This article originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention @SecBusinessMag on Twitter and Security Business magazine on LinkedIn.
2020, the year that everything changed. While there were many hardships for all of us over the course of the year, some COVID-forced adjustments have been for the better.
For many security integrators, marketing priorities shifted, and traditional plans were out the window. Marketing may have even become a low priority as companies attempted to keep their businesses afloat. This is the exact reason, however, why 2021 is the year to revisit your strategic marketing plan… or create one if you do not already have it in place.
Strategic Marketing Plan Defined
While it may be easy to glean from the name, many are probably unaware of the components of a strategic marketing plan and where to start. This plan should be written to support a business’ overall strategic plan and be included in the appendix.
A strategic marketing plan takes the goals from the business’ strategic plan and spells out exactly how marketing can help achieve them. Covering both the strategies and tactics, this plan also includes key performance indicators – so success is measurable.
What a Strategic Marketing Plan is NOT
Many times, I have worked with organizations and asked their team to share the strategic marketing plan. What am I handed? A marketing calendar.
While the calendar is important, there is nothing strategic about it. The strategic marketing plan supports the mission, vision and values of the organization and helps the marketing team connect the dots on what it is they are trying to accomplish. Each individual team member can clearly see how they are going to help the organization succeed.
While dates for events, e-mails, social media, etc., are important, those are tactics; the strategic marketing plan puts the why behind them.
Now is a Good Time to Revisit or Create a Plan
Since it is the beginning of a new year, many systems integrators are also revisiting their overall strategic plans. COVID-19 has shifted many priorities for businesses. PSA certainly has had to pivot quite a bit to support our integrators in the new challenges they face, while also keeping our team and everyone else safe.
As the business priorities shift, so too should the marketing strategies and tactics that support them. For example, some of our marketing tactics – such as educational videos – were put on hold as we determined how to handle in-person logistics.
We have realized the value of these videos, however, and determined that high-quality production is not required. Filming at home with an iPhone tripod and selfie light is enough to share the important content our integrators need.
Tactics to Consider
It is not as easy for an integrator to make an impression in 2021 when there are limited opportunities for in-person meetings. Online content, purpose-driven branding and personal connections are playing a larger role in strategic marketing plans than they have in the past.
Security marketers are using content to show their organizations’ expert knowledge and win business. For this to happen successfully, a systems integrator must have a clean website, strong social media channels, and be easy to find on Google. Likewise, e-mail and video are excellent resources that can be produced for little to no money.
Companies used to shy away from social issues that might have seemed polarizing. In 2020, this has changed. Now more than ever, we are seeing brands take a stand for what matters to their employees and the customers they serve. Purpose-driven branding plays an important role in a strategic marketing plan – as it supports an organization’s mission, vision and values.
Finally, when revisiting your marketing efforts for the new year, make sure to include as many personal touches as you can. We may not be seeing each other face to face, but we feel more connected than ever. The security industry has delivered some excellent connection-based marketing while we have been working remotely. For 2021, my team is looking at new ways we can engage our network for non-business fun. These connections are important for engagement and relationships.
Candice Aragon is the Director of Marketing for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.