Strategic marketing plans help companies and causes to strengthen messaging, bolster stakeholder engagement and align marketing communication activities with organizational goals. As a result of working with a marketing agency to develop the plan, organizations often find themselves faced with the exciting challenge of optimizing the value of newly-identified marketing opportunities. They are also faced with the sometimes overwhelming task of prioritizing initiatives, as it is better to do a few things well than to attempt to implement everything half-way. Our advice? Embrace the challenge. Marketing is an investment and you don’t want that new marketing strategy sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Here are some tips for getting started with marketing plan implementation:
Much like building a house, framing key components and adding decorative accents can’t happen without a strong foundation in place. While a marketing plan is one foundational element, its foundational counterpart is known as infrastructure. Infrastructure may include everything from staffing and a new CRM to third-party resources and a revamped website. Case and point – you want to start by focusing on cementing in place the elements which your marketing program will be built upon.
While it can be challenging to resist the allure of starting with your new marketing tactics and launching creative campaigns, overlooking infrastructure can cost companies and causes added time and money. For example, you don’t want to launch an email and social media marketing program that drives traffic to your website if a website redesign is on the docket. It can lead to brand confusion, particularly if messaging is out-of-date, and visitors to your site will have a less than optimal experience. You also don’t want to invest time and resources in promoting a brand you intend to revamp or refresh, so consider solidifying your branding – another core foundational component.
Build the framework
With the foundation laid, it’s time to focus on framing out key elements of the plan. Remember, a strategic marketing plan is designed, in part, to increase consistency among marketing activities. You will want to make sure that there is a unifying theme across your marketing efforts so that stakeholders strongly associate everything from social media marketing to billboard advertising with your company or cause.
While the framework will help you to break through the clutter and stand out from the crowd, it will also help to ensure that resources are being allocated to achieve the greatest ROI. It’s also a key step in ensuring that the necessary supports have been built-in to your marketing efforts. (You can’t have a digital marketing program drive traffic to your website with the goal of capturing leads if you don’t have lead capture forms in place, right?) Not to mention ensuring initiatives are being prioritized appropriately.
Time to focus on the accents
With the foundation for your marketing program and the unifying framework and necessary supports in place, it’s time to focus on optimizing the appeal. How will you package your marketing campaigns to ensure they grab stakeholders’ attention and propel your organization towards achieving its end goals? This may entail custom artwork, creative calls-to-action, etc. This phase is all about focusing on the things that will give your content optimal appeal, which will help to drive meaningful action.
With many companies and causes facing budgetary constraints, these are often the marketing initiatives that would be great to tackle but aren’t necessarily ‘mission-critical.’ (We get that your annual appeal campaign trumps a campaign to bolster your Facebook audience and increase page ‘Likes’. And, that no matter how much you want custom artwork for every social media marketing update, it isn’t the top priority when your website needs a refresh.)
A strategic marketing plan is an investment in laying a solid communications foundation for your company or cause. It ensures marketing is goal-driven, data-informed and supporting overall organizational objectives. With your new marketing plan in place, now is the time to dive into implementation and optimize the value of your investment. Need additional resources to make implementation happen? Contact us today.