what’s next. This way, you can be more certain you’re making the best decisions you possibly can.
3. Don’t be haphazard
Slapdash. Devil-may-care. Willy-nilly. Higgledy-piggledy. However you want to say it. Our point here: be strategic. Don’t just try things to try things. Don’t just do something because that’s how you’ve always done it. Think about every part of your marketing plan and understand how it fits into the big picture. Think about your personas, your ideal customers, and evaluate whether what you’re doing will meet them where you need it to.
We onboard clients each year who have tried something, saw it fail and wrote it off because it didn’t move the needle the way they thought it would. But when we dig a little deeper, there’s always a reason why it didn’t work. They tried something because they felt like they should, but then the message or the call to action wasn’t right for the audience in that channel.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t try new things. You absolutely should. As long as you think ahead and ensure it serves your ultimate goal. And this brings us to our final point.
4. Don’t settle
A cultural shift happened in 2021 that will likely continue. The Great Resignation. Employees in all industries decided they needed a change. They left their jobs for new opportunities, ones that treated them the way they wanted.
Now, we’re not saying you should quit your job. Employees chose not to settle for something, and you shouldn’t either. We’re saying don’t accept the status quo with your marketing. You don’t have to be okay with a visual brand you dislike or a campaign concept you feel has been overused. If your favorite tactic has started to wane in effectiveness, it’s time for some re-evaluation.
Brands that are unhappy with the way things are won’t be much happier at the end of 2022 without making some changes. If ever there was a time to refresh, to reinvent or to, dare we say, pivot, it’s now. The last two years have taught us that nothing is exempt from change. Change is coming; the question is do you want to drive it for your business or let exterior influences force it?
If you’re ready to take control of your brand’s future and don’t want to go it alone, our crew at EKR can help in these exact circumstances. It’s what we love to do. Reach out to us at email@example.com and let’s strategize together.