In a modern market defined by constant communication, you need a well-balanced marketing plan to nourish your growing business.
From email to Artificial Intelligence, the channels of marketing communication are always expanding — and if you don’t fill them with your message, the competition will. However, with rapidly developing tech and ever-evolving customer expectations, it’s no surprise that a company’s marketing needs will quickly outpace its in-house capabilities.
64% of marketers cite lack of resources as their top barrier to omnichannel marketing.
The Gap in your Marketing Execution Strategy (Where your Business Falls Short)
One of the greatest challenges of successful marketing execution is acquiring the necessary skills and resources.
The problems typically fall into two areas — expertise and execution. Businesses make aggressive plans in the market, only to see the campaigns fall apart, fail to execute, or fail to deliver sustainable results.
This often leads to a cycle of new ideas, new hires, and new initiatives hoping for different results. Businesses constantly chase goals but never really meeting them.
Even the most visionary marketing concept will crumble if not supported by a strong executional foundation. That could mean writing, graphic design, and computer programming to ecommerce, printing, and distribution. For a busy professional, the learning curve to master all the elements of marketing execution is staggering. This leaves a business with either a vastly incomplete marketing strategy (a strategy with holes in it), substandard deliverables (that don’t meet the goals or aren’t sustainable) or both.
A Look at Marketing Today
Marketing today requires more expertise, and more specialists, than ever before – many moving parts working in sync. Success or failure depends on targeted content creation and dissemination that may not be in the wheelhouse of your average marketing manager.
- Video will represent 82% of all IP traffic in 2021. Does your content creator have video expertise?
- 48% of consumers say their first purchase or interaction is the best time to earn their loyalty. Can your print provider turn around a project quickly enough to capture a real-time marketing opportunity?
- By 2021, global retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion. Does your team have ecommerce knowhow?
The list of knowledge and capability gaps can quickly become overwhelming, even for the best and well-funded marketing teams. While many businesses recognize the need for a deep bench of resources to optimize the reach and success of their marketing, budget constraints, training time, and employee limits hold the marketing team back.
That’s where marketing execution can help.
What is a Marketing Execution Program?
With a Marketing Execution Program, you work with a team and an account manager assigned to your account on your long-term marketing goals, rather than short term, expensive one-off projects. This provides access to the expertise, resources, technology, and specialists you need, without hiring new employees or constantly recruiting new freelance resources on an as-needed basis.
Typically, the team will work with you to understand your goals and then create a plan to meet them. They provide targeted support that works with your internal resources. This way, you pay for only the resources and services you need. They can develop and distribute initial marketing materials, but once the program is in place, you can then take over control. Many businesses utilize an easy, self-service marketing platform to maintain the program. The account manager continues to service the account, providing direct access when you need it.
When you partner with an experienced marketing execution team, you tap in to the resources you need to bring your marketing visions to life. You access skills, experience, technology, and connections that it would take years to develop otherwise. They are as-needed team members fully-versed in your business and objectives.
For example, smaller businesses might have one person who is responsible for everything from developing strategy to organizing distribution. The marketing agency will have a whole team of experienced specialists for each of those steps and everything in between. You use the specialists as needed – and you aren’t paying to train and hire new employees, or working blindly with an expensive freelancer on individual projects.
Even enterprise-level companies experience resource drain as they launch new initiatives while maintaining existing programs. Fluctuating needs can impact the overall success of marketing and leave the business with bloated budgets or failed campaigns.
How Marketing Execution Programs Work
Here is a list of services that can be part of a marketing execution program. Depending on your needs and capabilities, you may choose to utilize some or all of them:
- Creative – Whether you already have ideas for how to connect with your customers or you need help honing your vision, an agency can deliver on the big idea. This includes copywriting, graphic design, and web design.
- Digital marketing – From SEO to social media, the landscape of digital marketing is vast, complicated, and often fickle. It’s also one the most effective places to focus your marketing efforts. A team of marketing execution experts can help you find success in the digital world.
- Marketing technology – Complementary to digital marketing, marketing technology streamlines your initiatives by automating recurring tasks like email marketing, social media and website lead generation. 79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for three or more years. A marketing execution partner can jumpstart your automation efforts.
- Brand promotion – In world where social media is the new word of mouth, your image is everything. Your brand is your promise to both your customer and your employees. A marketing execution program can help you build your identity with every customer interaction through things like custom apparel, print collateral, and promotional items.
- Ecommerce – Consumers and businesses alike are turning to web to do their shopping. In fact, B2B ecommerce sales are expected to outgrow B2C ecommerce sales by 2020. Getting started with e-commerce makes it easier for customers to work with you, select your offering over the competition. What could be more important than that?
- Printing and Distribution – Whether it’s a coupon mailer or a branded coffee mug, your marketing materials have to get into the hands of your audience. There are many moving parts when it comes to distribution and it’s often best to leave it to the experts. A marketing execution partner can help produce, collate, assemble, insert, pack, label, warehouse, and fulfill your orders.
Self-service Platform vs. Full-service Account Management
Once the materials are developed and the program is in place, there are generally two ways to manage a marketing execution program: an account manager can provide on-going support for execution and distribution or you can manage the ordering and distribution yourself via an online platform. There are benefits to each approach.
Account management offers:
- Hands-off management – Putting the program in the hands of an account manager frees up more of your time.
- Continuing advice and expertise – The account manager acts as a member of your team, working with you to run and improve the program.
- Personalized service – Ask and receive. An account manager ensures your voice is heard and your business needs are met.
Self-service platforms offer:
- More control over you brand – From emails to apparel, you have ultimate control over the ordering and distribution of branded materials.
- Decentralized access – You can give branches, franchises and dealers access to your latest marketing materials via the online platform.
- Potential cost savings – self-service platforms generally offer cost-savings over ongoing account management.
Is it right for your business?
If you’re still wondering whether a marketing execution program is right for your company, ask yourself these three questions – questions that are at the heart of any business decision:
Will it save time?
Successful marketing takes time. A lot of time. A marketing execution program gives you an “easy” button. With the heavy lifting of development, execution, and distribution taken care of, your team has more time to focus on optimizing and implementing.
Will it save money?
One of the more surprising benefits of a marketing execution program is its cost-effectiveness. Hiring and maintaining an in-house marketing team can be very expensive. The roles you would need to fulfill could include: a marketing manager, web designer, graphic designer, content writer, social media manager, programmer, print manager, distribution specialist and more. You can reduce the cost (in both time and money) of constantly finding and training freelance resources. Along with providing a breadth of knowledge, experience, and skillset, a marketing program is almost always more affordable to implement.
Aside from the savings on human resources, you will also be able to take advantage of the agency’s existing partnerships with suppliers which often leads to significant savings on distribution and materials.
Will it get results?
Your bottom line is the bottom line: you want a good return on your investment in the program. The good news is, the consistent and regular brand experience provided by this type of program gets results:
- 60% of young consumers expect a consistent brand across all channels.
- Consistent branding across all channels increases revenue by 23%.
Ready to get started with a marketing execution program?
The 20/20 Marketing Program from GO2 Partners helps bring your marketing vision to life. With extensive knowledge of print marketing, digital marketing, marketing tech, fulfillment, distribution, and agile marketing models, we’re ready to take your brand to your audience and take your business to the next level.