Certain uncertainty, predictable unpredictability; whatever you want to call this current state of consistent change, every marketer is yearning for something remotely close to what they once thought of as “normal”.
Just a few months into 2022 and we're already facing another unforeseen bombshell with the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Combined with COVID-19 variants, stalling vaccination rates, continuing labor woes, travel fluctuations, inflation, weather disruptions and a myriad of supply chain problems, it's certain that we will be facing another year of unexpected circumstances that we all need to be ready for.
As an integrated marketing agency for organizations of varying sizes and industry types, we’ve seen a lot through our clients’ eyes over the past two years and watched how the most resilient marketers approached these dynamics. We’ve gathered these strategies and are excited to share what we’ve learned. Here’s thunder::tech’s approach to better manage unanticipated issues that will undoubtedly present themselves throughout 2022:
1. Define the year's flexibles & non-negotiables
If you have a product introduction, website launch or other major initiative that must roll out this year, define it as a non-negotiable to give it top priority. After laying out the absolutes, you can work in your other “flexible” initiatives around it, creating a malleable schedule that can be shifted based on changes as they occur, ensuring your non-negotiable will be accomplished.
2. Use a framework instead of deep planning
Capture your brand’s goals and vision to guide your marketing efforts throughout the year and plan out your schedule by messaging themes and ideas. Instead of building a detailed annual marketing operating plan with concrete content, conduct quarterly planning to stay flexible while also keeping the framework goals for the year at the top of mind. Create a library of evergreen content
ready in case of any last-minute disruptions.
3. Normalizing a faster evolution
Many technological shifts have accelerated marketing trends during the past two years, so it’s important for brands to stay aware of what is going on in the world of social media and audience interests. We’re at a point where if you are not staying ahead of the crowd, you’re falling behind. You must be constantly innovative and willing to try new approaches so that you are prepared for any change. For example, are you a consumer brand that is behind on adopting TikTok or a B2B brand still needing to digitize sales? The time is now to get a jump on these tactics. Consistent trials of new approaches can build your brand’s capabilities this year to get you in shape to respond to the next shift.
4. Scenario planning
The past two years have provided countless scenarios for your brand to prepare against. Who would have ever thought that brands didn’t need to provide big Black Friday deals and holiday discounts due to supply chain issues? To prepare, run scenarios on your biggest events (promotional seasons, tradeshows and anything in-person) and have a backup plan ready. If you have an annual in-person event, you need to make sure you are prepared with the technology and agility to convert completely over to virtual programming in the flip of a switch.
5. Rely on your data
The noise from media and internal anecdotes are leading marketers to change without consulting their data. Watch your consumer’s behavior whether its POS data, website data, call center tracking or whatever combination helps provide the clearest picture. You should never be making decisions based on gut feelings but only hard data that can back up the choices that you make. Go where your data tells you to go.
Remember, with continuing change everything is up for permanent revision. The right approach will allow your brand to find more opportunities during times of change. This may all sound a bit nerve-wracking but remember with each change comes an opportunity that may lead to the discovery of something transformational. That’s what happened to us! With the shutdown came working from home and thunder::tech has since adopted a remote first, work from anywhere approach. This has allowed our team to work from the beach in Florida or live in Colombia for a few months. What once felt terrifying has since turned into an amazing opportunity that allows us to continue to innovate and provide exceptional results wherever
But we understand none of this is as easy to adopt as it sounds, which is why we are here to help. Reach out today and we can tackle the changes together.