Uncategorized Archive

Marketing Theory Without Execution: An Idea With No Follow-Through

An ongoing debate exists in the marketing industry that begs the following question: Is it more important to devise a marketing strategy or to execute actions to achieve your goal?There are good arguments all the way around this debate, but when it comes down to it, the answer is really… neither. You simply can’t be successful without either one.The problem, however, is that many companies, consultants, and marketers do a lot of “theory” and talking, without taking it beyond that. They can sit around and discuss all the latest marketing tactics and even try to put them in place, but in the end, it’s all for naught if they don’t develop a solid strategy and execution steps to make it work for their business.It’s like school-you can sit in a classroom and learn all the information and theory that is taught to you, but what good is it unless you can apply it in real life? We all know this, but as marketers, we forget that it works the same way. Understanding theory is helpful, but you need to know how to develop a strategy and execute that strategy to actually see results.From Marketing Theory to Strategy & Execution
Successful marketing is really a 3-part process that involves following sound marketing theories, creating a detailed strategy, and executing that strategy. Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail.Follow Sound Marketing Theory
Marketing theory is the science of marketing. It’s the “rules” and guidelines we follow. It’s the methods we use to form our strategies.Marketing theory can lead to strong marketing strategies, but too often, we get stuck on the former. We might feel as though we are getting things done by talking and learning about various types of marketing theory, but in essence, we are just spinning our wheels.Mike Roach, CEO of CGI, was quoted as saying, “Strategy without execution is a hallucination!” If that is true, then marketing theory without strategy and execution is psychosis. It’ll get you nowhere.Create a Detailed Marketing Strategy
According to strategy-business.com, a strategy is “the series of choices you make on where to play and how to win to maximize long-term value. Execution is producing results in the context of those choices.”Your marketing strategy is your map. It’s like a light shining in the darkness, guiding every decision you make. Without it, you’re driving in the dark without headlights, expecting to find your destination and not crash in the process.Your strategy shines a light on the road ahead, making it clear when you could veer off a path and driving you forward in the right direction. With it, you’re able to work your way around your obstacles, follow your objectives, and illuminate the choices that will get you to your goal efficiently.According to the Small Business Association, only about 50% of small businesses succeed within the first 5 years. It’s not that businesses don’t have some sort of plan in place; the problem is that most small businesses don’t have a clue how to map out a plan that will lead them to success.They don’t have a strategy that is based on sound evidence, data, and experience. Instead, they read a lot of marketing theory and try a lot of different things.That is not the same thing as having a strategy.Without a sound strategy, companies struggle to keep up with their competition, they miss opportunities that would lead to better results, and they win fewer customers.Execute Your Marketing Strategy
Execution is what seals the deal. Without it, no strategy will be realized, which is why it’s crazy that so many companies create a business plan and then file it away in a binder on a dusty shelf.We know that we can’t get anywhere in business or life if we don’t take action, so too often we find ourselves spinning our wheels moving from idea to idea. We’re taking action, but it has no real strategy behind it.When we skip over strategy and start executing based upon abstract marketing theory, we’re shooting in the dark hoping we hit something, but we rarely hit the thing we want to hit. Unfortunately, that’s what too many companies are doing.We should use marketing theory to inform our decisions and help us plan our strategy, and when we do that, our execution will be solid.Why Companies Struggle with Marketing Strategy & Execution
There are so many reasons why it’s easy for companies to struggle with strategy and execution…Where to Start?
Right off the bat, it can be downright scary to figure out where to start when it comes to drawing up a strategy and executing it to success. Digital marketing has become more and more complicated as new technologies and opportunities keep cropping up.With so many options, how can companies choose? How do you know which marketing ideas to subscribe to and which ones to ignore? Just because one marketing theory works for one company or even thousands of companies doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another company.How to Maneuver the Marketing Paradox of Consistency & Change?
The fact that marketing is ever changing makes it that much more difficult to execute a sound strategy. How do you know where to place your time, money, and energy? And what if you put all that effort into 1 or 2 marketing tactics and then they lose their effectiveness?How do you create something concrete that is ever changing? How do you know when to be flexible and change your marketing plan versus when to stay steadfast? After all, remaining consistent is essential when it comes to digital marketing, but so is changing with the times. It’s a paradox that can be difficult to maneuver.How to Know (Not Just Guess at) Who Your Customers Are?
Most companies don’t spend enough time discovering who exactly their customers are to be able to draft a marketing strategy that will lead them to success. It takes customer data, assessments, feedback, and a lot of investigation to really get to know your customer, but knowing how to compile all of that information can be overwhelming.Since different marketing tactics should be used for different customers, knowing this is essential, but too many companies guess at who their customer is rather than knowing them in depth.How to Bring It into the Everyday Details?
Understanding how to integrate your business plan into daily work is not as easy as it might seem. As a result, decisions are often made without the consultation of the marketing strategy, and that means they are not likely to be in alignment with the strategy.Methods need to be put in place for sharing the company’s marketing strategy with all team members and keeping them on the same page. This ensures the company’s message and interactions are carried out consistently. Expectations and follow-through need to be set up so that there is no duplication, which only leads to wasted time and money. Every decision should be made with the strategy in mind.How to Not Let Everything Else Get in the Way?
Especially for small companies, one thing or another can come up that gets the business owner off track, and unfortunately, when that happens, marketing tends to move to the back burner. Unless time is dedicated to each and every week to working a marketing strategy, forward movement in business is highly unlikely.The Solution
Look, here’s the bad news… For most small businesses, overcoming all of the obstacles that get in the way of creating and executing a sound marketing strategy is not really feasible. Without an in-house marketing team that is skilled and dedicated to marketing planning and execution, it is understandably difficult.But here’s the good news… That’s why most small businesses turn to marketing experts for assistance, and when they do, their business explodes.It is so important to partner with a company that can do more than just talking about marketing theory. Your marketing partner needs to be able to come up with a solid strategy and determine which tactics will best fit that strategy for your unique business.By moving from a marketing theory focus on a strategy/execution focus, you can move past your obstacles and charter the course to success.

