Survey Says: Marketing Planning

The temperatures dip, the days get shorter, and marketing planning and budgeting for a new year begins! Marketers on all levels, from coordinators to directors, are crunching numbers, reflecting on the past year, and planning for future efforts. 

What does the future look like? What challenges do marketers anticipate in the year ahead? Over 80% of respondents identified economic instability as the primary challenge they are facing, with intense competition (72%) and shifting customer preferences (55%) following closely behind. 

When it comes to planning itself, 75% of respondents indicated that their firm sets strategic goals each year. Strategic marketing planning is enormously helpful to ensure you and your business partners are aligned on goals. Strategic goals ensure firm resources (time and money) are spent on efforts that your leadership team has identified as priorities for the firm. If you are a lone marketer in a firm, identifying these priorities can go a long way in helping you manage your time and energy. 

Brand awareness (83%), customer retention (67%), and market expansion (67%) landed in the top three spots as primary marketing objectives for the upcoming year. Respondents indicated that they plan to use a variety of marketing channels to achieve their goals, with account-based (one-to-one), content, and social media marketing flagged as budget priorities. Email marketing, conferences, and SEO/SEM rounded out the tactics marketers plan to use to achieve strategic goals.  

When discussing goals and campaigns for the year ahead, you may be thinking, “how on earth do I get this all done?” Exactly half of marketers polled indicated that their firms utilize outside consultants to help them achieve their goals. Most utilize help in the areas of content marketing (67%), followed by email marketing, social media, SEO/SEM, and account-based marketing (all at 33%). 

To round out the survey, we asked marketers what new technologies they planned on adopting in the new year and (surprise, surprise) AI tools topped the list.

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