Marketing Strategy Implementation

Marketing strategy implementation requires a purposeful tactical marketing plan aligned with the core business strategies. One of the things that makes us unique among strategic marketing consulting firms is the fact that we do implementation of the programs we recommend – and agree to tie our compensation to performance. Implementation needs a broad perspective, which is an advantage of working with a seasoned marketing executive from outside. Consider the following potential components:

  • Go-To-Market Strategy
  • New Product Launch Strategy
  • Channel Conflict Management
  • Return on Marketing Investment
  • Comparison of Strategic Marketing Service Providers

Go to Market Strategy & Implementation

Whether you’re taking a new product to market, or implementing the annual marketing plan, your “go-to-market strategy” defines how you’ll be reaching into the marketplace. It includes a very specific targeting plan for your decision makers and key influencers, the messages for each, and the channels you’ll reach them through. The challenge is typically keeping the plan and programs simple and manageable. Simplicity is a challenge because of the appeal of the many vehicles and media to reach your targets. Manageability is a challenge because you need to able to hold each program element accountable. Chief Outsiders’ advice for mid-sized companies is to keep the number of initiatives small, but varied, managing to an optimal mix of impact and return on investment.

New Product Launch Strategy & Implementation

Launching new products can be challenging for businesses that lack the frequency of product releases to develop and maintain true expertise in the discipline. Developing a strategy for product launches requires knowledge of the target customers, the channels for reaching them, the competitive and overall market environment, and a working knowledge of effective marketing and communications tactics. The strategy should be driven by a set of goals which may include sales volume (revenue or units), trial, and adoption or satisfaction metrics (usage, or net promoter score), and market preparation goals (training, merchandising). Not surprisingly, there are tremendous variances depending on the products and markets served. The key discipline for success is alignment (internally within your company, and externally throughout your market ecosystem) which is driven by clarity and frequency of communications.

Channel Conflict Management

Channels help companies bring products into the marketplace where purchase decisions are made. Channel partners are companies made up of people who typically have competing priorities and make decisions based on two dimensions:

  1. where can they make the most money, and
  2. how easy it will be to accomplish

Developing, supporting and encouraging good channel behavior includes creating opportunities, as well as training, arming and incentivizing channel sales teams, including keeping a level playing field. Every channel partner should be motivated by opportunity and not discouraged by competing inefficiently with other company channels. While many companies consider channel partners as largely passive players in the distribution of their goods, the truth is that channel partners make a significant investment in time – which is continuously being reprioritized based upon current opportunities. Managing channel conflict is usually as simple as being intentional and strategic, recognizing and respecting each channel and channel partner’s role and needs. The most classic channel conflict is where in-house company sales teams or online offerings compete directly (same territories, same target companies, same products) with the company’s channel partners. Even in these situations, the business can reduce or eliminate conflict by competing fairly and openly, not creating undue advantage with discounting or add-ons.

Return on Marketing Investment

There are two primary categories of measurement in marketing: One for reporting and accountability to executive management and the other for operational management. The marketing executive must demonstrate to her peers that she is rigorously and continuously bringing value to the company. Senior executives are less interested in “brand oriented” goals (e.g., preference) or leading indicators (leads), and much more driven by fiscal success (CPG companies being a noted exception). Operationally, the marketing department is managing the performance of tactics in near real-time. Are we filling the funnel? Driving engagements? Getting conversions? Which media vehicles are strong? Weak? Are our leading indicators succeeding? Are partners and channels being trained? Armed? Incentivized? Key to success is a predefined dashboard and target objectives. Over time, the marketing executive and team can demonstrate incremental improvements on ROMI which will be critical not only for continual success, but to establish and maintain credibility with the CEO and executive team.

Comparison of Strategic Marketing Service Providers

          

 

Director
(in house)

Advertising Agency

Marketing Consulting Firm

Chief
Outsiders

 Full-time

X

 

 

 

 Pay for Performance

     X (bonus)

 

 

X

 Oversees Implementation

X

 

 

X

 Services On Demand

 

X

X

X

 Campaign Oriented

 

X

 

 

 Insightful Processes

 

 

X

X

 Executive Experience

 

 

Sometimes

Always

 Executive Peer Review

 

 

 

X

 Exec Staff Member (part time)

 

 

 

X

 

Chief Outsiders provides part-time strategic marketing consultants with insights on business growth strategy, market positioning strategy and marketing strategy implementation.