5 steps to creating a Marketing Implementation Plan.
7 months ago
Use a marketing implementation plan to get flexibility in your business.
Flexibility is exactly what we need having five children between us. It is half-term and this year, more than ever we need to take this time off to be present for them. Our children have had a challenging first term, getting back into ‘normal’ school after so many disruptions. Some of our kids have transitioned really well, but for the others, they have needed that little extra support from us.
We are sure some of you can relate to this, which is why we want to talk about the importance of planning.
As marketers, we plan everything. From creating a marketing strategy to putting a marketing implementation plan together for the forthcoming year. We plan, schedule and track everything that we do to ensure that the marketing campaigns are hitting the right target audience and achieving the objectives set out.
How to get flexibility.
We use a marketing implementation plan. This is generally a 12-month calendar of marketing activities, where we put the strategy into practice using a month by month schedule. For the past 20+ years, we have used a simple spreadsheet – there are other tools such as Monday and Trello, which work brilliantly to project manage marketing activities but for many of our clients introducing a new software package is almost too much to think about, so we stick to the traditional resources and they are free!
The implementation plan gives us flexibility to plan work around family life, school holidays, client’s holidays and specific business dates. We can schedule work in where it is needed and batch content for socials, emails, blogs and PR in advance, without compromising on marketing consistency and quality of work.
Once a marketing plan has been written, the next phase is to put that plan into action assigning tasks to key members of the team to ensure that it gets carried out using the right expertise in a systematic way.
Having a clear marketing implementation strategy ensures that you have clear processes and timelines in place to meet deadlines. It helps everyone to stay focused on what needs to be done, obviously, things crop up and we know that there are distractions, but the important thing is that you refer back to the plan and get back on track.
Did you get side-tracked and lost your way?
The plan is a great reminder of what you are supposed to be doing to achieve your goals, rather than flitting from one thing to another. It gets you back on track when you are feeling overwhelmed and puts things back into perspective for you.
5 Steps to creating a Marketing Implementation Plan.
- Be realistic with what you can achieve – many of us have limited time and resources, the implementation plan helps us to be realistic as you can visually see the workload building up. It helps you to spread the work over more months if needed or to park some projects that are not as important for another time.
- List your main marketing activities previously identified in your marketing plan into a spreadsheet or project management system.
- Add your focus goals into the spreadsheet giving yourself enough time to achieve them or if they are time-sensitive, ensure they are in the month it is happening.
- Breakdown your tasks needed to achieve the end goal and set timelines against them each month.
- Monitor and measure what you are doing and how well it is going, adapt the timings or actions where required.
We have created ‘Marketing 101’ a simple to follow guide to creating your own marketing implementation plan with tools, techniques and templates including implementation plan, competitor analysis, SWOT analysis and social media content planner. There is also a nifty little workbook to use to understand how to complete your marketing plan and document what you discover about your competitors and complete your SWOT. Follow Jo’s advice in the accompanying video to fill in the templates and work towards marketing flexibility.
All there is left to do is to sit back, follow the plan and take a break when it tells you to!