Are you looking for a way to achieve a more efficient marketing strategy execution? Then this article is for you. That is if you want to avoid leadership failure.
Plenty of times things can go wrong with marketing. Sometimes it’s technical, but other times it’s all about the strategies marketing leaders follow as well as, how they communicate with their teams to get things done. Being an exceptional marketing leader means that you can track KPIs, make the right decision, foresee mistakes earlier than anyone else and find solutions fast.
But first off… What is strategy execution?
Strategy execution in marketing is the implementation of a strategic plan to reach organizational goals. This plan includes the daily systems, structures, and operational goals that set your marketing team up for success. However, even the best strategic marketing plans can fall flat if you lack the right execution. Unfortunately, most businesses fail to reach their strategic goals because there is a gap between strategic planning and how teams execute their plans.
Sure, having a great strategy is impressive. But if it fails, don’t blame it on the strategy. Think of it as having a cooking recipe. You might have all the right ingredients, but when you mess up in the process, oh boy, that dish won’t taste nice. That’s what poor strategy execution does. It destroys a good idea. Do you want to learn how to equip yourself and your marketing team to implement the plans you’ve carefully thought out? No one reached success right off the bat. But you can surely make it if you prepare yourself for setbacks that might come up.
Read on to discover why strategy execution fails because of poor leadership and how to fix it.
Identifying The Reasons Behind Ineffective Marketing Leadership And Improving Strategy Execution
Marketing leadership failure comes to the surface due to common underlying weaknesses. Sometimes the creative development takes too long. Or marketing operations aren’t scaling to organizational growth. More times than not, management ends up neglecting valuable data. A good marketing manager has to deal with all the above and stand up to the expectations.
You might have the best intentions in the world regarding scheduling, setting goals, and planning, but the creative development process can take months to complete. You have to figure out the problem. Are there just too many people involved in the creative process? Do the materials need far too many approvals?
The truth is that scheduling can be challenging, so is delegating every single task. Sometimes hectic schedules and late or conflicting feedback can extend timelines and put your deadlines at risk. Unfortunately, this can overload your staff because they can’t keep up with the upcoming requests. Or maybe they make costly mistakes because they don’t have enough time to do their work thoroughly. When it comes to marketing execution, time is the primary pain point.
Also, marketing operations are inherently quantifiable, including the processes involved in executing marketing materials. However, many companies don’t know how to collect and use data.
1. Commit To A Strategic Plan
When it comes to overcoming leadership failure, committing to a strategic plan is key. Before diving into strategy execution, the most important thing is to ensure all stakeholders and decision-makers agree on a strategic marketing plan.
Your strategic decisions should not be related to second-guessing. The best marketing leaders out there commit to a strategic plan before beginning implementation. By doing so, they ensure that all decision-makers and their teams agree to work on this with the same goals in mind. The above creates a common understanding of the bigger picture; this strategic plan affects the whole organization.
Every new strategy evolves as new challenges and opportunities come to the surface. Thus, communication is critical to ensure that you and your teammates start on the same page and stay aligned as time goes on.
2. Delegation And Aligning Jobs To Strategy
Plenty of companies face this particular barrier in their strategy execution. Which one? Unfortunately, they have not designed employee roles with a strategy in mind. This might occur when you hire employees before formulating your plan of action.
If you want to be a successful marketing leader with exceptional strategy execution, you must optimize jobs for high performance. Thus, job roles need to line up with your organizational strategy. When you assign the right tasks to the right people, you can’t go wrong. To be efficient, you have to design jobs where your talented employees can successfully execute your strategies. That’s what makes a business reach its goals.
But, if you ask a less skilled team member to bring specific results, this employee will have difficulty completing the task effectively. So, make sure that you are delegating by basing your choice on skills and performance. Then, leave enough lead time to get the results your need.
3. Clear Communication To Empower Employees
Communication issues can, unfortunately, lead to leadership failure. When it comes to strategy execution, marketing leaders need to be able to demonstrate clear communication. More often than not, most employees don’t understand or are unaware of their company’s strategy. Hence, communication is a skill worth improving to get your message across to your team.
The success of strategy execution depends on each member of your team. Consequently, each member’s daily tasks and decisions are crucial because they impact the business. You must ensure that every employee understands the individual responsibilities that come along with the job. It’s not only the company’s broader strategic goals they have to think about. Sure, employees need to understand the company vision, but they also have to get that their behavior and performance are key to business success.
Businesses with solid strategy execution help make field and line employees understand the bottom-line impact their decisions and work have on the organization. If you want to be a marketing manager that boosts your organization’s performance and empowers employees, you have to communicate the impact of your team’s daily work.
So, please consider addressing the organization in an all-staff meeting. And, of course, make sure to foster a culture that celebrates milestones on the way to reaching significant strategic goals. Success always starts with company culture and how your employees reflect the company values with their behaviors and actions.
4. KPIs: Measuring And Monitoring Performance
For your strategy execution to be successful, you must be a manager who continually assesses progress toward company goals. There’s no better way to evaluate and optimize processes than focusing on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). That is something you should determine during the strategic planning stage. It’s essential to be able to define success numerically.
By using numeric goals, you and your team will be able to track and monitor performance regularly. Then, you can assess if you need to make changes based on that progress. For example, your company’s strategic goal might be to increase lead generation by 25% by 2022. Or maybe you have to bring in more newsletter subscribers, so you’ve decided to run campaigns that will increase your contact base by 15% until the end of next year.
Keeping a record of the changes in your lead generation rate weekly or monthly will help you observe trends in data over time. If the data shows that your rate decreases month over month, you might need to pivot your strategic plan. So, you’ll need to either adjust your lead generation strategy or create a new one to drive the results you desire. However, if your data shows steady month-over-month growth, you can easily use the results to predict whether you can reach your goal of a 25% increase by 2022.
5. Balancing Control And Innovation
Undoubtedly innovation is an essential driving force when it comes to company growth. However, strategic marketing leaders know when to draw a line. Besides, you wouldn’t want innovation to derail the execution of your strategy. You have to find the right balance. By doing so, you can leverage innovation and at the same time maintain control over the implementation of your curre