4 Tips to Execute Your 2016 Marketing Plan

By Zachary Clark, Director of Business Development

Executing a marketing plan is like keeping a New Years’ resolution. It always starts off with a bang and a determination like nothing could ever knock you off track. But, let’s be realistic. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology only 64% of Americans will make it past one month of their New Years’ resolution.

In the business world, it’s worse. Top management can only rely on their colleagues and employees to execute their strategies 59% of the time, according to Donald Stull’s research for the Harvard Business Review. To top it all off, studies by the Bain Consulting Group show that 7 out of 8 companies fail to execute their strategy.

The Marketing Plan is a critical document to have for an organization’s future success. It outlines how a company plans to reach its target audiences, communicate its products/services, and effectively grow the business and its bottom line. So, it’s important that your 2016 Marketing Plan doesn’t fall through the cracks so you too can achieve success.

Here are four tips you can use in executing your Marketing Plan:

#1: Keep A Schedule

A Marketing Plan should come standard with a timeline for its execution, but that timeline is often very general and could be labeled only by quarter or month. An effective schedule should be broken down week-by-week. Giving an assignment a deadline to be done is one way to put emphasis throughout the company that these marketing tasks need to be completed and they need to be completed on time. As soon as you slip once and let an activity get pushed because it wasn’t completed on time, you open Pandora’s Box for everything else to be delayed. Set the precedent early and often that this Marketing Plan and its schedule are to be completed when it’s supposed to.

#2: Set Realistic Goals

You want to double your sales, increase followers to your LinkedIn page by 75%, and do all of these other things that, if you think objectively, probably won’t happen. Your Marketing Plan may end up a failure just because you didn’t hit the out of this world goals you set at the beginning of the year. Take a look at the goals you’ve set (if you didn’t set goals that’s a bigger issue in itself!), and ask yourself: Is the time, money, and personnel we’ve allocated to marketing realistically able to achieve these goals?

#3: Hold Each Other Accountable

Someone in the company needs to be responsible for your Marketing Plan. Whether that’s the Marketing Director, the President of the company, or someone else, there needs to be a degree of accountability. When something doesn’t get done, who’s the person you turn and ask “why” to? Accountability doesn’t mean fear of losing a job because that blog post didn’t go out on time, but it does mean that someone should be responsible for that blog post not going out on time and they should be actively finding solutions to remedy the situation. The last thing you want to have is someone say, “That’s not my job.” 

#4: Celebrate Milestones

It’s part of human nature to want to feel successful. No one comes to work every day because they want to feel unappreciated and like they haven’t done their job well. It’s important that whether you do it privately or publicly, celebrate milestones within your company, especially in marketing. Did you just hit 500, 1000, 2000 followers on Twitter? Make a company announcement. Did you hit your quarterly sales goal a month early? Say something in a staff meeting. Did your billboard increase direct traffic to the website more than expected? Tell your Marketing Director he/she is doing a good job. It seems tedious and petty to celebrate the little things, but that keeps the momentum up, morale high, and employees motivated to continue reaching for success.

Best of luck in 2016 executing your 2016 Marketing Plan!

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