Let’s say you’re the CEO of a multi-physician, independent medical practice, and your office building, which you own, is in serious need of renovation - I’m talking moving walls, replacing flooring, new paint top-to-bottom. Would you request that your office assistant, who happens to be handy with tools, begin demo of the bathroom tile? Or ask your bookkeeper to provide an opinion on paint colors?
While you might ask your team to play roles that aren’t part of their formal job descriptions or share perspectives on what they think will work best for the space, you’re not likely to do these things before meeting with a general contractor. You understand the importance of having a plan and someone to oversee the execution of that plan (preferably on time and within budget!).
So, why then do so many small and mid-sized businesses conduct marketing without a plan or someone to oversee the implementation of that plan? Maybe it’s because some tacticians (or trade specialists) profess to be “strategic.” Perhaps businesses are trying to save money by skipping a few steps. Or maybe it’s simply a limited belief in the power of a good strategic communications plan.
Whatever the reason, execution before strategy can lead to...
- feelings of overwhelm because you’re trying to do ALL the things
- messages that are disconnected and not supporting business objectives
- lack of clarity among target clients about the benefits of your services or what makes your business unique
- damage to your brand
- promotions that don’t achieve desired results (i.e. bringing in more clients or driving loyalty)
- constantly responding to fire drills
...essentially, marketing communication efforts that are inefficient and ineffective.
Getting the right plan and execution team in place can mean intentional communications that deliver meaningful impact!
Your marketing “team” may be internal or outsourced, small or large, strategic or tactical, experienced or green. Regardless, each individual should be focused on their highest value-added activities. Though “pinch hitting” is occasionally necessary with small teams, spending significant time on tasks beyond your core competencies or below your pay grade, actually dilutes value for your business. General contractors shouldn’t always do the tile work or plumbing. As generalists, they’re not likely the fastest or most qualified in each of the trades. Similarly, CEOs shouldn’t be writing website copy or providing feedback on every iteration of a brochure layout. Leave it to a fractional CMO or strategic marketing professional to communicate with tactical specialists and ensure all materials align with the organizational brand and marketing objectives.
Understanding the team composition and gaps that need filling, and having an individual or entity responsible for oversight, ensures that a quality marketing plan actually gets implemented (efficiently and effectively) rather than sitting on a shelf!
Just as you would with general contractors, we suggest meeting with several marketing strategists to assess fit, process, experience, price, and professionalism! And of course, feel free to reach out to us for a complimentary introductory session. We can help you assess areas of greatest need and connect you to our network of trusted specialists, even if we’re not the right fit.