Marketing plan is an instrument which lays out the basic foundations of all your marketing activities, which in turn will help the growth of the organization. But is there a specific to time to implement a marketing plan? Experts say that your business should be in a position to implement plans. If you are on the defensive, then it is the worst time to implement new marketing plans.
In such times, you should maintain the old strategies and ensure that you get out of the bottom. In general, marketing plan should be implemented when the company is in a desired platform and wants to reach a higher platform. However, you should not wait so long such that your company goes down in the dumps. Thus, the timing to implement a marketing plan is crucial in its success.
In general, a company should pay attention to the following aspects before implementing a marketing plan.
Financial stability – If the company is not financially stable, then there is no use planning things or implementing new plans. This is because implementing plans will bring changes, changes for which your organization might not be ready at this time. At such times, you need to implement a survival and a revival plan but not a growth plan. A marketing plan which targets the growth of an organization will require investments which will need to be sustained for a period of time. Thus, financial stability is a key indicator for the right time to implement your marketing plan.
Acceptance to change – A marketing plan might involve organization changes. Example – You might be bringing new mechanisms of customer service. Or you might be changing your sales process altogether. Are your employees in the right mindset to accept the change? Change always brings resistance with it. Thus, before implementing change, you have to ensure that your organization is in healthy spirits and your manpower is motivated. By taking this precaution, change will not effect your organization too much. This is because your employees are in good shape and ready to go at whatever targets you set for them. However if the situation is turbulent, your employees are unlikely to accept further change and stress and more likely will change the company itself, thereby bringing further problems for your organization.
Data / research – Before initiating planning activities, the company should have enough research data to actually implement the plans. A marketing plan should be in conjunction with the vision of the company. Thus, if a plan has to be implemented, then data is needed to define how the process will happen, what should be the end results and what should be the tactics to achieve the goals as decided in the marketing plan. For example – If you need to increase sales, then what is the sales potential of all territories? What are the number of customers who need to be serviced? Accordingly you have to decide the right number of people for timely customer service.
Communication – You should ideally implement a marketing plan when you have communicated your employees about the change that is going to happen. This is especially necessary for small organizations and is generally followed even in large organizations. When there are changes happening, employees are communicated about the changes (it might not be described in detail, but the employee is given the hint that there are going to be changes). Such communication prepares the employee for changes which are going to happen and you can then implement the marketing plan swiftly. In fact, if there are vast changes, then even customers are vendors and key customers are communicated of these changes so that they are in sync with the organization.
Backups – Before being implemented, all plans should have the “what if” scenario in place. What if the plan goes wrong? What if the end result is not desirable? what if the plan is an instant success? (is it scalable?). All these questions should be answered before implementation of the marketing plan. Thus, in case the plan flops badly, or succeeds insanely, you immediately know what to do next.
Now, once you have the above 4 factors in place, you are ready to implement the marketing plan. The key point here is to keep indicators on the way. Thus, at any given point of time, you can compare your current positions with the indicators of the marketing plan, so that you know whether you are on track or not.