I was re-listening to some Sandler sales training CDs in my car recently and came across the story about the airforce pilots being introduced to a new fighter plane. As part of their training, they were shown the ejector seat and how it worked. One of the pilots asked what the survival rate was amongst pilots in other airforces who had ejected. “Well,” said the instructor, “out of 117 pilots who ejected, 117 survived.”
“Wow” said the pilot, “this must be a great plane if it’s never had a single fatality.”
“Oh, I didn’t say that” said the instructor. “There have been 12 pilot fatalities with this particular fighter.”
“How come?” replied the pilot.
“They didn’t press the eject button”.
Anyone who has worked with me will know I’m a big fan of marketing plans, but just like the pilots, if we don’t implement our plans they aren’t going to make any difference!
One of the most critical marketing KPIs for many small and medium sized businesses is implementation – did we do what we planned to do? Did we do it on time? Did we do it on budget?
In truth, there aren’t many marketing activities that absolutely have to be done today. Most could wait a day or two, but then the rot sets in. A day or two becomes a week or two, then a month and maybe the opportunity and/or enthusiasm has passed. Suddenly we have a marketing plan that just isn’t happening.
For most of our clients a key part of our on-going support is helping them stick to their plan and find a way to execute their plans easily. We use an online project management tool with secure client access to stay on top of things and are introducing marketing automation to some of our clients to simplify implementation.
If sticking to the marketing plan is a challenge, the good news is you aren’t alone. The really good news is that help is out there.