18 Jan Level Up Your 2024 Marketing Implementation NOW!
In the quest to accelerate business, a great marketing plan is essential, but the implementation and how you get it done matters even more. And now that the new year is here, it’s crunch time! In this blog post, we’re going to share our top five tips to help you unleash your annual strategy now and make sure that every task, project, and campaign to come will drive growth effectively and efficiently, saving you time and money along the way.
1. Make Sure Both Marketing and Sales are Aligned
According to Hubspot’s 2024 State of Sales Report, only 23% of sales professionals believe that sales and marketing are strongly aligned. Yikes, that number should be MUCH higher! When your marketing and sales teams rally around shared goals, you can break down barriers and ensure all team members work towards a common objective. To make this happen, both teams must define key metrics to measure successes, like conversion rate and revenue.
Here’s another quick tip: Sales and marketing teams must also be aligned on the proper target market. And the best way to do that is to map your sales and marketing tactics to a specific buyer persona. Both teams should have a deep understanding of your target audience, from their demographics down to their behaviors. This will help tailor your marketing strategies and messaging accordingly.
When you foster collaboration between marketing, sales, and the other departments in your organization, everyone will be on the same track, working together towards one common goal.
2. Reassess Your Goals to Confirm They Are Reachable
An article from Harvard Business Review shares that 60-90% of strategies fail to fully launch. Why? Execution is the common denominator. And we’re willing to bet it’s mainly because their high-level measurable goals are too hard to implement. You must close the gap between your goal setting and implementation.
So, how do you determine what is achievable and what isn’t? Well, it truly depends on your business, but what you should do is sit down and think through your goals from beginning to end. Can you quantify the results? Is your goal achievable based on past performance, or is it just a goal you want to reach because it sounds good? We like to go back to basics and make sure any goals we develop for ourselves, or our clients are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This always provides clarity and helps you stay focused.
3. Communicate Your Strategy
This might sound like common sense, but a marketing plan isn’t something you develop and then forget about. Your whole team should have visibility into marketing (and company) objectives so they can plan and prioritize necessary campaign work. If your marketing plan isn’t executed across the companies’ different divisions, your organization will most likely not deliver on its goals, slowing progress and creating stagnation.
If communication issues sound like something your organization may be struggling with, you’re not alone. A recent study found that only 16% of workers say their company is effective at setting and communicating company objectives, and only 26% clearly understand how their work contributes to company goals. We recommend using the 3Cs, Context, Content, and Community, to help share a marketing strategy clearly and concisely.
- Context – Put your plan into the context of your company’s specific situation and mission.
- Content – A few questions to consider are: What is the best way to communicate your plan? What kind of channels should you use, and who should communicate the content? This will help you define accountability among your team.
- Community – Engage and empower your employees, partners, customers, and advocates, anyone who impacts your company and helps drive loyalty and growth.
Communicating your strategy is just as important as creating it, so invest the time!
4. Track Your Milestones and Course-Correct as Needed
You must monitor your strategy and adjust as needed. New competitive threats, shifting marketing conditions, and changing customer needs, among other factors, can put your growth goals at risk or present new opportunities you didn’t think were possible for your business. To successfully track and course-correct, we recommend:
- Documenting objectives in one central location so employees can see where you’ve started and how far you’ve come. Compiling this data is even more critical if you need to shift tactics later.
- Select a regular reporting frequency and stick to it to keep teams informed on company progress.
- Stay up-to-date on market trends and changes within your industry through market research. This will give you insights into emerging opportunities and help you stay one step ahead.
- If market conditions change, having the right leadership to update goals and make course corrections is critical, so decide who this person will be in advance.
The bottom line is that you should always know how your tactics are performing while staying agile and flexible to adjust as needed.
5. Hold Teams Accountable
Speaking of the right leadership, who is holding your marketing team accountable to make sure the work stays on track? In our experience, having effective marketing leadership in place is a missed opportunity for many organizations, often because they can’t afford to hire a full-time CMO. Instead, they believe they can get by with a marketing technician or hire an agency. An in-house marketer typically doesn’t have the breadth of knowledge – the experience, methodologies, or processes to be effective. An agency won’t look at the whole picture and is incentivized to put their lowest-cost workers on long-term client projects to generate their own revenue. They miss the strategy and don’t stay focused on quality.
On the other hand, if a company has a marketing department, the person leading it, again, usually doesn’t have the right experience. We would also advise against simply promoting someone from a sales role or transitioning a VP of Sales unless you know they are formally trained with years of experience and accomplishments to warrant the position. The visionary should be able to (and prove they can) drive results by:
- Establishing clear expectations for the team, and communicating desired outcomes, deadlines, and performance metrics. This person will also ensure that every team member understands their responsibilities and what is expected of them.
- Provides regular feedback and communication to assess individual and team performance and address areas for improvement.
- Help cultivate a culture of autonomy and growth by empowering the team to make sound decisions and take ownership of their work.
- Implement systems and processes that always track and measure performance metrics to help assess progress, identify areas that need to be fixed, and highlight achievements.
An effective marketing plan is one part of the puzzle, but an equally important part of implementation is the expertise behind the action. If your company lacks the right leadership, a Fractional CMO can be the right solution for you, here’s why.
A part-time marketing executive offers access to C-level expertise that provides far-reaching marketing leadership. This individual hones in on defining a marketing strategy specific to a company’s needs. The work is then swiftly translated into action and results while simultaneously managing, growing, and empowering the company’s internal marketing department and divisional collaboration to drive sales growth. Hiring a Fractional CMO allows you to harness top-level marketing talent without the costs associated with recruitment, salary, benefits, onboarding, training, etc., a cost-effective solution that will help you accelerate sales growth faster and more efficiently.
If you need marketing leadership who can take hold of your marketing plan to kick-start implementation, Q2Mark can help. Our Fractional CMO services dig in to gain a full understanding of all the moving parts of your organization, from past marketing initiatives to the entirety of your team’s capacity. At Q2Mark, we have successfully grown over 100 brand leaders by providing proven strategy and tailored marketing communications to help scale, strengthen, and establish businesses of all sizes and industries. Let’s chat if you’re ready to discover what unbeatable business growth looks like for your company with a proven fractional CMO. Follow this link to schedule a free consultation.