Building on what I, Eduardo Sonoda, have learned as a marketing executive and a student at both the University of East London and the London Marketing Academy, I lead my own private marketing firm, Eduardo Sonoda Advisory, with a concerted focus on the consumer. I stand firmly behind my August 2021 interview with the magazine London Loves Business, which quotes me as saying, “It is important to have the mindset of the customer when creating marketing campaigns that are meant for them in the first place.”
This means that your marketing implementation process, like the marketing plan that came before it, must be firmly centered around the wants, needs, challenges, and expectations of your target consumer market. While your marketing plan may be expertly designed to capture a large share of this market, even the best planning in the world will amount to nothing if it isn’t brought to life off the page through an efficient and effective implementation process.
Although the intricacies of marketing implementation can be quite complex, the fundamentals of the process are actually remarkably simple. To make the implementation process even easier to understand, I have broken it down into a series of 11 strategic steps.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
If you don’t identify specific goals before rolling out your marketing plan, you are simply shooting in the dark. While you certainly don’t want to sell yourself short, overly optimistic expectations will place undue pressure on your marketing team and prevent them from making the risky decisions that are often necessary to achieve success. I use the acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to remember the key attributes of effective goals.
2. Document Your Implementation Strategy
Most accomplished business leaders would never think about pursuing a marketing plan without first setting it in writing, but far fewer understand the supreme importance if not the necessity of documenting an implementation strategy for that plan.
Although it doesn’t need to be super sophisticated (I use Google Sheets to outline my implementation strategies), a written implementation strategy clearly maps your way to success. Wise marketers will be open to making changes to their implementation strategy, but those who try to improvise without a written document to guide their risk straying off course entirely.
3. Build A Great Team
Evaluate your marketing plan to determine the specific set of skills and areas of expertise you will need to implement that plan. Let these needs determine the final size and shape of your marketing team. Keep in mind that your needs can be met by members of your in-house marketing department and/or an external marketing agency under contract. You also have the option to combine both.
4. Optimize Your Workflows
An optimized workflow is one that finishes a given task efficiently using the fewest steps possible. Begin the optimization process by mapping out each task that must be completed. Then you can collaborate with your team members to refine the task-completion process is ways that simplify, streamline, and make the most effective use of time and other resources.
5. Create A Timeline For Tasks
As mentioned above, all implementation goals must be easily achievable within a predetermined period of time. Remember that big jobs become far more manageable when you break them down into a series of smaller tasks. By placing these tasks on a specific timeline, you can reach your goals by set deadlines.
6. Manage Your Projects Efficiently
If you are going to stick to your timeline, you must pay close attention to your project management processes in order to manage your projects efficiently. Key attributes of effective project management include prioritizing the right high-value tasks, maintaining open communication channels with your team, and remaining flexible enough to make necessary adjustments.
7. Monitor Progress Regularly
It is impossible to overstate the importance of evaluating your marketing implementation processes to make changes as needed. By consistently tracking the dynamic marketing implementation process, you can not only respond immediately to challenges but avoid problems before they occur. Specific metrics to monitor include target market contact and budgetary resources used.
8. Make Necessary Changes To Optimize Results
Whether you are responding to internal issues involving company operations or external changes in the general marketing environment, you must be prepared to alter your marketing strategy if you want to meet the goals you have established and optimize results. While it is always better to build on your existing efforts, if possible, you must be prepared to abandon certain tactics altogether and take entirely new approaches.
9. Have A Contingency Plan
In fact, substantial changes in marketing implementation are so common that wise administrators will have a “plan B” in their back pocket from the very beginning. By developing one or more backup plans ahead of time, you can save yourself considerable time, money, effort, and frustration when you need to deviate from your established strategy.
10. Review And Measure Results
Among the other characteristics of effective goals, they must be measurable. And if you can measure a goal, you can measure your progress toward it. By gathering the appropriate feedback for thoughtful analysis, you can keep your implementation process on track.
11. Communicate The Final Results
This might seem like a small step to you as an administrative leader, but communicating final results will be tremendously important to your marketing team, industry partners, company shareholders, and other parties who have a vested interest in your efforts. This will give them the feedback and inspiration they need to undertake further implementation efforts.
While the 11 strategic steps have universal value in the marketing world, the specifics of plan implementation will vary widely from industry to industry and business sector to business sector. Your particular marketing implementation process will also depend greatly on the unique culture, target market, and products/services of your company.
However, the general guidelines above are a great place to start formulating your comprehensive marketing implementation strategy. At each step, you can tailor the details to fit the parameters that your company requires.
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