According to Forbes magazine, over 85 percent of product and service searches occur online, so companies must build and maintain comprehensive marketing strategies to keep up with consumer changes, such as keeping up with the conjoint analysis attributes and levels according to the target audience. A strategic marketing plan is of no use to an organization if employees aren’t on board with the initial implementation process. Strategic implementation is the most important phase of the planning process, so organizations can help their marketing teams get on board by following the suggestions below.

Gamification is a conceptual term that refers to using the principles of game design and mechanics to promote learning, motivation and goal achievement. Instead of creating a detailed marketing strategy, consider presenting the new marketing strategy as a concept that will be realized through a friendly competition. Create teams of individuals who do not normally work together and instruct them to come up with their own proposed marketing strategies for the target product. This means that the teams will have to conduct market research, learn about the demographics and buyer personas and define leads, sales and exposure goals.

The teams should then detail how and when the buying process occurs and define all phases of the engagement cycles. They will need to identify the content niche, create a content mission statement and produce a comprehensive marketing plan that includes things like goals, pain points and channel integration. Once the teams present their marketing strategies, the winning design should be incorporated into the new marketing campaign proposal. Using a game format will drastically increase employee engagement and knowledge bases.

Identify and Designate Exemplary Employees
All managers will struggle in one way or another to establish and maintain rapport with all employees. Employee programs like an expansion of job benefits, strengthening employee relationships by using virtual team building activities, focusing on employee engagement, etc., could go a long way in helping employees and in turn, the customers and the company. One easy way to increase employee engagement and reduce resistance is through calling on well-recognized and commendable employees who hold sway and respect with their peers. When there are difficult decisions to be announced, it takes strong support from co-workers for many employees to get on board. Ideally, employees who enjoy high influence will be able to act as advocates that encourage co-worker buy-in.

In fact, because these respected employees do not fall within the traditional management hierarchy, they are much better positioned to introduce ideas early on and identify potential problems. To properly kick start the transformation from an existing marketing implementation process to a new methodology, bring together team members and have the designated employee advocate help introduce the new concepts during the meeting. Afterwards, assign the employee advocate as a spokesperson for employees, which will encourage employees to openly and honestly discuss their concerns.

Ask for Assistance
Although marketing managers will be able to craft an insightful and persuasive message, hardliners and long-term employees may be very resistant to change. In order to start out on the right foot, consider having an executive or member of upper management deliver the message, which should contain clear expectations, value propositions and benefits to both customers and employees. The executive should start out with statistics and a problem statement that identifies and justifies the need for change. These executives will often make use of an Excel plugin for conjoint analysis to compare their data with revenue charts. Being able to explain and quantify the risks of the change not occurring will clarify questions and motivate employees.

The executive should expound on how the new marketing implementation method will affect the department and the company as a whole. This is an excellent opportunity for an open floor that allows employees to pose valid questions about internal challenges, such as transitioning to a new case management software, and external problems, such as remaining competitive. It also reinforces confidence and consistency because the executive will make sure that everyone is committed and prepared to work together to achieve common goals.

As a final note, management should periodically sit down with employees and key shareholders in order to evaluate progress and identify opportunities for improvement.