Roadmap Implementation

Implementing Your Marketing Roadmap - Part 3 of 3

In parts 1 and 2 of our Marketing Roadmap series, we covered the critical aspects related to designing and constructing your Marketing Roadmap as the new year approaches. With design and construction completed, it’s time to put your marketing roadmap in action.

Focused with a purpose

This is where the “rubber meets the road” – the implementation stage. When you put the specific tactics of your marketing roadmap into place, your plan comes to life. Working through your roadmap requires discipline with a constant focus on your primary objectives. When you do that, you’ll reach your stated goals strategically and avoid veering off in the wrong direction.

Staying on track

As you make progress, you’ll want to perform routine checks that will help determine where change may be required on a project or re-prioritizing a particular marketing tactic might be necessary. While the primary framework of your marketing roadmap remains unchanged, you do want to have enough flexibility to make any required adjustments that will improve it. Stick with it and commit to working the plan.

Capture successes

When successes occur, capture them and document how they occurred. You will want to know why certain things worked well and whether or not those accomplishments can be replicated. Compare actual performance results against those that were planned. Take the time to analyze these situations as they may represent excellent opportunities for a more efficient marketing implementation process.

Supporting the team

As you work your marketing roadmap, make sure you are supporting your internal customer – the sales team. Your marketing efforts are providing the fuel for your sales engine – don’t deprive your production engine from operating at its highest level. When working your plan, ensure that your sales and business development team is receiving exactly what they need from marketing. And, be sure that you have reciprocating communication channels established so that your sales team provides marketing with input that will help the team be successful.

Move it forward

Venturing out without a plan to reach a desired destination is risky and not usually considered a wise move. The same can be said for having a strategic marketing plan that sits on a shelf. You have to work your plan to get results because the process is a continuous one. As you do, be flexible and adaptable. Be willing to make changes when and where they may be required. Capture successes as they occur and capitalize on new opportunities. Having this mindset and commitment to your marketing roadmap will deliver the results your business needs.

We have now covered the essentials behind marketing roadmaps: Design, Construction, and Implementation. Taking this approach to your marketing planning and execution will help ensure that your new year starts off on the right track and continues to progress along the pathway to your desired business destination.

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Mktg Roadmap Construction

Construction Progress for Your Marketing Roadmap - Part 2 of 3

In part 1 of our Marketing Roadmap series, we covered the importance of designing a Marketing Roadmap in preparation for the new year.  By now, your design work is finished and you are well into the construction phase of your marketing roadmap.

Build for success

As you build out your roadmap, stay focused on the connecting points to your market.  The best way to know which routes to include is to drill into the market data and intelligence that indicates the market behaviors, trends, and habits of your buyers.  

  • Consider where your market gathers information to make buying decisions (because that’s where you’ll want to have a presence) 
  • Review your existing client base so that you know why they value your product or services
  • Analyze your competition (yes, you need to know what they are doing) to determine what kind of marketing efforts they may be performing that is working for them 
  • And, look at your own business to see how well it aligns with your market to match up with potential buyers and stand out from competitors  

This information should prove to be a goldmine for helping you know the best way to bridge the gap between your offerings and your potential customers. 

Preparing for roadblocks, the unexpected and detours

When finalizing your roadmap, make sure you plan for the unexpected or obstacles that can hinder your plans.  For your business, it could mean aggressive project schedules, a new competitor, a lost customer, budget cuts, a challenging new technology, and the like.  Although it is nearly impossible to avoid all obstacles, being ready for the unexpected will help reduce the impact.

Sometimes the plan takes a detour based on unforeseen occurrences.  This is why preparing for the unexpected with a contingency plan is important.  When this happens, remain flexible and adapt to the situation.  These potential setbacks may actually turn into opportunities.    

As you begin to wrap-up construction of your marketing roadmap, take the time to review all of the components to ensure you have the right strategy and tactics for achieving your business objectives.  Give attention to the tools you’ve included that will help you connect with your buying market and be sure you have the resources in place to implement and manage the plan.  With your marketing roadmap near completion, you are one step away from putting the plan in place to drive revenue-generating opportunities.  

In part 3, we will address Marketing Roadmap ImplementationFeel free to share this on your favorite social media sites and email it to a colleague or friend.   