Branded – It Is How YOU Will Be Remembered!

BrandedThere was TV show when I was young about a US Army Cavalry Captain drummed out of the service for cowardice. A deed he did not commit. I still know the song and one line goes like this: “What will you do when you’re branded, will you fight for the name?” Have you ever felt like you were “branded” and as you walked around? Like everyone knew something about you and it changed the way they treated you? Was it untrue? The show lasted several years, with each episode negated the coward brand.When I think about the word “branded”, I go back to my cowboy days on the ranch. When branding day came, it came early in the morning with starting the fires. After getting the fire started, it was placing the irons in the red coals until they, too, were red hot. Next, comes roping the calves away from the herd and pinning them down. Hearing the bawling of the mothers who knew what was coming next still haunts me. The next sound, a sizzle and the smell of the iron as it burns into the flesh and hair of the calf. That branding smell is something you never quite get out of your nostrils, ever. The brand will never change on that hide.Branding your business is just as memory making. When people hear your name, your company name, your product, or your service, what flashes into their minds? The branding of a company takes thought, research, and imagination. Once the brand becomes recognizable, changing the brand usually means starting all over with a new business and a new business model, new clients.We brand people, too! Does that shock you? I know your mom, like mine said these words, “Don’t judge the book by its cover”, or “Sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you”. The opportunity is that names stick and being classified sticks.The branding of people is different. Once branded by others, we have a choice, to stand and re-brand or accept what has been branded on us. At this stage of life, I wear several brands. Some are hidden under old brands, some I am proud of, some I am not, and some I even earned.I was branded at an early age. I did not realize it until later in life. The fortunate part for me was that a good friend and mentor told me that everyone has a brand of some sort that is on them. I myself was branded at an early age of not being the sharpest knife in the drawer by a teacher and my mother agreed. Teachers know these things. So I reacted to the expectations and reacted accordingly. Mother knows best?My mentor went on to tell me that each time we are branded we have a wonderful opportunity to move ahead on the next great adventure. “What Great Adventure?” I asked.He continued on. “Re-branding is a natural part of life. You get to answer some new questions that are only yours and yours alone. What do you really want to be? What do you really want to do? Have you discovered your gifts and talents and how to use them? Where do you want to go? Who you become is up to you. You have a choice. Be miserable and accept the hand you were dealt or tell the dealer you would like a fresh hand. The adventure is that new insights added to the past insight to move you to the next level.” Change is possible.Let’s look at this situation another way. On the ranch when a calf is branded, the cherry red iron is placed on the hide of the calf. The brand does not change. It will be that way for as long as the cow lives. The calf will never have control of changing that brand. It labels where it belongs.People on the other hand can change their brand and do. I went from not the sharpest knife in the drawer to someone feared by the management at the company I worked for. I was the union steward. I was good. I never lost a grievance.But, one day I woke up and realized that instead of fighting against the management, I was protecting people that should have been fired and would have been without a big union protecting them. Employees lacking good work habits. I had the opportunity to really help my union brothers and sisters by weeding out the unwanted. I realized that the rest of the group was carrying the work load and having to work harder because I was protecting the useless. Most of them were not in the union, but had the same rights and access to the steward as those who paid dues. How much money does that cost a company when part of the employees work harder to cover for those who do little of the work? How many raises did the worker miss paying the wages for everyone?I handed in my union steward card. I re-branded myself again. I left where I had worked 20 years and went to be an office manager in another building. I had to re-brand and move on. The people who were my friends in the past now did not talk to me, called me things I will not repeat, and there was no going away party given for me.The realization was this: people followed others that spoke well, treated others with respect, and sought to be a helping hand to all. This sent me on a new adventure.Was re-branding myself easy? NO! Was it the most fun? NO! Was it the most exciting thing that I continue to do? YES! Today I look at the chance of re-branding daily. Some of my brands do not change. The moral and value code stays the same. I remain trustworthy, loyal, and respectful. The learning and searching continues on daily.The next great adventure (re-branding) was on to a new world of training others. This was the greatest responsibility so far I had been in entrusted with. Setting the example each and every day of how to do their jobs as well as be a representative of the company on and off the clock. From there it has been building new companies for others as well as my family. The only thing that has stayed constant is that, as you change, improve, and re-brand, you will grow. As you grow you have an opportunity to help others by being that mentor, that friend.How were you branded? Are you still wearing that brand or did you get a new one? All of us have an audience that we want to be heard by, to share ourselves with. Mine is simple and hard to do. Teach personal accountability and personal leadership to everyone that I am blessed to come in contact.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.