How to Put Your Marketing Plan into Action

Posted December 1, 2016 by Bill Nelson

At this point, your marketing plan is written. It’s approved. The word, “Masterpiece,” may even come to mind. But now what?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Plan your work and work your plan.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen good people pour their heart and soul into a great plan only to have it sit on a shelf gathering dust.

Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

So let’s start there. Each one of these tasks could be broken up into subtasks but I only have so many words I can use.

Task One:

Review the plan. Yup, read it. Remind yourself why you created it. Understand what it is trying to accomplish. Know your deadlines, budget, tactics, objectives, goals and what you are measuring.

Task Two:

Assemble the team. Gather the troops. Blow the horn! Define roles and responsibilities. This is so important. It holds people accountable and manages expectations. Media and production planning will need to be initiated. It might be helpful to summarize the plan into a project brief (a one-pager with a bulleted list of the important stuff). Share the scope of the plan. Identify vendors.

Task Three:

Management. Have a process. It does not have to be fancy. But you need a way to move projects through from beginning to end. And someone needs to own it. There needs to be a flow of content, communication, purchasing, meeting, scheduling, proofing, approvals and trafficking.

Task Four:

Create. This is the fun part. The writing, designing and producing. All of this is done with objective, target and strategy in mind. Always. Whether you are doing it internally or hiring it out. Most of you have heard of a creative brief. Well, use it. Keep an eye on budget and schedule. Traffic it out to be consumed whether it’s broadcast, digital, outdoor, collateral, direct mail or whatever. Everything launches and it should be coordinated with PR, internal organizational awareness and so on.

Task Five:

Crack open a beer and watch it all play out. Once the plan has been in place for awhile, you will need to measure its success. Remember not to stop at clicks. Find out how many of those clicks converted or became leads through online sales, email sign-ups and more. That’s how we evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign based on established goals.

That’s it. Have another beer. You’ve earned it.

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