PM Articles by ProjectManager.com.
You’ve made the product or developed a great service, now you need to create a marketing plan. Your marketing plan defines the strategies that your organization will use to reach target customers, outperform competitors and position your brand.
There are many ways to approach marketing your product or service, but they all share one thing in common— they need an implementation plan.
Basically, it’s taking a marketing plan and executing it. That means securing the resources, creating a schedule for marketing activities, and so on. Creating an implementation plan for your marketing campaigns is an important step in marketing planning because it ensures that everything goes as planned.
That requires work, of course, and a lot of coordination between departments, which can be streamlined by project management software. Before we start learning about marketing implementation, let’s define what a marketing plan is.
What Is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan consists of all the strategies that a company will execute to reach its marketing goals over a period of time. Marketing plans usually outline marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
Some examples of marketing strategies that can be part of a marketing plan are online advertising, email marketing, content marketing, social media management, events, etc. Marketing plans vary greatly but they all share these basic elements:
- Marketing Goals: Define the goals that your marketing plan will achieve, and how those align with the strategic goals of your business.
- Market Research: Find out who your target customers and competitors are, as well as other characteristics of your market.
- Target Audience: Who are the buyer personas that you’re trying to reach with your marketing strategies?
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Every marketing strategy needs key performance indicators you can use to measure its success.
- Marketing team: Assemble a marketing team to achieve your goals.
- Marketing Budget: Create a marketing budget to manage the resources and costs associated with each marketing activity.
- Marketing Strategies: Some marketing plans may require several strategies that are executed simultaneously.
Once you’ve created your marketing plan, it’s time for implementation.
What Is Marketing Implementation?
Marketing implementation is the process of turning your marketing plan into a reality. To do so, you’ll need a marketing implementation plan. It details the steps and resources required to execute your marketing strategies.
As with any project plan, a marketing implementation plan defines the objectives of the campaign and the requirements to fulfill them. You use it to assess the scope and outline the deliverables.
Every task should have a due date, and you should assess risks and create plans to address them. Define team member roles and responsibilities, and develop resource management and communication plans.
Benefits of an Effective Marketing Implementation Plan
Marketing implementation is a key step in bringing anything to market. It lets you turn your marketing plan into a set of processes.
Without a marketing implementation plan, the timeline is vague and work spirals out of control quickly. It’s like throwing away money. Plus, marketing teams are more focused on their work when there’s an implementation plan. It helps them prioritize their work, so the most important work gets done on time.
If all this sounds complicated, it is. Marketing projects involve many factors to manage and ensure they’re all accounted for. To keep track of all of them, you need to use project management software. ProjectManager organizes your marketing implementation from planning to execution. Organize tasks and make assignments from the list view to connect teams and foster better collaboration. Try ProjectManager free today!
How to Implement your Marketing Plan in 8 Steps
The work on a marketing plan begins once the project has been approved. There is a lot of market research involved, and you need to define resources and make sure your team is available.
Of course, because a marketing plan is work-intensive, you don’t want to begin creating one late in the process. The marketing plan is your blueprint, and to move forward with the marketing project without one is poor project management.
Whatever marketing strategies you’re implementing, follow these steps to create a marketing implementation plan:
1. Set Realistic Expectations for your Marketing Strategies
Start by researching other marketing plans and consulting experts to define goals, schedules, teams and budgets that are realistic. Explore risks that could impact the campaign, as well as other issues like team availability, delivery of resources, training, etc. It’s important that the client, project team and everyone involved has clear expectations of the marketing implementation plan.
2. Review your Marketing Plan
Ensure that the marketing implementation plan you’re preparing aligns with the overall marketing plan. If there are places where the two don’t meet, then you need to make adjustments.
3. Identify Resources
What will you need to implement your marketing plan? Those are your resources. This includes content writers, graphic designers, technical workers, project managers, software and so on. Determine your in-house resources and which external resources you’ll need. You might find that you need to contract with an external agency or consultancy.
4. Get Project Planning Software
Use project planning software to help you monitor your marketing implementation plan and collaborate better. You can use it to collect and share data, set up schedules, make assignments and provide transparency into the process.
5. Document the Marketing Strategies
Your marketing plan will include several strategies. You need to document all of them so that you don’t miss anything, and make sure you serve that information to the project team. This creates unity of purpose and profitable customer action. Create a summary that includes the who, what, why and how of each strategy in your marketing plan.
6. Create Workflow
Take your marketing plan and turn it into actionable tasks. Then, place those tasks on a timeline. Each of these marketing activities should have a deadline, priority and owner. They can be collected on a kanban board and, if possible, have notifications to alert teams of pending due dates or changes to the work.
7. Manage your Marketing Project
To make sure that everyone is doing what they need to do, there must be some type of monitoring. Use some form of dashboard to track your progress can be of great benefit. This allows issues to be identified quickly and plans revised to stay on track.
