Your 2021 Marketing Planning Canvas – an easy, proven approach + free template

By January 21, 2021 Blog, Featured, Management

It’s 2021. Mid-January is already behind us…if you haven’t developed your marketing plan for this calendar year then don’t delay!   There’s still time to get cracking, but you really need to start now so that you can get from idea to implementation before you find yourself staring Q2 in the face.

Our advice – get out your big sheets of paper / white board / Miro board or whatever planning and mapping tool works for you and create your 2021 Marketing Canvas.  Take the knowledge you have about your business, customers and market (not just hunches – actual knowledge based on experience, inputs and data!) and put it into an easy to visualise canvas.  It is much easier to workshop ideas and map out your activities from a canvas or board than it is to extract key components from a long form document.

So how do you do this?  Start with your customers and prospects. Make it simple for yourself by answering the following questions:

  • Who are my customers? Think about what segments they fall into, or the types of people or roles you typically deal with (personas)
  • What are their needs, wants, or pain points? What is hurting their business? What needs fixing? What makes them happy? If this is a tricky question to answer, think about problems you’ve solved for customers in the past
  • What are their buying behaviours? How do they look for a solution to their business issues? How (and where) do they research, compare and purchase? (Hint: if you don’t know, try asking a friendly customer. It’s surprising how helpful they can be over a [virtual] coffee)
  • Who or what are their influences? Who or what do they listen to? This could be a peer group, analysts, review sites etc. (Again, don’t forget the obvious: ask them if you don’t know)
  • Why do they need to act? What is driving them to solve this problem now. We call this the compelling event.
  • What gets in the way? What is getting in the way of them making a purchase decision? Buying blocks can be factual or emotional.

Now it’s time to think about you, your organisation and your products or services. Ask yourself about the outcomes and benefits that your customers can get from working with you.  Ask yourself this:

  • What is it that we can make possible for our customers? What have we done in the past for customers, and what has stood out to them?

Then really turn the lens on your business by articulating what it is that you offer and how you’ve done it before by answering these questions:

  • How do we make it possible? What are the products, services, processes, methodologies we bring to bear to solve customers’ problems?
  • What are our proof points? Do we have case studies, or customers willing to be a reference? Do we have facts and figures to back up our claims?
  • Why choose us? This is an important one. Why choose our brand, product, solution, service or company over our competitors’? What differentiates us? (Hint: it can be a combination of factors that makes you unique, and most often is)

Then finally you can start getting tactical based on all the information you’ve mapped out above.

By identifying your customers’ needs, wants and pain points you’ve effectively created the basis of your issues and solutions-based campaign and content calendar for 2021.  You’ve also articulated what it is that you offer, the outcomes you make possible for your customers and why they should choose you over a competitor or alternative.   This is the basis for your brand, company, product or service messaging.

And now it becomes easier to know what campaign assets you need to develop (the content and creative pieces you need to provide to customers); and the best communications tactics to embrace based on who your customers are, what they need help with and how they behave (the marketing communications plan).

You can also map it against your company’s business / sales targets for 2021 and put timing in place using a tool such as Asana, Trello etc.

To make it easy for you, we’ve created a super simple Marketing Campaign Planning canvas that you can download, fill in, print out or use as a basis for an online map using Miro or similar tool. And if it all still seems a bit much and you’d like one of our marketing strategists to facilitate the planning for you then just let us know and we’ll be in touch.

Get the free Marketing Planning Canvas Download the template today

Amy Ward

About Amy Ward

Amy Ward is a business leader, management consultant, strategic communicator, mentor and board director, with deep experience in organisations and sectors undergoing change and transformation. She specialises in brand, marketing, communication and experience strategy. Amy is the founder and director of OTM and her professional experience spans commercial organisations, government and not for profits. For close to twenty years she has worked with complex B2B and innovative B2C programs and services across diverse industries such as information technology, eHealth, primary health and community care, telecommunications, mining and resources, management consulting, process control, integrated transport, geospatial, sustainability, retail (online) and more.