“Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.”- Anonymous
Many companies do not have a marketing plan and worse yet even if they do have one, they do not adhere to it. This haphazard approach will not lead to success. A plan without follow-through sounds like a Shakespearean conflict but it is very real in our modern organizations. In Top 5 Tips to Create an Effective Marketing Plan, we spoke about what elements are absolutes in the generation of your marketing plan. The logical next step is to execute your marketing plan.
- Kill the Politics.
The internal politics and egos within an organization can hinder execution. There will always be an abundance of opinion and personal agendas from individuals with various skill sets but with at times their own tunnel vision. These opinions may not be formed from best practices. Some assume that they own the idea, others only want to focus on ROI, and another group does not understand why others just don’t intuitively understand how it works online and brushes off traditional media efforts and skill sets. Check to make sure that your team can work together cohesively to get the job done with the larger picture in mind.
- Establish Accountability.
Work must be done. Individuals must be assigned to marketing plan tactics, each tactic having a practical timeline for execution. Depending on the corporate culture they can be invited to do so based on strengths or assigned with a top-down approach. Either way when people know that it is their job to get a specific tactic done and their performance will be checked, there is a definite sense of urgency to cross it off of their list.
- Invite Ownership.
Forbes writes of a consumer goods manufacturer that challenged all employees to ‘own’ the entire line’s performance. This team established their own goals, established tracking and made improvements with full accountability throughout. This yielded better results on all measures. Employees should be invested to act like employees and have the full support and necessary resources to execute the marketing plan.
- Check Progress of Action List Tasks.
Weekly and monthly meetings should be held to review progress, address unanticipated obstacles and gather additional resources. Timelines are usually best guess scenarios so they can be adjusted if necessary as an outcome of the progress meetings. Also, tasks may be removed completely due to budget cuts so all team members need to stay abreast of company priorities and changes.
- Celebrate Progress.
The big goals can seem a long way off so to keep motivation high, celebrate the achievement of milestones along the way. Acknowledge individual and team contribution during the process- memory is fleeting- and playfully challenge them to climb the next mountain.
Getting the team invested, accountable and working together to achieve the big goals is the real challenge when you want to execute your marketing plan. It takes a collective effort to implement the marketing plan. Invest in the right team and gather the necessary resources to get the job done.