Step By Step Tutorial: Actionable Ways To Implement A Marketing Strategy

Marketing has always been a story of the eras: from mass marketing to digital marketing, and now data-driven marketing, it never stops—even in the wake of a pandemic this digital product design firm can make a huge difference to your business.

A carefully thought-out marketing strategy can make or break your business; it’s what guides your brand positioning and overall marketing efforts, ensuring you target the right audience for your brand.

A successful marketing strategy provides an actionable way to measure the status and success of your initiatives, goals, and objectives. A marketing pioneer of the 19th century, John Wanamaker, is famously quoted to have said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Unfortunately, this statement still rings true for many B2B companies as they fail to create marketing strategies supported by quantitative and qualitative research.

Keep in mind that if your strategy lacks a clear value proposition based on buyer personas and customer research, it won’t move your business forward. If you haven’t taken the time out to fully plan and map out your marketing process, you won’t be able to take advantage of your market niche, and eventually risk falling behind in the industry.

However, a good marketing strategy isn’t all that you need; you also need a strategic marketing implementation plan that translates your strategy into action.

What Is A Marketing Implementation Plan And Why Do You Need It?

Studies show that 71% of marketing professionals are typically convinced that their marketing strategy is effective. So, why is it that almost a third of marketers are unsuccessful?

It’s estimated that 50–90% of well-formulated marketing strategies fail due to poor execution. While there are many reasons behind this abysmal failure rate, experts believe that the main reason is that marketers aren’t prepared for the strategic challenges they came across during implementation.

Here’s an exhibit featured by the Harvard Business Review that shows how marketing strategy and implementation are co-dependent:

The exhibit clearly indicates how poor implementation can disguise a good marketing strategy. The worst part is that business failures that result from poor implementation are often intractable due to the difficulty in identifying the exact cause of the problem.

Therefore, businesses need an implementation plan that can turn their marketing strategy into real-life actions and goals: tasks, projects, responsibilities, and deadlines.

In simple terms, an implementation plan brings your marketing strategy to life. Instead of merely residing on paper, the strategy is translated on day-to-day calendars with actionable goals and objectives.

A successful implementation plan indicates:

  • All the activities/tasks that need to be implemented
  • Which team members will be responsible for implementation?
  • The location and time of implementation
  • How will the implementation be done?

Here are some ways other marketers can benefit from a clear implementation plan:

Expectations around Deadlines are Clear

Nearly 60% of marketers don’t use project management software for scheduling, task delegation, tracking goal progress, etc.

Without a person or tool tracking the project goals, it’s easy for tasks to slip. This especially happens when certain projects take a while to yield results, such as content marketing.

Without a proper marketing implementation plan, it’s easy to push back less-priority tasks and get distracted with tasks that are more urgent.

It Builds Task Ownership and Accountability

“I thought you were supposed to do that.” Perhaps the most dreaded eight words you can hear from a team member.

With a marketing implementation plan, the executive breaks down the marketing plan into individual tasks and workflows. Responsibilities are issued to team members, and as they are assigned, team members learn how their task completion impacts everyone else’s work.

In addition to instilling a sense of ownership in employees, a well-formulated implementation plan keeps the managers and executives from micro-managing everything, which is often unproductive and impractical.

It Gives You a Roadmap to Follow

Have you ever reached the end of the quarter and wondered why so many of the tasks you had initially planned never reached fruition?

Perhaps you wanted to double down on social ads and email marketing, or even create a company podcast, but something or the other always got in the way.

This is the perfect example of why you need a marketing plan: to turn your long-term plans into clear processes. This is often in the form of:

  • Checklists and task templates
  • Marketing workflows
  • Marketing Kanban board
  • Or scrum sprints as part of agile marketing

How To Implement Your Marketing Plan In 7 Steps

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of an implantation plan, let’s talk about the steps you need to take to turn your marketing strategy into a reality.

Step 1: Set The Right Expectations

Keep in mind that marketing isn’t a quick fix; it might take around 6–12 months before you start to see actual returns of your marketing efforts.

Your first step should be to make sure the stakeholders and the team are on the same page in terms of expectations and deliverables. This will eliminate unwanted pressure on the team and allow the executives to set a proper budget and timeline for iterations and experiments.

It takes time and effort to build a steady audience, generate demand, achieve customer loyalty, and gain momentum, especially considering the competition in the digital arena and evolving consumer demands.

Plus, marketing results in today’s age come in the form of social shares, traffic, sales conversions, leads, revenue, webinar attendees, etc., which can make it twice as hard to gauge results and determine the exact return on investment.

Therefore, the more honed in your marketing strategy in terms of audience, messaging, and goals, the more accurate your predictions.

Step 2: Determine Your Talent Resources

You need to identify resources that can help you achieve your goals based on your business offerings, the metrics you want to hit, and the revenue you’re aiming for.

Here are some talent resources you may need:

  • Project management: Figure out whether you need a project manager or will project management software suffice?
  • Technical skills: A web design and development team and perhaps SEO services that can help you maximize the outreach of your marketing campaign and attract targeted traffic to your site.
  • Social media management: Online reputation management, scheduling and creating content, managing replies and comments, leveraging each social platform
  • Graphic design skills: An infographics team, experts for banner creation, visual charts, customized photos, etc.
  • Content creation and marketing: A team dedicated to website content creation and building authority and credibility in the community with SEO-optimized blog posts, guest posts, landing page copy, etc.