Mktg Roadmap Design

Designing Your Marketing Roadmap - Part 1 of 3

As we head toward the end of another year, our attention will soon turn to the opportunities that lie ahead with the new year. Business performance will be reviewed and several questions will be asked:

•  “How can we generate more revenue?”
•  “Where can we find more customers?”
•  “How can we gain greater market visibility?”

These are good questions to ask and represent the mindset of a business that wants to do more and improve their market standing. But, how can these questions be translated into actionable items? It boils down to developing attainable goals, realistic objectives and a strategic marketing plan for achieving them. For your business, this means facing your marketing challenges head on in order to know what to do, when, where, how and why. And, you need to know where you are going and how you plan to get there.

How do you get there?

By developing a “marketing roadmap”, your business will have a guide to follow that outlines how your company will connect to the market to create revenue-generating opportunities. Your marketing roadmap will provide details about the proper “marketing routes” that will work best for your business. There may be countless options to consider, but you will want to drill down to only those that make sense for your business and align well with your market.

Include the essentials

While your basic marketing roadmap is purposed to effectively direct you from point “A” to point “B”, you will need to include:

•  Budget allocations for implementing the planned tactics
•  A timeline for execution
•  Resources that will execute the components
•  Milestones for measuring progress
•  Reporting for documenting success

All of these are requirements that will keep you on track as you grow closer to reaching your revenue goals and ultimate business destination.

In part 2, we will address Marketing Roadmap ConstructionFeel free to share this on your favorite social media sites and email it to a colleague or friend.   

Calmettos QB PNG

The Marketing Beacon, a provider of custom-developed marketing solutions designed to grow businesses, announces the launch of a new e-Commerce website for Calmettos, LLC. The site is designed to highlight the unique palmetto tree paintings called “Calmettos” by artist and company founder Calhoun “Cal” Harrelson. These original works of art along with complementing products that feature selections of these paintings are available for purchase on the website. To read the full news release, visit: GSABizWire.com. To visit the new site, go to Calmettos.com.

 

Marketing Issue UBJ 2017

 Another one of our insightful marketing articles was published recently in the Upstate Business Journal.  In this article, we  discuss the importance of being known to your buying market and how to become the preferred choice among the options they may  have before them.  Bridging the gap between your offering and your buying market requires having the right tools to effectively  communicate your solutions.  With the right mix and balance of marketing tools, you will be prepared to address who buys from you,  why, when, where and how often.  There are also 10 points we discuss that are important considerations while developing and  building your marketing toolkit.  

 Occupying your buyer's sweet spot is where you want to be because that's where buying decisions are made.  Commit to the process of getting there...and remaining the preferred choice.  In the end, your marketing efforts will be more effective which will lead to increased revenue-generating potential for your business.  

Click here for the entire article:  Owning the Sweet Spot.  

Feel free to share this on your favorite social media sites and email it to a colleague or friend.   

Outsourcing 2

The Value of Outsourcing Your Marketing

The concept of outsourcing isn’t new, but the trend continues to gain momentum.  From a marketing perspective, it means gaining the professionalism, expertise and deep experience of a marketing resource versus hiring someone and carrying them on your payroll.  As a result, having this kind of resource can provide you with a quick ramp-up to implementing marketing initiatives centered on business growth.  Being able to tap directly into a professional marketing resource for collateral development, brand initiatives, customer communication projects, digital marketing, public relations, event coordination, website design and more is a huge advantage.   
 
It is also a less expensive option to hiring a full-time equivalent.  You’ll have fee structures that bring a level of predictability through a defined scope of services.  And, the arrangement is often flexible allowing you to modify the scale of services to match your business situation.  Plus, your services model provides inroads to supporting marketing services that can be bundled with your monthly agreement or used to augment project work. 
 
The trend of outsourcing continues not only in popularity but in practical application. 
Companies that choose to outsource their marketing function are able to remain focused on their core competencies while trusting the expertise of a marketing professional to work in parallel with them.  The value is there and companies will continue to pursue these advantageous opportunities.
 

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Marketing Toolkit Linkedin

What Should be in Your Marketing Toolkit?

