Strategy is the backbone of marketing. It is the litmus test by which you determine tactics and measure ROI. In a recent blog, we discussed five steps to developing a marketing strategy. What comes after strategy?
Now is the time to put your tactics to work. Remember, marketing guru, Seth Godin says, “the right strategy makes any tactic work better.”
Allow me to let you in on two secrets to success when you put your strategy to work.
Focus, focus, focus. This is one of the key tenets to a successful implementation of your marketing strategy. It’s easy to get distracted, to end up down a rabbit hole of tactics that don’t align with your strategy. Every marketing tactic you and your team spend time on should easily trace back to your strategy. It’s easy to get off task when you don’t have a strategy, but even with strategy in place, there are new, “shiny objects,” every day that can throw you off track. At best, getting distracted means wasting valuable resources. At worst, distraction in your marketing can cause confusion in the marketplace that breaks your business.
Be patient. Results don’t happen overnight. Frustration will set in quickly if you don’t have realistic expectations of the time it works to see results. Oftentimes with our clients, we find there is a lot of foundational work that must be done to set the stage for future success. You didn’t get where you are overnight; you can’t implement a full strategy overnight. And if you do, you aren’t implementing strategy, you’re implementing tactics. As a coaching client recently told me, “strategy sounds great until you are punched in the face.” (Mike Tyson). Be prepared to put in the ongoing effort to achieve the desired payoff.
When we’re talking about marketing tactics, we’re talking about tasks like:
- mining for leads on LinkedIn and social media;
- creating (and maintaining) a blog;
- crafting a presentation;
- creating a video;
- developing an elevator pitch for employees;
- submitting an application for an industry award;
- placing an ad in a publication.
Working with a team of people to implement your marketing strategy, can make it tricky to keep your tactics on point with your strategy. Here are four sure-fire ways to ensure every tactic is on track with strategy:
- Implement project management, complete with routine strategy and project reviews.
- Agreement and commitment to implementing tactics — even when it’s uncomfortable (remember, that’s why you’re hiring an expert to do this for you).
- Have clear metrics in place to measure results.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge the tactic if it’s not tracking with your strategy.
Remember, without a strategy, your firm and employees are flying blind. Lack of strategy creates confusion, makes it difficult to know which projects to prioritize, where to grow your business, or how to say “no” when people have new ideas. Lack of strategy can slow — or altogether stall — forward motion and business growth.
Do you need help creating and/or implementing your strategy? Give us a call today, we can help ensure your marketing strategy and tactics get you the results you want and need.