8. Measure Results
Another way to track progress is by getting detailed reports on various marketing project metrics, such as time, tasks and costs. These figures will be valuable to your stakeholders, who have a vested interest in the project and want to have updates from time to time.
What Is Marketing Implementation and Control?
Marketing implementation is a way to implement your marketing plan through detailed project planning that aligns with the overall strategic goals of the organization. Control is simply the way you ensure that the milestones you set on your implementation plan are being met.
For example, if you’re publishing a blog on your website, the goal might be reaching a certain level of traffic to generate leads and sales for your business. You create a marketing implementation plan to achieve this marketing goal, then set milestones of the amount of traffic you want to reach within a week, month, quarter, etc.
Address control in the implementation marketing plan by monitoring and tracking progress. This lets you evaluate the project and ensure it’s meeting benchmarks assigned in the plan. That might be the clicks on an email newsletter that sends readers to your signup page, a specific increase in revenue or, more broadly, brand awareness.
Marketing implementation and control comes with leadership from management, the coordination of departments in the organization, good communication, the proper application of human resources, organizational resources, structure and good relationships between departments. Keeping the teams incentivized is also key.
Marketing Implementation Plan Example
Let’s take a look at a fictitious marketing plan, which consists of an email marketing campaign. Let’s follow the steps outlined in the marketing implementation plan above and see how it plans out in a real-life scenario.
- Define the goals that your marketing strategy will achieve: In this case, the marketing goals of the company might be to increase traffic to the site and with that increased traffic boost signups for the service being offered. This increases revenue, which will help achieve the company’s goal of more profitability.
- Document how your marketing strategy will be executed. The email marketing campaign consists in sending out promotional emails to your mailing list, with the expectation that 10% will open and 2% click-through for a free trial of your product. If only 1% of those sign up for the paid version, revenue will increase to achieve the company’s strategic goal for the quarter.
- How are you going to achieve that goal? The steps for your implementation plan would be to define your target audience, create your emails and find the tools that you need to distribute them. Now that you know what needs to be done, you’ll need to secure resources. Let’s start with a content marketing writer who will be assigned or contracted to develop copy that speaks to the issues the potential customer would like resolved.
- Use a content delivery system: In order to create the plan, manage the work and deliver the email newsletter to the mailing list, use planning tools and a content delivery system. Once you deliver, edit and review the content, it will be sent out to your mailing list.
- Design a workflow: An example workflow is two days to write, one day to edit, one day to make sure the email list is accurate and then send off the email. You could make assignments, add due dates and set priorities to make sure everything follows your schedule.
- Monitor your work: Throughout this process, a project or content marketing manager will need to monitor the production of the email newsletter, from when the draft is delivered, edited and okayed for publication, to make sure all deadlines are being met.
- Report on the success of the marketing implementation plan: How many people were engaged by the email newsletter, what percentage opened and clicked through? At the end of the quarter, did revenue increase, and if so, how much of that could be attributed to new customers?
Marketing Implementation Tips
Using project management software is critical for keeping all the balls in the air, but there are other things you can do to help your marketing implementation plan succeed. For one, don’t rely only on words.
Create a visual representation of the marketing implementation plan to make it more accessible. This can take the form of a timeline or visualizing the workflow on kanban boards.
Goals should be realistic and aligned with the strategic plan, but also have measurable results and milestones. That means setting a baseline so you have the data to compare your actual progress with the marketing implementation plan.
Never forget that marketing implementation plans live or die on communication. Being able to share the marketing implementation plan with your team, as well as keeping them connected no matter where they are, is crucial to success.
How ProjectManager Helps with Marketing Implementation
ProjectManager is a cloud-based software that delivers real-time data to help monitor the marketing implementation plan as it is happening. Managers can monitor internal and external teams to make sure deadlines are being met.
Go Agile with Kanban Boards
Kanban boards are ideal for creating workflows. You can customize columns to align with your production cycle, such as the creation of content, editing of content, review and publish content. The board view is visual and aligns with a more agile way of working. The content team can see what tasks have the highest priority and manage their backlog, while manages have transparency into their process and can add resources to keep them working at capacity.
Switch Views and Plan on Gantt Charts
Managers can set up the marketing plan on a Gantt chart, which links dependencies and sets milestones. They can filter for the critical path without any complex calculations, and set a baseline to compare actual to planned progress.
Not everyone on the marketing team is going to want to use a Gantt and with our tool they get multiple project views to work how they want. Designers can use the visual board view and content providers might prefer the robust list view.
Track Progress on Real-Time Dashboards
To keep a keen eye on the marketing implementation plan, ProjectManager’s real-time dashboards automatically collect status updates from the marketing department and any agency you’re contracted with, calculating data into easy-to-read graphs and charts. For more detailed information, one-click reports on workload, project variance and more give you deep insight.
ProjectManager is award-winning software that organizes your work to help connect teams and streamline processes. Used by tens of thousands of teams across the globe at organizations as diverse as NASA, the Bank of America and Ralph Lauren, our tool helps you work more productively. See for yourself by trying ProjectManager free today.