You can plan forever, but planning is worthless without implementation.
Last week, we discussed how to create a marketing plan and today we’re keeping the conversation rolling with advice on implementing a marketing plan. Plan execution is where many small businesses get into trouble. It’s easy to talk, but doing can be a much different story. The best advice when asked how to implement your marketing plan is: “Just do it.”
Getting It Done
The most important step in small business marketing is to start marketing. Create a marketing message and share it. What’s your unique selling proposition? What do you have that customers want and need?
Go out and deliver this message and tell people in your market why they can’t survive without your products or services. Spread the word at networking events. Blast content on social media. Share informative content on your website. Stand on Main Street in your town and scream the word (okay, this probably overkill).
The bottom line: go out and find your audience and convince them how much they need you. Over time, they’ll find you.
Assess the Situation
This isn’t the last step though, and the reality of this situation can be lost on many. As you continue your marketing campaign (I personally suggest setting measurable goals by the day—“I will post on Facebook once per day, I will make 25 cold calls today, etc.), you’ll find it best to continually reassess your marketing campaign’s effectiveness.
It’s absolutely necessary to review what is and not working. Do this by asking every prospect how they found you and add it to your marketing analysis spreadsheet (okay, a piece of paper will work too, just don’t lose it).
If or instance, it turns out that many of your customers are coming to you from advertising on Facebook, it may not be essential for you to focus so much time on Twitter and Pinterest.
Finally, it’s important to keep coming up with new ideas. While this may sound a lot like reassessment, the two aren’t exactly the same. Where reassessment requires adjustment based on prior ideas, new ideas add completely fresh outlooks to your campaign. A business owner can never underestimate the power of completely new, off-the-wall, and perhaps even absurd ideas. Invention is the key to success in marketing.
What’s the Word: Implementing a marketing plan comes down to these three steps – doing it, assessing it and staying fresh. After that, there’s nothing left to do, but to do it.