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“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau.

Thoreau hit the nail on the head when it comes to putting meaning to action. This is especially important when it comes to your marketing campaigns. So many financial institutions don’t execute well, that great execution on a solid plan will set you apart. As Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy, authors of the book Executive: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, put it, “Execution is a specific set of behaviors and techniques that companies need to master in order to have a competitive advantage.” The mastery of finishing strong is a struggle for many companies.

 As we showed in Installment 2 of our marketing series, a comprehensive marketing plan is essential. But even the best plans can lose steam quickly because of poor execution. The result? Stagnant growth, low profitability and unmet needs of customers. These are the four major roadblocks we see most often when it comes to FI’s executing on marketing plans and how to combat them.

 

Communication

With Each Other

The creation of your marketing plan may only have involved high-level employees, but everyone needs to know what’s going on. You will inevitably need the help of frontline staff, lenders or customer service reps to answer questions as you send leads and people their way. This requires that everyone understands the objectives and goals of your marketing plan, as well as who is accountable for what. A breakdown in results, and ultimately profitability, starts with fragmented corporate communication between strategy and execution.

This also allows you to receive input from employees who may have practical organizational insight that can help. Let everyone in on the narrative of value you are providing and think about implementing a rewards system for meeting benchmarks. If these two items are not done, ambition may dwindle.

With Your Clients

Does your target audience even know what you are offering them? Your message can be spot on, but if it’s not delivered to your audience you might as well have stayed home. Get your SEO process down and understand that your goal is not to have great SEO, but to provide a fantastic user experience. Get this down well and you will have a competitive advantage.

Once you have their attention, are you meeting the need they are searching for? Think about your site speed, online apps, site marketing messages and having a site that is mobile first. Your website is the most powerful marketing tool your bank has. Driving traffic to an out of date destination communicates to the client how much they should trust you.

Let’s make that decision as simple as possible!

 

AMP UP MY WEB COMMUNICATION

 

Flexibility

Inevitably, there might be technical roadblocks that were not accounted for in the planning. You can’t let these hiccups deter you from achieving the goals you had set out. However, you may need to be flexible with your tactics. List out each actionable step that needs to happen in sequential order. The process of putting your ideas to paper may open your eyes to gaps and improvements you can make in your strategy.

If you’re not seeing any results from a social media post, adjust the content or change the channel. Maybe what you need is a conversion focused landing page instead of a blog post. Review your progress consistently and always be asking what can you can improve and build upon.

Accountability

For each tactic, you should have a sole person held accountable for its completion. Think about how you are checking in with each other weekly on progress and roadblocks. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for. How can you as a team handle the hurdles that may come? If the goals, objectives and value statements stay top of mind, it is easier to avoid complacency and revert to old ways.

Building--->Momentum

Finally, keep the excitement alive internally and externally! Get people EXCITED about how you can solve their problems. Generate conversations and meaningful interactions to spur people forward. Maybe this involves customer spotlight videos or a blog article showcasing your experienced staff!

All of the above factors will greatly influence whether you achieve your campaign and overall growth goals.  A bold, dynamic and forward-thinking online strategy backed by a comprehensive marketing plan can make things easier for both external stakeholders (your customers and prospective customers) as well as internal stakeholders (your staff, executive team and board of directors). You can do it!

help me execute!

Once your campaign is finished, your executive team will undoubtedly want to know the ROI of your campaign. Our next and final post in our Marketing Campaign series discusses how to calculate ROI to prove you’re a marketing genius!

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