A lot of the business owners I support struggle more with taking a strategic approach to marketing than thinking about the fine details of marketing. But I often also get questions about how to implement a marketing plan.
There isn’t anything inherently complicated about implementing your marketing plan. Theoretically, you should just look at the plan and do exactly what it says. After all, that’s what it’s there for!
As with so many areas of your business, this is much easier said than done. And there aren’t any shortcuts… As Nike would say: Just do it! But there are some smarter ways to approach this challenge that can help you follow your plan.
Here are three things to consider if you’re struggling to follow and implement your marketing plan:
1.Change your mindset.
A lot of business success is attributed to having the right mindset. And when it comes to marketing, you can’t skimp on your mindset work. Before you address any other challenges that you may face when it comes to implementation, you have to be 100% committed to regularly doing marketing in your business.
Marketing is a non-negotiable business function that has to happen if you want to grow your business. So try committing to something in marketing. That could be showing up on your main social media channel every day. Or it could be sharing one blog post per week. Or posting 3 times a week on Instagram. Whatever it is, commit to it and don’t deviate from this.
Start by committing in one small area, then once you’ve made that a non-negotiable business activity, you can start to add more areas of marketing into your schedule as activities you must complete. And before you know it, you’ll be showing up for your audience and actively opening your marketing plan to see what you’re going to be sharing next.
2. Set expectations.
This may be with suppliers, junior marketing staff or even your peers in your business. Setting expectations internally is really important so everyone else is also going to understand that marketing is a fundamental business operation that can’t just be swept aside when things get busy.
If you have multiple stakeholders who are responsible for marketing in your business, it’s really important that you’re all on the same page, otherwise it’s going to become very difficult for you to implement your marketing plan consistently.
3. Find a way to hold yourself and others in your business accountable for marketing
Accountability is one of the most effective ways you can make sure you implement your marketing plan. There’s a reason successful and ambitious business owners regularly invest in coaches – to keep them on track and hold them accountable. If you actually tell someone outside of your business you’re going to do something, you’ll feel more pressure and incentive to actually do it.
If you’re struggling to work out how to keep yourself accountable for marketing, here are some ideas for how to do this:
- Set an expectation with your audience. For example, tell them you’re going to email them once a week and do it. When you know people are waiting to hear from you, it’s much easier for you to show up and get the work out. It creates a deadline publicly, and if you don’t meet the deadline it can reflect poorly on your brand.
- Break your marketing plan down into weekly tasks. Send an email to your team at the start of each week with the list of tasks and include yourself on it so it doesn’t look like you’re passing all the work on to everyone else. The key to this is also checking in later on in the week to make sure everyone’s done their tasks!
- Invest in senior marketing support. This could be a coach or consultant who’s going to have regular check-ins with you and make sure you’re actually doing all the things you’ve said you’re going to do in your marketing plan.
These are all tips I use with my own clients to help them stay on track with their marketing plans. Remember – one small action every day will add up to have a big impact 12 months later!
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