Five Reports to Help Build a 2021 Marketing Plan

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Last Updated: Nov 12, 2020 11:00 AM

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It’s that time of year again. We’re at the midway point of Q4, which means 2021 planning is well underway. If you’re like most of us, feeling unsure of how strong or volatile next year may be, these five reports will help you craft a 2021 marketing plan with tactics based on peer survey data and projections from world-renowned research and advisory firms.

Spanning topics like marketing spend, marketing revenue growth, and marketing operations, I highly encourage you to download these reports to learn how others like you are emerging from the pandemic, reevaluating business performance and tactics, and planning for growth in the upcoming year.

The Sixth Edition of the State of Marketing Report from Salesforce

This report presents the insights of nearly 7,000 marketing leaders across the globe. The research highlights the strategic priorities, challenges, and technologies that transform the profession. These are especially important to consider as businesses navigate from crisis mode to back-to-work to growth. 

Here are four key takeaways from the report:

  • Innovation is the number one priority
  • Marketers’ use of AI has skyrocketed
  • Account-based marketing (ABM) is a cornerstone in B2B
  • A new set of emerging technologies will guide an uncertain future

Dig into the results of this year’s State of Marketing by downloading the full report.

Predictions 2021 from Forrester

Faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, companies succeeded by employing technical agility and deep customer understanding. That spirit will define 2021. The value of your company depends on how customer-obsessed, resilient, creative, and adaptive you are in jumping to the next growth curve in your industry.

Next year will be the year that every company — not just the 15% of firms that were already digitally savvy — doubles down on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.

To review Forrester’s top 12 predictions for 2021, download their guide to critical business and technology trends.

The Annual CMO Spend Survey Research from Gartner - Parts 1 & 2

As CMOs respond to the COVID-19 crisis and social tensions, the 2020 survey captures strategies, budgets, and priorities at a time of upheaval. This report also examines ways CMOs plan to maintain and grow revenue into 2021.

Key recommendations include:

  • Build flexible and adaptive plans.
  • Stratify and prioritize marketing investments using zero-based prioritization. 
  • Adopt value segmentation to focus growth in 2021 on the most profitable customers while supplementing such safer bets with counterbalancing transformative priorities.
  • Establish an organizational strategy by linking in-house and outsource decisions to strategic capability objectives.
  • Develop KPIs for technology investments by addressing martech’s potential impact on operations.
  • Map channel investments and execution against evolving customer journeys.

Download The Annual CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021 to review insights into your peers’ marketing budgets and marketing investments.

Marketing Organization Survey 2020 from Gartner for Marketers

CMOs are evolving their teams through increased centralization, more functional alignment, and continued exploration of agile marketing practices. These changes are helping build more scalable, flexible, and resilient marketing organizations.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • Evaluate functional structures — groups focused on a discipline such as operations, content or commerce — as an organizational alignment option.
  • Assess whether a centralized structure will allow your organization to better leverage capabilities across business units, regions or groups, or mitigate marketing governance and control risks.
  • Experiment with shared services, COE, in-house agency or pod functional groups.
  • Challenge your organization’s thinking about agile marketing. Educate your organization on core agile principles and fundamental agile practices and tools.

Download the research to learn how marketing organizations are adapting to the rapidly-changing world.

2021 Global Marketing Trends from Deloitte

This report explores seven 2021 global marketing trends developed to help executives break through the wall of uncertainty and take action. These trends can enable leaders to respond to customer needs as they unfold, pivot business models to better align to evolving needs, and foster the human connection we all crave.

The seven trends are:

  • Purpose. Organizations need to know why they exist and who they’re built to serve.
  • Agility. An increasingly digital world makes the case for an agile marketing strategy.
  • Human experience. Organizations should view themselves as human entities that mirror—and support—the values of those they are built to serve.
  • Trust. To build trust, brands should look to what people value.
  • Participation. Marketers can benefit from an engagement strategy that leans into customer participation.
  • Fusion. Organizations can better help the people they serve by creating innovative experiences through cross-industry fusions.
  • Talent. Talent models that evolve to accommodate new workflows, technology, and skills sets can elevate the potential of marketing teams.

Download Deloitte’s full report to review these trends in detail and find your focus in 2021.

I hope you enjoy these reports as much as we do and utilize them to craft your 2021 marketing strategy. Happy planning!

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