Imagine for a moment that you’ve just launched a major integrated global marketing campaign, the result of countless planning sessions and the hallmark of your strategy.
It should be the moment you’ve been waiting for, but there’s the execution of thousands–literally thousands–of moving parts, from store roll-outs to new product packaging, that keep you, like many other marketers , tossing and turning at night.
Marketers have the best intentions when it comes to executing the big ideas, but complications in the marketing supply chain like bandwidth issues, minimal visibility, and limited resources often wreak havoc on execution. Poor execution can result in dire consequences to your brand and customer relationships.
Generating the big idea is only the first inning for marketers. The execution phase is truly what delivers impact in the marketplace. It’s where marketers have to fit the pieces of their campaign puzzle together and measure up to their projected ROI. Ensuring the right decisions and investments are made–while also driving brand quality and consistency–is what best-in-class marketers focus on to drive results.
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At its core, the marketing supply chain consists of processes that execute the creative, production, distribution, and implementation of marketing materials. It’s a complex, collaborative, and often inefficient ecosystem filled with a myriad of players from brand managers and agencies to suppliers and procurement managers. The number of people involved and the amount of different touch points necessary to take an idea to market can lead to massive brand challenges.
Without the right strategy or resources to move each of these stages forward, brands can’t transform their ideas into a final, customer facing product. Furthermore, focusing solely on the idea and missing the importance of execution puts marketers at risk for inefficiencies and errors like buried costs, vulnerability regarding compliance, inconsistent brand experiences across products and locations, as well as delays in getting to market.
Evaluating Your Existing Process
To approach marketing execution in a smarter manner, start with a critical assessment of the steps within your current marketing execution process. A process audit can help to quickly identify key areas for risks and opportunities. Map out your workflows and ask yourself the following:
- Have you assessed the brand experience from an omni-channel perspective?
- Are there opportunities or challenges you face in improving consistency?
- Do you have visibility into the entire marketing execution process?
- What opportunities have you considered to modify the way marketing materials are created, delivered, and executed across markets?
- How confident are you in your processes?
- Do you know who owns the execution of your brand in the market–and who’s accountable for its success?
Once you’ve thoroughly evaluated your existing marketing execution processes, you’ll often find a need for greater visibility, control, optimized marketing spend, and/or reduced complexity. In sum, something can always be fine-tuned.
The biggest mistake marketers make today is failing to cover the gap that exists between brands, procurement organizations, and agencies. That gap is where meaningful marketing execution happens.
The Bottom Line
Strategizing the execution behind your ideas will drive much greater success for your brand and for your customers. Truly understand what goes into your existing marketing execution processes and where the holes are, then hold your partners accountable for bringing your brand ideas to life with precision, quality, consistency, and impact.