Implementing a marketing strategy is a multi-faceted activity. A good marketing strategy is driven by a clear, simple positioning statement. This makes it clear to your employees and market, where the company is superior to the competition. The marketing strategy encompasses the product or service offering, pricing, promotion and distribution – or delivery of the product or service to your customers.
So, the marketing strategy is all-encompassing. It drives product features, time from order to delivery, logistics, research and development, customer services — in short, it drives what is key for all facets of the business.
Consequently, implementing a marketing strategy involves so much more than marketing. It involves the whole company.
How you implement the marketing strategy depends who you are in the organization. Are you the president or the marketing director? If the organization has developed a marketing strategy, both need to be aligned with the strategy, on-board and enthusiastic.
The implementation of the marketing strategy can begin with the development of the marketing strategy. The organization can be involved or informed of the status of the development of the strategy. The input of operations, regulatory and sales can be part of the information that is used to develop the strategy.
Or the strategy can be developed by the management team, and rolled out to the company once it is completed. The extent to which each approach works, depends a lot on the issues involved with the strategy development, the culture of the company, and the buy-in to the plan by the company as a whole.
If, for example, operations was asked for an opinion, it is very important to close the loop, and let operations know what happened to the input. How it was used in developing the plan and, if possible, how the input affected the final strategy that was developed.
If the plan is being rolled out with no input, then it is critical for the department heads to consider the expected response from their teams, and to ensure the potential issues will be addressed. If unexpected issues are raised, it is critical to research these issues and respond to them. However, the key is to effectively demonstrate how the plan is in the interest of each department, in particular, the growth of the company. Information that provides confidence in this result is essential to provide, and an inclusive, enthusiastic, confident tenor of the meeting is important.
However, it is much more than one roll out meeting, or several roll out meetings. Implementation includes the informal discussions in the hall, during chance encounters, in regular meetings. People will absorb the information, and come up with excellent questions that need to be taken into account.
There is, of course, the formal implementation of the strategy as well. It will translate into objectives for performance evaluations, possibly organization shifts and changes.
As the company moves through the changes, focus on gaining some small wins first. This increases confidence in the new strategy and increases momentum. Keep it forefront in the company, stay positive and flexible.
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