It’s a new year and if you’re like many companies, you’ve got a fresh new marketing plan to help you grow your business.
However, for that marketing plan to work, it can’t sit in a drawer. You have to actually DO something with that strategy.
That’s where implementation comes in.
But, how do you implement that nifty marketing strategy? How do you set up your marketing efforts for success?
That’s what we’ll cover today.
How to Implement Your Marketing Plan
1. Set the right expectations.
It’s important to remember that marketing is not a quick fix. If you want your marketing efforts to be successful, it’s important to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
We often tell companies that it takes 6-12 months before you start to see the return on your marketing efforts.
Think of it like rolling a snowball down a hill. The snowball is small at first and it takes a lot of work to get it started. But, once you get going, the momentum builds and it gets a lot easier for it to grow.
Marketing works much the same way. It will take some time and effort to build the right foundation for your efforts. Once you do, you’ll start to see the momentum you’re looking for in your business.
Because marketing success takes time, it’s important to make sure your company leadership and team understands that. Setting those expectations up front will help everyone understand
2. Build the team and secure resources.
Who will be on your marketing implementation team? It’s important to think through who you will need to help with this effort.
Sometimes, that will include employees at your company — such as members of your marketing department (if you have one), sales team or customer service department.
Other times, that means bringing in an outsourced marketing partner or a number of vendors to help you.
Either way, make sure you know who needs to be on your team to implement the effort.
Also, look at what other resources you need. Are there tools, materials or education that you need to get started? If so, make sure you get those resources in place too.
3. Communicate the plan.
Once you have built your marketing team, be sure to communicate the marketing strategy to this group and help them understand the goals. Make sure each member of your marketing team understands the role they plan in the implementation effort and how they will contribute to your success.
In addition to communicating the plan to your core team, you should also give the rest of your company an overview of your efforts. This will help create excitement about your efforts and make your entire organization feel they are part of what is happening.
4. Build out timeline and tasks.
If your marketing strategy didn’t include a detailed project timeline, now is the time to build one. It makes sense to take each project and break it up into smaller tasks and deadlines to make the effort manageable for your team.
Also, it helps to work backwards from when you want to launch an effort. So, for instance, if you want to launch a new website in May, work backward to see what needs to happen to deliver on that.
When you’re setting this up, it can be helpful to use project management software. This will allow you to easily assign tasks and deadlines to team members, while also keeping everyone on the same page.
Our team uses Asana and we LOVE it! It’s fantastic free tool that cuts down on email and makes it easy for us to stay on top of our projects. However, there are plenty of other options out there, such as Basecamp and Trello.
Find the process that works best for you and then stick to that so your team can stay on top of their projects.
5. Set up a dashboard for tracking success.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s why it’s important to set up the proper tracking tools to measure your efforts.
Your measurement dashboard should be a template that you can easily update with key metrics throughout your campaigns.
What gets measured will be different for every company based on your goals and marketing strategy. However, make sure to tie your metrics to the overall business objectives for your marketing efforts.
So, for instance, if your company wants to increase revenue by 25% this year, make sure your efforts are tracking the number of leads and sales generated from your efforts.
You should also track the key performance indicators (KPIs) for those metrics, which are things that could impact those top line results. These KPIs could include things like email sign ups, eBook downloads, webinar participation, etc.
6. Monitor and check-in regularly.
Once you’ve built that measurement dashboard, it should be easy for you to plug in the necessary information along the way. Doing this will help you easily gauge the temperature of your marketing efforts.
At the very least, you should do a monthly check-in of your results so you can see what is working and what isn’t. For larger efforts, it makes sense to do this on a weekly basis.
As part of your regular monitoring effort, you should also meet with your team regularly to go over the progress. This helps everyone understand how things are going and what needs to be done to reach your goals.
7. Be willing to adapt.
One of the biggest reasons for regular measurement and monitoring is so you can easily see what’s working with your marketing and what’s not.
When a particular marketing effort isn’t producing the desired results, look for ways to improve on the tactic before throwing it out the window. Sometimes, small tweaks can make a big difference.
For instance, refining your targeting and copy on your pay-per-click advertising can lead to a better conversion rate. Or, perhaps you can test different design or copy for your landing pages to see if you can improve conversions.
And, if tweaking an effort doesn’t do the trick, look for new ideas and tactics to reach your audience. Although a marketing plan is a good roadmap to follow, you have to be willing to deviate from it if it doesn’t work.
8. Communicate results and celebrate success!
If you want to create momentum for your business, don’t overlook this important step. Letting your team know that your marketing efforts are working can create a huge boost for morale and help stimulate massive momentum for your company.
It’s also a great idea to reward your team when you hit certain benchmarks and goals.
And, even if things don’t work, be sure to share that information too. It will give your team the opportunity to share feedback and generate new ideas.
How do you implement your marketing plan?
Certainly, this isn’t a complete list of everything you need to do to successfully implement your marketing plan. But, this gives you a good guideline for the key activities that need to take place.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be in a much better place with your marketing implementation.
But, I would love to know — how do you successfully implement your marketing plan? What would you add to this list? Or, what questions do you have about implementing a process like this?
Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
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This post was originally published on January 26, 2015. This article was expanded and updated on January 26, 2024.