chicken and egg marketing execution

Plan Your Marketing Execution from Marketing Strategy

Marketing execution and marketing strategy can be as confusing as the “chicken or the egg” paradox. In successful marketing, one begets the other. However, some leaders (even marketers!) think they are the same or that you only need a plan. If you set sales and revenue goals, you need a marketing strategy. If you want to reach those goals, you need a marketing plan AND you need to execute it. 

It’s been long established that between 70% and 90% of well-formulated strategies fail to bring the expected outcomes due to poor execution. These overwhelming failure rates have spurred numerous surveys and studies aiming to identify key problems of execution. 

Among the main reasons behind failure are ineffective communication and coordination across units cited by 30% of managers. Misalignment is a problem identified by 40% of respondents. Other common issues are ineffective planning and allocation of resources, unclear objectives and responsibilities, and inefficient performance, management, and measuring. 

How can you avoid making these mistakes and increase your chances to conduct your marketing execution successfully? We’ve highlighted four steps that will help you streamline your strategy implementation and achieve the desired outcomes.

Let’s start by discussing the basic concepts.

What Are the Differences Between a Marketing Strategy and a Marketing Plan?

Similar as they may seem, these two concepts have some fundamental distinctions, and differentiation between them is essential for achieving your marketing goals. 

Your marketing strategy is the general idea of your brand mission and messaging, the company’s value proposition, and buyer personas. It also embraces analyzing the competition, positioning your business, and identifying your company vision and overall marketing goals 

On the other hand, your marketing plan should outline your specific campaign goals, activities, channels, timeline, and budgets. It also aims at setting individual milestones and objectives of your campaign, whose achievement will get you closer to your global marketing goal.

So, to put it briefly, your marketing plan is your marketing strategy translated into a practical and actionable process.

Now that you know the name of the game, we’ll walk you through the key steps to ensure the achievement of your goals through successful marketing execution.

marketing execution team

1. Create Your Marketing Execution Plan

Having decided on your marketing strategy, you’ve determined where you and your product best stand in your industry and current market and against the competition. It’s time to consider the more practical aspects of putting your ideas and visions into action. This is where planning your marketing efforts has to come into focus. 

Here are some details you will need:

  1. Conduct a SWOT and competitor analysis to pinpoint your competitors’ weaknesses and build on them.
  2. Identify your target audience to best tailor your tactics.
  3. Identify the specific campaigns that will help achieve your marketing goals. You can select among various types of campaigns, such as:
  • Brand awareness campaign if you want to enhance your brand image and recognizability, thus indirectly increasing sales
  • Sales promotion campaign to directly boost sales through short-term initiatives
  • Product marketing campaign if you’re launching a new product or feature
  • Social media campaign to reach your audiences on social media like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • Email marketing campaigns, such as newsletters, onboarding, traffic generation, cart abandonment, lead nurturing, or promotions, designed to utilize email to deliver your personalized message to the recipient
  • Omnichannel marketing campaign if you want to take advantage of multiple marketing channels to promote your products and services
  • SEO campaign aiming to improve the search engine ranking of your website so that it can appear on the first page of the search engine results page and generate organic traffic
  1. Be SMART about your goals: Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  2. Determine when each campaign will take place. You can opt for weekly, monthly, or one-time campaign activities.
  3. Set the due dates on your marketing calendar.
marketing plan post it notes on a bulletin board

2. Plan Your Marketing Execution in Detail

With a clearer idea of your specific marketing activities, you need to dive deeper into the details.

Break Down Each Campaign into Tasks

Take your time and list all tasks that your marketing execution will involve. Think about all the various activities involved in your content creation, graphic design, and campaign tests. This will give you a better idea of the scope of work, the skills, and the time required to complete it.

Break Down Tasks by Skill Needed

Your next step is to match each task to the relevant range and level of skills, which will allow you to identify the right professionals to assign it to.

Estimate Your Timeline and Dependencies

Planning your marketing execution involves a complex set of activities and tasks. It’s essential to specify the right order in which they have to be performed depending on the relationship among them. Mapping out all tasks on a timeline will let you ensure the smooth running of the whole process.

Set the Budget

The State of Marketing Budgets 2021 survey found that B2B companies spent 6% of their revenue on marketing campaigns. So, planning your budget is an indispensable step before you begin your marketing strategy implementation. Make sure to include your estimated budget, taking into account expenses generated by paid advertising, marketing staff recruitment, sponsored web content, and marketing software.

Automate with Software

Want to make your marketing life easier? Consider using Project Management software. This will boost the time-efficiency of planning and help you avoid unwanted and costly errors. 

Viable options you can consider are Asana, Monday, Wrike, Kajabi, and Keap. They are all designed to streamline project management, improve visibility, accountability, and team communication and collaboration. 

3. Kick-Off Your Marketing Execution

With all parameters of your marketing strategy properly planned and specified, you’re ready to implement it. 

  • Clearly Communicate Your Strategy and Goals: 67% of team members fail to understand their role in the development of new initiatives. Make sure there’s a clear two-way strategy communication.
  • Assign the Tasks You’ve Planned: First things first. Allocate the right tasks to the right professionals: writers, designers, web developers, social media managers, etc.
  • Anticipate Delays and Deadlines to Push: Effective time management and flexibility are essential. Ensure buffer time in case any unforeseen circumstances and changes occur.

4. Get Help with Your Marketing Execution

Launching new marketing efforts usually requires extra resources that go beyond the capacity of your in-house team. How can you cater to these increased demands for skilled professionals?

marketing plan man working with feet up on desk

Hire Trusted Freelancers

This can ease off some of the workloads on your team and close the skill gap in executing certain tasks. An SEO expert can make a great contribution to your SEO marketing efforts, for example. 

However, finding a good fit for your needs and getting them up to speed can be a lengthy process. Also, onboarding a new freelancer that hasn’t worked for your company before involves potential problems, such as the need to learn your business and industry background and adapt to your brand values, mission, and tone. 

Therefore, you should plan to invest more time and effort in training and guiding your new freelance hires.

Outsource All Your Marketing Execution

There are marketing agencies that can be excellent collaboration partners for this work. Be sure they offer expertise in a wide range of services and can provide for your various marketing needs. They can help you create and improve your marketing strategy, planning, and execution. But, be aware that there are many freelancers that specialize in one area, like social media marketing or content writing, who want to expand their client base. Some promote that they can do all the various tasks and have never managed a team. They are usually lower priced for a reason. Be careful. 

Measure - Improve - Repeat

Tracking the performance of your marketing and measuring efficiency is essential for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing execution. To know what’s working and what needs improvement you need to set up metrics that matter to you. Don’t follow what others are doing. It’s easy for someone to tell you to measure ROI or CTR, but you need to follow the customer journey to really identify what needs work. Such valuable insights will enable you to apply the necessary adjustments and improve your marketing execution. 

Executing a marketing plan is an ongoing process that needs a manager. If you do not have a dedicated marketing campaign manager in-house you should consider finding someone. You probably took a lot of time (and money) to create your marketing strategy. Don’t allow it to go to waste with a half-hearted plan to execute and take it to the next level. Knowing what’s ahead, you can plan the team you will need to get the work done well.