We sometimes look for the magic dust, the one thing that will make our marketing plan succeed. But we know there is no magic answer, or is there?
In my opinion, there is one thing that will drive marketing plans through to successful completion more than anything else – accountability.
Common sense and common wisdom will tell you that to achieve marketing success requires an actionable plan. The plan must be well managed. And the plan must include resources, people who will implement the plan. Two things here are critical – the plan and the people.
The big challenge is that both must be carefully managed. Far too often, I meet people in organisations who have amazing ideas and the desire to craft a brilliant plan. Time and care goes into the planning, yet the people are often overlooked – the resources who will make things happen. Sometimes the resourcing simply isn’t there. Neither is the budget. But even when it is, far too often accountability is missing.
If there is any magic dust that will make your marketing plan succeed, it is the fine balancing act of the plan and the people – along with how the people will be held accountable. Here are some tips for how to build accountability into your marketing plan.
Marketing Project Deadlines
In order for people to be held accountable, their responsibilities and deadlines must be made clear. Knowing what needs to be done, and by when is critical for there to be any level of accountability. Keeping people accountable requires strong project management and communication. Let resources know when deadlines are looming, and how the project will be impacted by their ability to deliver on time, or late. Far too often, deadlines move, or they are never set at all. If this happens regularly in your marketing department, it will be having an impact on your marketing success rates.
True accountability must have consequences. Determine both positive and negative consequences for every resource. Ensure everyone understands the desired outcome for your marketing plan and the role they play in the plan. They must understand how they can contribute to the plan’s success and how they will influence its failure if they don’t play their part.
If a resource is not performing, support them. Don’t just remove them from the project. You’ll lose valuable resource and time. Instead develop the resource. This will pay dividends on future projects.
People perform better and are more accountable for their actions if they clearly understand the role they have and the part they play in the overall plan’s success. Include them, communicate with them. Everyone performs better when they feel a part of something – when they feel valued.
Introduce monthly performance reports and reporting dashboards. Once your marketing results become more visible, you’ll be amazed at how much more people can accomplish.
Results can provide the focus needed to keep on track, or to get back on track when things don’t go as anticipated. Most of the systems you use will have some form of reporting. Consolidating everything into one easy to view dashboard can bring the visibility you need to your most important marketing KPI’s.
The complexities of marketing today requires strong planning and strong people. With so many required specialist skill sets, marketers who think they can do it all themselves, will find themselves struggling. Smart marketers will map out a plan and know all of the resources they need to execute the plan. Now’s not the time to try to control everything yourself, or to go at it alone. The balancing act of people and the plan will have delicate intricacies and no doubt uncertainties that will need to be managed. This is why accountability is so critical. Individual resources need clarity about their roles and their tasks. If you can find a way to make them all accountable, you’ll know how to make your marketing plan succeed.
If you require help with improving your marketing results, get in touch. KG Moore can offer a fresh pair of eyes that can help you find gaps in your marketing plan that when filled can bring greater marketing success. We can also help implement marketing controls that can keep you on track.
Photo Credit: HelicalInsight OpenSourceBI