How to Ensure your Ingenious Marketing Plan Doesn’t Become an Epic Fail

I recently put the finishing touches on a few strategic marketing and communications plans for some pretty terrific clients.

Maybe you’ve just completed your strategic plan too. Like me, you probably invested countless hours and resources into creating the most brilliant plan ever.

I bet you assessed and analyzed every iota of data available to determine what worked and what didn’t last year.

I’m sure you developed some really smart SMART goals along with super clever strategies for helping you achieve those ingenious little goals.

You probably even outlined all the tactics to make those strategies successful too.

If all goes according to plan, you’ll be setting new records in social media engagement and reach, email click-through rates, website traffic, conversion rates, community awareness, etc.

Your executive director is thrilled. Your development director is your new best friend (unless you also oversee fundraising, in which case, you’re your new best friend.) Your colleagues are motivated and mobilized, your board is behind you. And you, my clever friend, are fired up and feeling an immense surge of relief for finally completing this monumental task.

You are going to crush your goal this yearas long as everything goes according to your plan. Right?

That’s what I thought when I presented my strategic plans.

I mean, the objectives were clear, there was buy-in from all levels, and the momentum for implementation was strong. But one question kept popping up.

“Where do we even start?”

In other words, “This is all fine and dandy, but it’s also a bit overwhelming. What’s the plan for implementing the plan?”

No matter how great your plan is or how motivated your team is to succeed, it turns out a lot of organizations fail to achieve the goals laid out in their strategic plans, and even more fail to implement their strategies altogether.

In fact, one study states that three out of five organizations fail to implement their strategic plans. ( Gasp!

But you…you probably know exactly where to start. It’s all so perfectly clear…in your head.

But the plan for implementing your strategic plan may not be so clear to your colleagues who don’t specialize in marketing or ESP.

Don’t let all your hard work go to waste! Before you park that brilliant little strategic plan of yours away, take some time to chart out a roadmap to ensure it’s flawlessly implemented and that you and your team can hit the road running!

Here are 4 steps for creating a simple roadmap that will ensure your epic plan is impeccably implemented:

  1. Identify clear deliverables for each SMART objective you’ve mapped out.
  2. Make those deliverables time-bound. (Deliverables can be bound to a specific date, week, or month. You decide what works best for you and your team.)
  3. Assign deliverables to specific team members.
  4. Secure buy-in from everyone involved in the plan’s execution – from your interns to your ED. This will ensure deadlines are met and team members are accountable.

There are a hundred ways to do this, but here’s an example of how I recently plotted out one client’s plan to ensure each deliverable mapped back to each SMART objective in a timely manner.


Sample 2017 Roadmap 3.jpg

Want me to send you a template of this tiny roadmap? Shoot me an email at

Do you have a favorite method for mapping out your action plan? What are your favorite implementation tools? We’d love to hear what you think. Please comment below.

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