Acquiring new customers is a marathon event made up of quarterly sprints. Strong demand generation effort is required throughout the year to maintain a steady flow of leads to sales.
Marketing leaders need a proven framework to unlock the potential of your marketing team. Keep reading to learn how the Marketing Implementation Assessment tool will help you do this and maximize success, evaluate new ideas and assess executive opportunity costs.
Marketing leaders are under pressure to drive new customer acquisition. Marketing plans require increased scrutiny to maximize success. SBI lead generation clients leverage the Implementation Matrix to guide plan structure and cadence.
Complete a brief form to download the Marketing Implementation Assessment Tool and follow along as you read this post. For more in-depth Marketing planning, leverage SBI’s “How to Make Your Number in 2018” or the Workbook’s .
Begin the assessment process by ranking your plan components across two dimensions; Impact & Ease of Execution.
- ‘Impact’ is determined by evaluating the potential affect the idea will have on generating the expected outcome. In this case, demand generation program ideas to drive leads into the top of the funnel should be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Expected conversion rate
- Expected cost per lead
- Ability to advance the buying process
- ‘Ease of Execution’ is a major ingredient of success. The ease, or feasibility of execution is based on one or more of these attributes;
- Effort hours
Plot High>Medium>Low by performing the analysis through subjective or objective means. Subjectively you can consider the input and arrive at a High>Medium>Low plotting. A more objective scoring approach can be used where you identify a point system for each of the criteria. Both approaches can work effectively as a means to differentiate. Personally I recommend the more objective point system. For example, Google Adwords is a proven tactic in all SBI demand generation programs.
- Impact: Google Adwords would rank High for Impact because the conversion rates have been historically strong. This combined with low cost per lead and the ability to drive immediate results provides a ‘High’ impact score.
- Ease of Execution: Google Adwords requires a modest amount of creative copy-writing, can be purchased by the drink, and can be launched quickly. This results in a high score.
In contrast, printed direct mail may rate medium to high impact, but would definitely rate low in terms of Ease of Execution. Ideas that lack direct ability to advance the buying process are relegated to lower impact positioning. It doesn’t mean that they are without value. This approached ‘smokes out’ the value of every tactic and provides context to evaluate the ideas.
Plot the key ideas on the matrix and begin your evaluation. You will find degrees of separation that make it clear which are the most valuable tactics. As a rule of thumb, you should see 75% of the ideas in your final plan come from the top half of the matrix. This consists of Longer Term and Immediate high-impact tactics to implement.
You also want a healthy mix (approximately 25%) to include Easy to Execute ideas that are lower impact. An example may be Twitter promotion of your social strategy. Historically you have seen that Twitter provides more buzz than actual leads. The activity has value by generating retweets within thought leaders in the industry, plus the social activity positively influences the SEO ranking. Executing the twitter strategy requires minimal effort. Therefore you have a low-impact tactic make it to the implementation plan.
Finally, you will find that some ideas fit into the category of low impact, yet require a mid-to-high level of execution. This is death for marketing. Put a stake in them.
The Implementation Matrix should be leveraged to outline a sound plan of action. A good implementation plan should include a solid mix of immediate and longer-term tactics.
It’s unrealistic that every idea in a plan will be high-impact and highly feasible. This framework helps demonstrate what to do, and what not to do.
Evaluation of New Ideas
Technology advances bring a steady stream of innovations. Not long ago enhanced remarketing efforts and promoted social ads were making their debut. A great marketing leader knows when to jump in or hold on a new concept that feels more bleeding edge.
SBI Lead Generation programs routinely brainstorm new ideas to drive inquiries into the top of the funnel. The new ideas are evaluated against existing ideas from the existing plan. The goal is to generate higher value ideas to drive increased customer acquisition.
Throughout the year people will come to marketing with new suggestions. The framework can be used to involve the person in helping to rank how the idea fits into the existing mix. A marketing team has to evaluate new tactics to determine if they are a distraction or innovation. This framework provides you with a clear structure to evaluate new ideas.
Executive Opportunity Cost
One of the toughest struggles for a marketing leader is to determine what ‘not’ to do. As a rule of thumb, marketing is responsible for doing everything it did last year + all new ideas. Nothing ever comes off the plate. This snowballing of responsibility results in diluted efforts.
The CEO, members of the board, division leaders, head of sales, and more routinely come to marketing with new ideas. These ideas should be welcomed. Leverage this planning asset to evaluate the idea and perform effective internal Change Management. For example, a new request from a division leader can be accommodated using this tool in two ways:
- Evaluate the new idea with them. Get their input into the process and ranking.
- Compare the new idea to other planned tactics for the same division.
Involve the decision leader in weighing the opportunity cost of the new idea vs. existing planned ideas. This can also be used to investigate whether the division leader can contribute additional dollars to outsource the idea. The assessment framework helps the marketing leader engage peers in a collaborative manner. New ideas can be fielded and acted upon without setting the marketing team up for failure.
In summary, leverage the assessment tool to maximize your success. Establish a plan with ease of implementation packed with high-impact actions.
Have you assessed your 2018 Marketing Strategy? Leverage SBI’s “How to Make Your Number in 2018” or the Workbook’s to self-assess your strategies against the emerging best practices of today’s market leaders.