As a business, whether it’s brand new or well established, you probably have a marketing strategy. If you don’t, then it’s definitely something to think about if you really want to move forward and grow. Having a marketing strategy is seen as one of the most important business basics. After all, it’s unlikely that your business will be successful without some form of marketing! It also gives you a solid plan to follow and a written record of the goals and targets you want to hit. But what about marketing implementation? What is it, what’s the difference between this and your strategy, and what are some tactics to implement marketing strategy plans? That’s what we’ll be discussing in today’s blog post. Firstly, let’s take a look at what we actually mean when we use these terms…
What is a marketing strategy?
This is a comprehensive strategy that details your marketing activity in order to help your business reach its goals. To come up with your strategy, you need to assess where you are now in terms of marketing and your wider business. Then, you need to work out where you want to go. Your strategy will be the marketing steps you need to take to get there. Your strategy can include all of the marketing activities you want to carry out, and these will vary from business to business. For example, some businesses may have a heavy focus on social media, while others find email marketing campaigns or events to be more effective. The strategy will be unique to every single business and there is no one size fits all option. So, if you’re looking to make or upgrade your strategy, it’s important to familiarise yourself with both the bigger picture and the nitty-gritty elements of your business in order to devise the best strategy for you. Find out more about strategic marketing and the importance of a strategy in this blog post: What’s strategic marketing, why it’s important and 6 killer ways to use it.
What about marketing implementation?
Now, having a great strategy for marketing is really important. It will help you to stay on track and reach those business goals with some great marketing activity. However, you can have the best strategy in the world, but it’s never going to be effective unless it’s put to use correctly. In short, this is what the term ‘marketing implementation’ means. You may think that it’s straightforward: you just follow the strategy and the rest falls into place. However, it’s unfortunately usually not that easy! There are a number of reasons why your implementation of the marketing plan may not be as effective as it could be, leaving your strategy falling short and you unable to hit all the targets you’ve set for yourself. Some of these reasons include:
Do you ever feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day? When it comes to the implementation of marketing strategy plans, it’s important to carefully consider the time required to carry out each step, and make sure that enough time is allocated to it. After all, it’s a hugely important part of your business and its growth. You don’t want it to be rushed or it just won’t be as effective as it could be! If you’re struggling with marketing strategy implementation, you may need to go back to the drawing board and consider how much time your strategy needs in order to be put into place effectively. Listen to what your team is telling you about the time they have to implement their portions of the strategy, and work together to come up with a way that works best for everyone involved.
A lack of resources
Similarly, it’s important that there are enough resources allocated to each part of the marketing strategy, in order to ensure that it is implemented smoothly. When you are devising your strategy, this should be something that you put quite a bit of thought into to try and minimise the chances of it happening. However, it’s normal for some things to take up more resources than you planned, and if these extra resources aren’t available, it can quickly throw a spanner in the works of your marketing implementation while you come up with a backup plan to get things moving again.
Many great marketing strategies rely on third parties to help them be carried out. After all, it’s important to play to your strengths in business and get help with the rest if you can. These third parties could be a marketing agency, graphic designer, videographer, or anyone else who you need support from in order to carry out your marketing strategy implementation. However, when working with external people, it’s natural that there will sometimes be delays from them which you simply can’t control. However, this can definitely have adverse effects on your marketing implementation and slow everything down, thereby not helping your strategy’s efficiency!
A lack of clarity
This is another thing that can really slow down your market implementation! Does everyone involved in implementing it really, truly know what’s going on? Do they clearly know about their role in the strategy, and where this fits into the bigger picture? Do they know what the outcomes should be and what they are working towards? A lack of clarity can be really frustrating for everyone involved, so it’s important to foster an open culture where it’s okay to raise concerns about clarity, and your team can help each other out in their roles to get the strategy running smoothly and reaching those goals!
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But what now?
It’s very important that you put plenty of thought into marketing implementation and how you can ensure that it runs smoothly to help reach your targets and goals. However, we know that this is usually easier said than done! Having said this, there are a few tactics and ideas you can put into place to help your marketing implementation strategy go well and bring you as much success as possible! Let’s take a look…
Allow for more time and resources than you think you’ll need
We’ve already discussed how a lack of time and resources can lead to problems when it comes to implementation! So, if you want to avoid this as much as possible, it’s probably a good idea to overestimate how much you will need to successfully implement your strategy or plan. Knowing that you have enough reserves behind you to successfully carry it out, even if it gets tough, can be a real weight off of your shoulders, allowing you to just get on with it instead of worrying about whether it will get done! However, budgets and time can often be tight. So, if having reserves of time and resources just isn’t possible for your business, it’s a good idea to plan things out in a very detailed way, so that everyone knows what needs to be done and when, and that there is little room for moving deadlines and the like. You need to know that hiring talented freelancers is can be very helpful. Although there are many freelancers to choose from, not all of them are suitable candidates. Using a digital labor platform can be a great solution, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Taso du Val, the CEO of Toptal: “There are a lot of companies that are small that still have really great talent, very highly skilled individuals are having to depart because those businesses can’t withstand this crisis. And so if you take an aggregate of the world talent supply and all the companies that are associated with companies of that nature, there’s a lot of talent that is now available. And Toptal’s reaping some of the benefits of that by having those talented folks apply through our platform.”
Always have a backup plan
Often in business, marketing is about trial and error. Not every marketing activity will work for every business. Hopefully, your marketing strategy is strong and based on what you know works. But, if your business is new, or you want to try something different, it’s unlikely that absolutely everything will work out well first time! So, don’t be afraid to have a backup plan when it comes to marketing implementation. It’s normal to have to revisit how you’re doing things, and see if you can implement them in a different way in order to get even better results. Perhaps members of your team could be utilised in a different way, or maybe you want to up the number of emails you’re sending to your mailing list. Having a backup plan of different ideas you could try can be a lifesaver when you feel like your implementation isn’t going completely to plan!
Once you have a solid marketing strategy, it’s important to get started on implementing it as soon as you can. Digital marketing is becoming more and more important, and it’s heavily led by online trends. This is a great thing, but it also means that the marketing landscape can change quickly. If you’re waiting for the ‘right time’ to start marketing implementation, you may find that your strategy is actually a bit outdated by the time you can finally get around to it. Then, you may need to start the whole building of your strategy over again, meaning that you have wasted precious time and resources. There probably never will be a ‘right time’ to implement your strategy, there’s always something else going on! But, it’s important to bite the bullet and get on with it before it’s too late and you need to start again.
Here at Delivered Social, we are well versed in implementation plan marketing, for ourselves and our amazing clients. Want to find out more about how we can help you and your business in the marketing department? Visit our website to see our range of services, or get in touch to discuss how we can come up with a tailored plan for your unique business!