The Steps in Implementing the Marketing Plan
Implementation has two dimensions: organising and executing.
Because of the number and diversity of marketing activities, firms must develop organisational structures to manage and implement them. An organisational structure should make clear who will carry out the marketing plans for each market and what the reporting relationships among managers and other staff will be. Certain organisational concepts can facilitate implementation, such as the product manager. Firms may also form implementation teams consisting of representatives from the business functions and/or marketing activities involved.
Each of the organisation’s units must execute its assigned tasks in an effective and efficient manner to make the plan work. Many of the organisation’s departments and people will be involved – as will be a number of outside firms and people (suppliers, distributors and specialist intermediaries such as marketing researchers and advertising agencies)
Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed routes to effective execution. Managers can enhance the level of execution to the extent that they are effective in:-
- ensuring activities are goal and objective directed;
- assigning resources to facilitate performance;
- building interpersonal relationships and networks. (dealt with later in the section)
Ensuring goal-directed actions
Managers who want to ensure that activities will be properly directed toward implementing the plan must be sure that those involved in executing the plan are given clearly stated goals, targets and objectives and support and motivational packages designed to support these goals.
When the performance of the sales force or distributors is critical to the successful execution of a strategy, managers should identify ways of facilitating performance through the assignment and allocation of resources. These resources include money, equipment, and time.
The marketing plan should establish which organisational units and managers are responsible for implementing the various activities in the plan. Deadlines or milestones indicate the time available for implementation.
Implementation Planning involves:
- Scheduling activities and assigning responsibilities
- Internal marketing (communicate the plan to the staff)
- Communicating the plan to suppliers and intermediaries
Managers are important facilitators in the implementation process and some are more effective than others. To be effective implementers, managers need:
- The ability to understand how others feel and good negotiating skills;
- The strength to be tough and fair in putting people and resources where they will be most effective;
- To be able to focus on the critical aspects of performance in managing marketing activities;
- The ability to create a necessary informal network to match each problem with which they are confronted.