Why your marketing isn’t working: Implementation vs. impact

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Let’s face it — marketing’s hard work. There are lots of potential missteps that can trip you up along the road to making your firm more visible to the right prospects. From developing a real strategy and identifying a specific target audience, to creating clear differentiators for your firm and successfully guiding leads through the sales funnel, there are a lot of moving parts to an effective marketing campaign.

Sometimes marketing campaigns can falter or fail even when the right marketing methods and channels are utilized. In many cases, it’s not that the strategy was wrong, it was the implementation. Firms often quit too soon and don’t allow their marketing efforts to gain traction in the marketplace. Or they might miss a critical step, such as developing the right tools to nurture prospects and turn them into clients after successfully attracting their interest.

Lack of funding is another major misstep for some firms — the best marketing strategy in the world is useless if it doesn’t receive proper financial support. A sufficient investment needs to be made that enables a marketing campaign to effectively reach prospects and “touch” them throughout their sales funnel journey to successfully convert them from leads to opportunities to clients.

Likewise, the wrong focus can send the best-intentioned marketing campaign down the wrong path, chasing the wrong audience with the right message or the right audience with the wrong message. The result is a campaign that is missing-in-action — it simply fails to connect with the target audience and becomes a missed opportunity to build visibility and value for your firm.

What’s needed is a well-thought-out marketing strategy that connects the right message with the right channels to reach the right audience. Once the strategy is fleshed out it needs to be effectively implemented and given the necessary time and monetary investment required for it to bear fruit. How great an impact your campaign creates is directly related to how well you implement it.

Staying on track

The key to effective implementation is tracking — it’s vital to monitor what gets implemented, when and how well. Are your weekly blog posts becoming monthly?

Is your webinar schedule current and being properly promoted with timely emails?

Tracking the actual implementation and sharing it with your marketing and management teams performs two crucial tasks — it encourages people to keep their promises and it helps identify issues before they become problems. Proactive tracking keeps a spotlight on implementation and helps prevent mistakes such as prematurely terminating specific marketing activities because you concluded they weren’t working when, in fact, they simply weren’t fully implemented. Remember, achieving full impact requires full implementation.

Establishing implementation metrics

If tracking implementation is new to you, start slowly. Keep it simple with some basic metrics, such as what activities actually happened and when. You’d be surprised at how many marketing teams don’t really know if specific activities were successfully implemented on a timely basis.

Once you begin to get comfortable with tracking marketing campaign elements, start adding more variables, such as online event attendance and inquiry numbers. Especially track new leads and new contacts added to your sales list. Consider monitoring your presentations-to-closures ratio and new business percentages.

As your fully implemented marketing campaigns begin to create significant new visibility for your firm, track referrals and content downloads by prospects and referral sources. All of these are key indicators of positive marketing progress. Your tracking efforts are now evolving from simply ensuring that a campaign is fully implemented to tracking the performance of your entire marketing program, setting the stage for continued marketing success and increasing revenues.

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