Small business marketing

Implementation – That’s The Easy Part, Right?

It couldn’t be simpler. You have your marketing plan at the ready and all you have to do now is follow it, right?

Well no, this is the place where life tends to take over. You have a HR issue. Your office manager quits. Any number of day-to-day hassles occur. Suddenly, it’s six months down the track and that well-thought out plan you slaved to get right is gathering dust. How can your marketing succeed if you’re not even trying? Time to pull your socks up, dust off that plan and get moving.

Here are some key points to follow for successful implementation of your marketing plan (no matter what else is going on in your business):

1. Analyse your resources and fill in the gaps appropriately

Before you dive into implementing your plan, take stock of the resources at your disposal and how you will handle any growth that your marketing generates. If you have many new leads coming in, who is going to service them? Do you have enough staff to handle an increase in growth? Do your existing staff have the right skills? You may need to recruit staff or look to outsourcing.

Your marketing activity also needs to be resourced adequately. You’ll need the right people to deliver, manage and report on your activities. If you don’t have anyone on staff with the time or skills to implement your marketing consider outsourcing all or part of it.

Ideally, the person in charge of implementation also needs to be experienced and passionate about marketing. Someone who has no interest in marketing, is already overloaded with other responsibilities or a young staffer with digital skills but insufficient maturity to handle managing a brand’s online presence is not going to get you the results you need.

2. Don’t attempt to do everything yourself

Stick to what you do best and delegate the rest. As a business owner, it can be hard to let go of control, especially when it comes to communicating with your customers/prospects. Attend to high level activity yourself and let go of some of the ‘lower stuff’ (see point one :).

3. Be consistent

A lead-generating marketing function takes time to build and you need to be consistent. Follow your plan, analyse regularly, refine and remain consistent at all times in the use of your channels, messaging and timing. And remember point two!

4. Make daily steps towards your marketing goals

Make sure your business (not you, but your team, going back to my second point again!) is doing something towards your marketing activity each and every day. Many small, consistent steps have a snowball effect that can lead to steady growth.

5. Display your marketing calendar prominently

Have your marketing calendar printed in a large format and displayed in your office where everyone concerned can see it and refer to it regularly. Adding a ‘person responsible’ column will ensure your team knows exactly who is responsible for each activity and when it needs to be implemented. Plans don’t happen because people aren’t held responsible when they fail to deliver. Make sure each member of your team knows exactly what is expected of them and when and that they will be held entirely responsible for these activities.

6. Prioritise implementation

This goes for both yourself and your team. Set aside time each week to focus on the high level activity that you need to do and also to follow up with your team members who are responsible for the implementation. As a business owner, you need to lead by example.

You’ve done all the hard work on research, marketing profiling and planning so ensure you are not let down at the last post by poor implementation. Give your marketing activities the resources they fully deserve.

If implementation still has you pulling your hair out. Please give us a shout, we’re happy to take away your headache.