A lot of our clients find it easy to formulate ideas and plans about their company’s next greatest event, product, or campaign that should happen. After all, those ideas help organizations generate leads or come up with their latest-greatest product. However, an idea will only ever stay an idea until it gets executed strategically. How many times have you or your business come up with an awesome plan/idea for your next marketing initiative but never ended up working on it and seeing it through?
At 1 Bold Step, we like to argue that the real benefit of our client’s marketing ideas and plans comes from the execution side of things. Marketing ideas need to be executed in order to create well-rounded campaigns and projects that come together and align with your company’s overall strategic goals.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some important marketing execution tactics and ways to align those with the strategic goals of the company to generate a consistent return on marketing investment.
Kicking off the Marketing Execution
Of course, all marketing comes from an idea. However, a common mistake we see in organizations is that they typically have a multitude of ideas that never get executed on. This could happen for numerous reasons; leadership could be sharing too many ideas, it could be because they are stuck in a reactive environment, they don't have the right skill sets on the team, or maybe they don't use the right project management system to ensure things get done.
In simplest terms, marketing execution happens when a marketing plan or an idea is implemented and worked on until the end result. Taking thoughts and converting them into actions and tangible things is where actual progress is made.
To kick off the execution phase, a team meeting is called in order to determine if the current idea or plan brought up fits in with the overall strategic goals and objectives of the organization. If not, the idea gets put into what we like to call the “Disney Drawer.”
Okay - quick side story to explain to you what the “Disney Drawer” is. If you’ve ever read the book Rocket Fuel, you’ll know that Walt Disney was known for his never-ending creative ideas, and would constantly bring his thoughts up to his brother Roy, who was considered to be the integrator. Often, this stopped Roy in his tracks from working on what truly mattered at the moment. That’s when Roy created a drawer in their office for Walt to store his new ideas (hence why we named it the “Disney Drawer”). Every time Walt had a new idea, he would write it down, and place it in that drawer. Then, at the end of each quarter after the execution of current tasks were complete, they would open that drawer and pull out new ideas to start implementing (Our Founder and CEO, Jen, tells this story much better in our meetings).
In essence, if our client’s idea or plan doesn’t currently align with the overall strategic objective, we’ll most likely ask them to put it in their own Disney Drawer through our project management software, Asana, until we can revisit it in the next quarter. Doing this allows the team to continue down the path of solid execution without being pulled in multiple directions, while still holding on to the valuable idea at hand.
After the idea or plan has been deemed as a “non-Disney drawer” item, we let the execution begin. This happens by building out a solid plan with detailed tasks that are assigned to each member of the team, along with bi-weekly touch bases conducted by a project manager to keep things on track. In particular, we use an agile marketing execution strategy to get the job done.
Marketing Execution Tactics, a Handy List
So, what sort of task and objectives go into marketing execution, you ask? Ultimately, we believe marketing should add value and follow a strategic objective.
Here are a few areas where you can focus when it comes to marketing execution:
- Editorial/Content Calendars: Are you being intentional about creating content? Tip: Try to align your content with the audience you want to attract.
- Blogging and video: According to Hubspot, companies spend 46% of their marketing budget on content creation. Tip: Try to create a plan and use videos and blogs to answer your top questions from prospects and customers.
- Email marketing: Email is still the best form of communication for new leads. Tip: Make sure your marketing message has consistency and aligns with sales emails.
- Social media writing and scheduling: Whether you’re focused on B2B or B2C, social media plays a role in building an audience and credibility. Tip: Research best practices for your industry on what and when to post.
- Writing, creating, and monitoring Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.: Did you know that Google Display Network reached 90% of Internet users Worldwide? Tip: Too many teams set a budget, flip the ads on, and never change them. Make sure you're measuring, making changes, and adjusting your ads.
- Writing, scheduling, and sending out press releases: Use this to tell your story of new services, product launches, and new clients. Tip: Make a shortlist of industry-related sites that your audience visits and then work on partnerships with those sites to post your stories and PR.
- Planning and executing webinars: Webinars take time and energy to create but is a great way to keep your audience engaged and capture leads. Tip: Make sure you are following up with your audience after the event (We always shoot for 3 marketing email follow-ups).
- Automation and follow up: Each lead source or campaign (trade shows, conference, website, webinars) should have a follow-up plan. Generally, it takes 8 -12 touchpoints to convert a lead to a sale. Tip: Make sure you are reusing content and don’t be afraid to adjust and use a similar copy throughout your marketing.
- Reporting and reviewing what was previously executed on: Find a way to consistently report on what is working and what isn’t. This helps align the team and can get your C-suite involved.
Are you in need of a fractional marketing team? Click here to contact us and we’d be happy to help fill in the execution gaps.
Once a plan is in place and strategically aligned with your organization’s goals and objectives, execution should take place. You can have ideas without a strategy and an execution plan, but without those two things, your ideas are only ideas. Marketing execution helps move your company forward in each of these areas.
Time for an Evaluation!
Are your ideas getting stuck in the planning stage? Are your plans being executed halfway through? Are there too many ideas and plans to focus on one objective? Are you being pulled in multiple directions in the middle of a project?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re most likely in need of a little more marketing execution, and we would love to help. Click here to contact us or subscribe to our blog to continue receiving more great marketing tips and tricks for your organization.