Once you’ve made a clear plan of the kind of skill sets you’ll need to make your marketing strategy a success, you can secure these resources in one of two ways:

  • Outsource to consultants or agencies: By outsourcing specialized campaigns to seasoned professionals, for instance, a digital marketing firm, you can focus on improving your business offerings.
  • An in-house team: If you plan to bring experts on board, make sure you structure your marketing team and cover long-term bases, like design and writing, which will likely expand over time.

Step 3: Determine the Software Resources you’ll Need

Finding the right toolkit and software may need some trial and error, but it will eventually contribute to your efforts in terms of efficiency and enhanced productivity.

Here’s what you may need to add to your marketing stack:

  • Content management system
  • Project planning and management software
  • Email marketing and social listening tools
  • Video hosting
  • Tools for marketing automation
  • Analytical tools to track progress

Step 4: Communicate The Plan.

Once you’ve put together your marketing team, be sure your marketing strategy is documented and communicated with every team member. This will allow your team to understand the big picture and target the right audience with the right level of effort.

Make sure the team understands how the plan fits with the business’s goals, objectives, policies, and priorities. They should be aware of their role in the implementation process, and how it contributes to overall business success.

Both horizontal and vertical communications are essential in linking together activities and people involved in implementation.

In addition to communicating your plan with the core team, brief the rest of the company about your initiatives, goals, and efforts. This will help boost morale and make your entire company feel like they’re a part of what’s happening.

Step 5: Build a Workflow and Timeline for Each Task

Now is the time to create a detailed project timeline, if your marketing strategy didn’t already include one.

In this step, you’ll take each objective, break it up into tasks and deadlines, and place it on the team’s calendars.

An easy way to go about this is to develop separate workflows for each kind of content you wish to create.

  • Map out all the tasks that need to be completed
  • Try to reduce the steps in your workflow by combining similar tasks into a single project
  • Clearly define the steps for each task using action verbs
  • Make sure each task has a clear definition of when it will be considered complete
  • Assign the task to team members
  • Sit together with experts and team members to determine how long it will likely take to complete each task based on experience and industry best practices
  • Factor in unexpected delays so that you’re not falling behind deadlines
  • Delegate by reminding, collaborating, and notifying with task owners

Project management software can help you better assign tasks and deadlines, while allowing you to keep track of the progress and ensuring everyone’s on the same page.

Step 6: Monitor Your Results

This is one of the most important steps in the implementation process. Since you can’t manage what you don’t measure, make sure you’ve set up proper tracking tools that measure and update your key metrics throughout your marketing campaign.

Answer these questions to see if you’re on track:

  • Are your efforts yielding the desired results in the time-frame you’ve set so far? Do you need to adjust your timeline?
  • Are the steps in your work-flow effective? Do you need to revise them?
  • Is the project management strategy working for your team?
  • Does your team have the required skills? Do you feel the need to outsource certain projects or hire internally?
  • Are the tools you’ve opted for helping your team accomplish the tasks they’ve set out to do?
  • Is there something missing in your marketing strategy? Do you need to refresh it?

In order to better track your marketing strategy implementation, make sure you’ve tied metrics to your marketing objectives.

So, for instance, if your marketing goal is to increase revenue by 20%, you need to track the amount of sales and leads generated from your efforts.

Additionally, track the KPIs for those metrics. This could include eBook downloads, email sign ups, form submissions, webinar participation, etc.

Step 7: Be Willing To Adapt

Once you have a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t, you can adjust your implementation plan accordingly.

For instance, if you notice that your SEO efforts aren’t bringing in the kind of web traffic and conversions you expect, it may be time to update and revise your SEO strategy.

  • Make sure you cover all the SEO fundamentals including focusing on searcher’s intent, conducting in-depth keyword research, and publishing quality content.
  • Monitor your backlink profile with in-depth backlink analysis. You can hire a backlink building service to leverage quality backlinks and improve Page Rank.
  • Maximize the impact of your content strategy by incorporating voice searches and publishing long-form content.
  • If you have a brick-and-mortar store, pay special attention to local SEO. Hire SEO services in New York to increase local exposure across search results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do marketing strategies fail?

  • You don’t have clearly defined goals
  • You don’t know who your target audience is
  • The only place your marketing strategy exists is in a boardroom discussion
  • Your goals are unattainable or unrealistic
  • Your marketing team doesn’t have a clear picture of the long-term goals and objectives
  • Responsibilities aren’t defined clearly and there’s no accountability
  • You’re unable to adapt to the changing market conditions

What are some common challenges to implementing a marketing strategy?

  • Lack of resources
  • Budget constraints
  • Lack of communication during strategy execution
  • As the competition stiffens, generating traffic and leads becomes a challenge
  • Unable to track the ROI of your marketing strategy
  • Unable to manage website, from designing optimized web pages to publishing quality content daily

How do you choose the right marketing agency?

  • Evaluate your business needs and budget
  • Demand complete transparency
  • Inquire about their industry experience
  • Demand to see the marketing roadmap they plan to implement

Concluding Thoughts

Marketing strategy implementation requires a well-formulated and tactical plan that’s aligned with core business goals and growth strategies. Breaking down a mountain of tasks into small but powerful steps can help your team do impactful work and successfully hit all the marketing goals.

Moreover, keep in mind that your website is your biggest marketing asset and your best revenue generator. So, make sure you take advantage of it by leveraging the power of SEO. By partnering up with SEO services in New York, you can work towards ranking in the top spots of Google search results!

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About Brandon Leibowitz

is a Social Media fanatic. His blog, Bosmol, is based on trending stories on various topics related to social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, Internet Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Smartphones, SEO, and many other topics. Established in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Subscribe to us to receive the latest news and updates first. Please feel free to comment back.

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