The Importance of Creating a Marketing Plan for 2021

Create a marketing plan and sell to happy customers

Cris Willis

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With all of the unexpected challenges and the ways you have had to adapt to them this year, you have likely found that the marketing tactics you have relied on in the past no longer yield the same results.  You will need to adapt your marketing tactics in 2021 while still being able to shift as needed as the world changes around you.

It has always been essential to have a Marketing Plan for your business; however, many store owners have been winging it and making it up as they go for years. Now is the time to strategically think through every bit of your store’s marketing and create a plan.  To grow your business in 2021, you will have to be proactive and strategize how you will drive sales in the new year.

COVID-19 changed the landscape for all businesses this year.  There is not much about your life or business that has remained untouched by the pandemic.  Make sure that your Marketing Plan for 2021 is one of those areas that proactively change.  Do not just try lots of different things to see what sticks.

Your Marketing Plan is a roadmap for your business to organize, execute, and track your marketing tactics over a given time period.

Retail has changed dramatically over the last 11 months, and in many ways, it has changed forever.  Your Marketing Plan needs a new strategic focus this year.  I recommend you get focused and do the work that needs to be done early in the year to be set up for success throughout 2021!


Here are some tips to help you get started:

Think about what you do best

To start with, you need to plan some time to sit, think, and study.  Make sure you have an understanding of your company’s current situation and your market.  Then analyze your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  What do you offer that is different than your competitor?  What sets you apart?

Who is your customer

Now take some time to think about your customer.  Who are they?  How do they like to shop?  How do they consume media?  What is their age, income, gender, etc.?  It is important to take some time every year to think about all of these things to be able to put together a Marketing Plan that will help make your company’s business goals a reality.

You have to think of all of the ways that your customers experience your store.  In the past, your focus may have only been on the in-store experience.  With all of the changes due to COVID, you have likely added or need to add things like e-commerce, social selling, curbside service, BOPIS, delivery, and more.  Your challenge is to think through what experiences you want to provide your customer and ensure that there is consistency throughout all of them.

How do you connect with your customers?

Start with writing out a list of all of the ways your customers will be able to experience your store this year.  This will include your website, the telephone, all of your social media sites, in-store, curbside, delivery, email, direct mail, all of your advertising, etc.  Encompass every touchpoint your customers will have with your company.  You need to plan for how you will make all of these touchpoints work together and have a consistent feel throughout all of them.

Personalize the customer experience

This year in the face of rapid change, you need to concentrate on personalization.  With the help of technology, you can track what your customers are purchasing from you.  Plus, you can see what they have been looking at on your website, etc.  With this information, you can develop marketing and advertising to reach different segments of your customers.  If you do not have a loyalty program and do not collect your customers’ data, you must add those components this year.   2021 is the year to reinvent your business model and tailor your customers’ retail experience to fit their specific needs or preferences.


If you would like some more information and help writing a Marketing Plan, check out  They offer a FREE Template to write your Marketing Plan.  They also provide lots of free courses and tools for many of your business needs.

But if you are serious and want to knock this off of your to-do list in January, check out the WhizBang! Training Marketing Mentor Program.  This program will be 4 days of focused learning.  January 12th-15th from 12noon to 5 pm eastern time.  In this LIVE, VIRTUAL event, you will discover the right strategies for your business, choose the right combination of marketing tactics, and put together a new marketing plan that will reflect the omni-experiential transformations happening now and take into consideration what’s coming in our post-pandemic future.

In this very interactive format, you’ll have access to WhizBang! Retail Training’s retail experts, Bob and Susan Negen, and the brilliant marketing minds of your classmates.  They may do hot seats, deconstruct successful (or unsuccessful) promotions, review websites, critique copy, and of course, they will answer your questions.  Let them be your Marketing Mentor!

Click Here for all of the information about WhizBang! Training’s Marketing Mentor Program to see if it is right for you.  Be sure to read about the Better-Than-Money-Back Guarantee!

Cris Willis

Cris is a business coach for independent retailers. With 25 years of experience owning and operating a family business, she now guides retail owners to make smarter decisions regarding inventory management, marketing, sales training, product assortment, and more. When not at work, she loves to travel the country with her husband in their motorhome.

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