Week 2.4 Implementation and Evaluation Phase
As you have seen in the earlier lessons, there are three phases of the strategic marketing process: planning, implementation, and evaluation.
The Implementation Phase
The implementation phase follows the planning phase. Planning is meaningless unless it is executed in a timely manner. In the implementation phase the plan comes to life.
There are four components in the implementation phase:
- Obtaining resources
- Designing the marketing organization
- Developing schedules
- Executing the marketing program
The first requirement of the implementation phase is obtaining the resources. Resources are not only financial resources but also human resources. Other than raising financial resources, we need to invest in brand building, brand management, and customer experience management.
Designing the Marketing Organization
In the implementation phase we are executing the marketing program that was planned in the previous phase. We need a marketing organization to bring the marketing plan to life. The marketing department’s vice president is called the chief marketing officer (CMO) and directly reports to the chief executive officer (CEO). The marketing organization, as a part of the corporate team, is responsible for converting marketing plans to reality.
The success of the marketing program relies on determining specific deadlines for the execution of marketing activities. It requires making schedules several months prior to execution in order to guarantee that the ads and all other marketing activities will run smoothly. For example, ads to be run during a Super Bowl take several months of planning in order to ensure that they are ready to air during the game.
Executing the Marketing Program
After developing schedules, we are ready to execute the marketing program. In order for the execution to be successful we need to pay attention to both marketing strategies and marketing tactics. A marketing strategy is the means by which a marketing goal is to be achieved, usually characterized by a specified target market and a marketing program to reach it.
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Example: Mars Incorporated’s marketing strategy with its 3 Musketeers ® bar is to emphasize 45% less fat content of the bar compared to leading chocolate bars. They target health-conscious females with advertising on TV.
There are hundreds of detailed decisions to make in the implementation of the marketing program. The detailed day-to-day operational decisions are called marketing tactics. Marketing tactics might involve writing ads, setting prices, and training salespeople.
The Evaluation Phase
The last phase of the marketing program is the evaluation phase.
The evaluation phase helps to assess the outcomes of the marketing program. We compare the outcomes of the marketing program to the goals that were set in the planning phase. This is how we are able to identify the deviations from the goals. The purpose of the evaluation phase is not only to identify the deviations but also to act on the deviations.
There two types of actions we can take:
- Exploiting positive deviations. This happens when we face far better results than what we set in our goals. The idea is to replicate what worked well in the future marketing programs in order to achieve successful outcomes every time.
- Correcting negative deviations. This happens when the marketing program falls short of its goals. When we identify the reasons behind these negative deviations we can take corrective actions.