In the building industry, strategies are used for designing, engineering, and constructing projects. It should be no different for the company’s marketing and business development teams. A marketing strategy is important to you and your team. Strategy is planning and brainstorming. There are four steps for putting together a marketing strategy:
Your first step is determining who is going to be part of the strategic marketing plan. This usually involves marketers, business developers, principals, project managers, studio leads, and/or lead engineers. These people are involved with bring in or retaining clients and projects. You must get commitment and buy-in from these people, so the marketing strategy will be implemented and drive the success of the firm.
Once you have your internal marketing strategy team assembled, schedule a brainstorming session. A good time to schedule this is right before budgets are assembled (September or October, if your company is on a fiscal budget year), so the team knows the budget they have to work with toward the strategic marketing plan. Without a budget, it’s very hard to put a strategic marketing plan together. Your plan will look very different if you have $50,000 versus $1,000,000 to spend on marketing and business development efforts.
You should have no more than 15 people in these brainstorming meetings. If you have a large organization (500+ employees) or multiple locations, then you could set up focus groups and then have a champion of each focus group report back to the larger group. Then the champion of each focus group would be part of the strategic marketing team. Make sure you have a scribe to take notes or record the strategy sessions, so you capture everything discussed.
As strategies are determined, tactics or goals should also be determined. You should have 2-5 strategies within your marketing and business development plan, and then have 2-10 tactics or goals within each strategy. Writing them down is critical, so you can measure your success and make sure your tactical decisions direct you toward your strategies.
A strategy would be: We want to do more work with mechanical engineers. Your goals would be to 1) Make four presentations (list the titles and presenters) throughout the year to six different (list the firms) engineering firms. 2) Physically visit each engineering firm once a month (presentations can count as a visit) giving them project drawings, having a meeting, taking them to lunch, or some other business development activity. The result would be to generate $1 million in sales from those two goals.
If you struggle to know what a strategic marketing plan looks like, here are some topics that are a good starting point for discussing.
Remember some of the activities from the previous years. These might include the following:
The marketing plan which includes a budget is instrumental in your success. Ask your accounting department for marketing and business development budgets from the previous year(s). If your accounting department lumps “marketing” into one category, you’ll want to determine your own method of tracking expenses. Identify successes and failures for the above activities.
Communicating and implementing the plan is instrumental in attaining your goals. Teamwork and buy-in are imperative to the success of a strategic marketing plan. This is where writing down company strategies and goals will help with implementing all your great ideas. Consistent communication with the strategic marketing team requires clear and concise expectations. Let employees know how they will impact the marketing strategy and how they can be part it. When employees understand how their day-to-day roles play into the overall company strategy, they see purpose in their position. Most employees want to do the best they can at their job, but as the marketing or business development leader you must give them directions. These directions, however, are meant to be a guide, not an absolute. Multiple forms of communication are imperative, not just in a time of crisis, but throughout the strategic process.
Accountability is also an important component to the strategic marketing plan. Having a scorecard allows the team to see where they are going and where they have been. It also allows the team to see what items still need to be implemented and who is responsible for completing those goals.
Create a scorecard that will work for your team. This can be as easy as using a spreadsheet or utilizing your Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). You must measure your goals so you know if you reach them and in some cases why you don’t reach them. Remember, if you don’t write it down, it’s not a goal. It helps you remember and stay accountable to your principals and yourself.
Once the team accomplishes the goals, you must celebrate as a team. Celebration is important because it recognizes the hard work the team has contributed to reaching the goals. It gives employees pride in their work and motivates them to continue working hard. Recognition is one of the most effective ways to retain your current employees and underutilized tools. As a good leader, you must celebrate the team’s achievements.
Here are some additional ideas to celebrate wins:
Once you celebrate, raise the bar a little higher. Expect more from people. Consider it the next challenge. Do something every day that scares you a little bit. It will make you a better person.
Committing, implementing, being held accountable, and celebrating are the four ways to effectively lead your team through the strategic marketing plan and goals. You must be ready to take your team through this process, because it will grow your company in more ways than you realize. It’s something you should start right now.
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Communication among the team is vital to the success of a company and having specific, measurable goals, both company-wide and individual, is crucial. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-680-3097