Tools exist to help us effectively accomplish a project or task.  In business, you need sales and marketing communication tools to inform your buying market about your products and services.  Often this means you need to bridge the gap that exists between your offerings and the market.  Information about your offerings should be conveyed to a prospect so that they have a clear understanding of your solution.  This can be accomplished by developing tools such as a well-structured digital brochure, video, testimonial, printed material or a presentation.  Add "more power" to these tools by including benefits-rich content for success stories, customer profiles, solution overviews, white papers, and more. 
 
In some situations you may want to customize your materials for a particular vertical market or for a specific solution.  All of these are tools that can be developed by your marketing resources to properly equip your sales team.  Collectively, these tools form your marketing toolkit to help you communicate with your buying market.  

Tools with a purpose

Your sales and marketing toolkit should be viewed as an instrument designed to accomplish an objective as effectively and intelligently as possible.  To do that, consider these points:

  • Determine the purpose of each communication tool and what you want them to help you accomplish
  • Focus on the intended audience and how to best connect with them
  • Develop and design formats based on how your audience prefers their information to be presented
  • Create a logical flow to your communication content that unfolds your story
  • Use language that relates well with your audience and demonstrates your knowledge for addressing their needs and solving their challenges
  • Keep your content benefit-rich and results-oriented rather than over-baked with hype
  • Leverage the power of client testimonials, quotes and endorsements that offer “proof” of your marketing claims
  • Provide enough information to convey a strong message, but not so much that the piece does all the selling for you
  • Use visually appealing graphics, illustrations and pictures that relate well to your prospects
  • Be consistent with your company’s brand strengths and reputation in all communication tools

Your marketing toolkit is purposed to enhance the sales process in order to professionally convey your solution offering to buyers.  Each of your communication tools will serve a specific purpose on their own and collectively form an integrated sales and marketing toolkit designed to connect well with your market.  

Feel free to share this on your favorite social media sites and email it to a colleague or friend.   

Logo Makeover

If you haven't seen them by now, here they are:  the new logo for Instagram and the refreshed logo for Aquafina. 

The reviews and responses to Instagram in particular have not been overly favorable.  Many considered the old logo as a beloved retro camera icon while others felt the new look was necessary to create a visual more in step with today's icons. The result is an interesting new logo that combines the simplistic white outline of the iconic camera while adding a vibrant, rainbow-esque background that ironically feels a bit 70's retro.  Regardless, Instagram felt it was necessary and it has certainly garnered major media attention - - which isn't a bad thing.  The brand itself enjoys a huge user base following yet many in that mass have had less than kind things to say about the new mark.  Like all things, time will tell and it will be interesting to see if this direction inspires other brands to follow suit...but hopefully without this psychedelic wave of colors.  

Aquafina, on the other hand, went the subtle route.  The old logo boasted of a jagged mountain range and a serif font with the recognizable elongated letter "Q".  When the in-house team at Aquafina was finished with the new logo, they revealed a toned-down mountain and a very plain font that is popular in many styles today.  Simplicity is the current trend and Aquafina appears to have hit on that.  Even though the roll-out of this new look was accomplished in somewhat of a stealth mode, the reaction to this new mark over the past couple of months has been positive overall.

What About Your Brand Identity?

Having a professional logo with visual appeal that reflects well on your business is important.  A dated logo will make your business look old and amateur while an updated logo will help your company stand out and look current.  Here are a few tips to consider about your logo:

  • Visual impressions matter - don’t give potential customers a reason to discard your business by having a cheap-looking, outdated logo
  • A solid logo design creates a positive impression of your business and differentiates you from competitors
  • Looking outdated may falsely convey that your company is out of touch
  • Be sure your logo connects well with your market without forcing them to figure out what the logo means and what your company is all about

Remember, your logo is only one important piece of your entire branding image.  When you update your logo, be sure to evaluate other components that may need to be refreshed so that your image is consistent across all communication platforms.

Feel free to share this on your favorite social media sites and email it to a colleague or friend.   

Bullsye UBJ B

Recently published in the Upstate Business Journal, this article provides insights related to strategic marketing and how to map out a plan.  Just as a map illustrates the best way to reach a destination, a marketing road map serves as a guide that outlines how your company will connect to the market to create revenue-generating opportunities. Your marketing road map will provide details about the proper “marketing routes” that will work best for your business.

Click here for the entire article:  Strategic Marketing Requires a Road Map.  

Feel free to share this on your favorite social media sites and email it to a colleague or friend.   

Marketing Know-How Strategic Execution
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