The Right Way to Start Marketing Planning for 2022

The fourth quarter of this year is approaching, and that means that many marketing leaders will soon begin planning for 2022. While COVID-19 is still with us, we now seem to have the tools to deal with the pandemic without resorting to policies that would significantly disrupt the economy. Therefore, the business climate today is much different than it was just a year ago.

Despite the milder business environment, developing an effective marketing plan for 2022 will remain a challenge, so it is essential for marketing leaders to use a sound planning process. Fortunately, a proven technique from military planning can be adapted to help marketing leaders start their planning process on the right foot.

What marketers can learn from military planning

For years, US military leaders at all levels have used a process called METT-TC as an integral part of their planning process. METT-TC is a file mnemonic It is designed to help leaders remember and prioritize what to analyze when planning an operation.

METT-TC stands for a taskAnd the enemyAnd TerrainAnd Available forcesAnd time And Civil considerations. Collectively, these six factors determine the environment in which any military operation will be conducted, and commanders must carefully analyze each of these factors in order to develop sound operational plans.

In fact, all military operations are based on METT-TC. The initial plan of the operation must take METT-TC factors into account, and if any of the factors change significantly as the operation begins, commanders must adjust their plans to suit the new conditions.

Obviously, planning a military operation and developing a marketing plan differ in a number of ways, but they have at least one important thing in common. Both will be implemented in an environment made up of specific factors that will significantly affect success or failure. Therefore, both military and marketing leaders must understand these critical environmental factors and take them into account in their plans.

MEC-R . process

When I work with marketers to develop a marketing plan, I begin by analyzing four environmental factors. I created a mnemonic for these operators that serve much the same purpose as METT-TC. My mnemonic is MEC-R, which stands for a taskAnd Economic/legal environmentAnd Competitive scene And Available resources.

a task – The mission component of the MEC-R analysis is a clear and concise statement of the task assigned to marketing to perform. A mission is usually expressed as a goal or objectives that marketing is expected to achieve.

In most cases, the task should be reduced to one primary objective and possibly one to three secondary objectives. The primary objective will usually relate to revenue growth, while secondary objectives may relate to things like the number of new customers gained, reducing customer disruption or improving customer satisfaction. It is clear that the marketing mission must be compatible with and supportive of the company’s overall business strategy.

Economic/Legal Environment – This MEC-R component includes analysis of several macroeconomic indicators as well as industry-wide economic data. At the macro level, most marketers should include an analysis of the following economic factors using the forecasts currently available for the target planning period:

  • real GDP growth
  • Unemployment rate
  • inflation
  • Consumer income and spending
  • Investing in a business

At the industry level, marketers should focus on the economic factors that will or may affect the demand for their company’s products or services. For example, most B2B marketers should include an analysis of the projected growth rates of key customer segments.

This part of the MEC-R process must also include an analysis of any new or pending laws or regulations that will or may affect demand for the company’s products or services. And Any that would or might affect the marketing methods or tactics the Company can use, such as data privacy laws or regulations.

Competitive scene – This step in the MEC-R process focuses on the competitive characteristics of the market in which the company operates. It will include an in-depth analysis of the characteristics, needs, and buying behaviors of existing and potential customers, as well as an analysis of current and potential competitors. During this step, marketers must also evaluate the impact of alternative products or services.

Available resources – The final component of the MEC-R process is the analysis of the resources that marketers have to accomplish their stated mission. “Resources” include people (number, knowledge, skills, etc.), technological capabilities, and financial resources. In fact, marketing leaders need to evaluate the “forces” they have available to accomplish their mission. The plan they ultimately formulate must be “doable” with these resources, or they must identify any resource gaps that need to be filled.

MEC-R is the starting point

It is important to understand that the MEC-R analysis is only the starting point in the planning process. Marketing leaders will need to address many other issues in order to develop effective marketing plans for 2022. But a thorough analysis of the MEC-R will provide a sound foundation for the rest of the planning process.

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