Implementing a marketing excellence program is not a casual matter, or a task for the feint-of-heart. It requires time, commitment, and effort.
But the results are so valuable, it could be the best investment you’ve ever made in your business.
So how exactly is it done?
There are four primary components of a marketing excellence program that must be effectively managed if it’s going to succeed. They build on each other like a pyramid, hence the graphic to the left. In this post, we’re going to just scratch the surface of what these four components involve and how to most effectively build them in your own company.
At the end of the post, you’ll have an opportunity to download a free white paper that goes far more in depth on this important topic.
1. The Foundation: Marketing Framework
The Marketing Framework is essentially the skeleton on which the all the flesh of the marketing excellence program hangs. It supports and strengthens the entire program, making the other three components possible.
An effective marketing framework must include enough detail to ensure the right groups of people do the right things in the right sequence with the right tools and the right data. So, it is the widest portion of the pyramid and will be the broadest ranging component of the program.
EMM Group’s Go-to-market Framework is provided below as an example of a proven marketing framework that accomplishes those valuable goals and can be adapted to nearly any business case:
2. Raise Skills: Training and Development
While the marketing framework provides the necessary steps and identifies the tools and data various groups need to utilize, training and development are still required to ensure their success.
This component is vital because only a skilled workforce can achieve marketing excellence. However, it’s challenging to effectively train workers without a solid marketing framework already in place, which is why this component sits on top of that foundation.
In most cases, customized training programs, including manuals, case studies and examples, work best to educate and develop employees for your unique use case scenario. However, it’s important to realize that strictly classroom or online class time is not sufficient to effectively train everyone. Due to differences in how people learn and limitations presented by the classroom or online environment, it has proven far more effective to include ongoing skills enhancement through implementation, collaboration, best practices development, and the inclusion of in-house go-to-experts in various fields of knowledge.
The best training and development programs attack four main groups within the business: leaders, practitioners, project teams, and non-marketers. Each group receives customized training that complements and enhances what the other groups are learning by gearing it clearly for that group’s role.
3. Implementation: Managing Process
With the marketing framework in place and a skilled workforce available, the third component of a marketing excellence program can be established. Where the marketing framework provided the supporting skeleton, the implementation framework serves as the muscles, providing a means by which skilled team members can effectively put the marketing framework into action with the right level of support available to them.
The implementation phase is a time for experiential learning when risks will be taken and mistakes made, but where the combination of frameworks being employed will generally offer a stable and productive environment.
Effective implementation will also include appropriate definition of various roles and responsibilities, rewards and incentives, resources, metrics, and other necessary factors that will keep the marketing program moving steadily toward excellence.
4. Drive Change: Change Management
The final component of a successful marketing excellence program, change management, unifies the organization by providing a focused program vision and set of goals for all levels of the company to shoot for.
It requires that senior leadership serve as true champions of the program by not only understanding it on an intellectual level, but actually experiencing business benefits.
And finally, an ongoing course of internal marketing will be necessary to build buy-in at all levels since human beings naturally resist change. Instead of automatically assuming everyone who has been trained in using the new marketing framework is truly behind its use, an organization must consciously guide each team member to acceptance and support of the program. Targeted marketing sessions can help everyone understand and accept the benefits of the program in their own case.
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