Is Your Marketing Plan Destined to Fail?

Jul 27, 2018 / by Meghan Hultquist | 5-Minute Read

is-your-marketing-plan-destined-to-fail-773750-editedA poorly put together marketing plan will generate poor results, even if it's perfectly executed by a top-notch team.  

Marketing teams often don't realize they are stuck with a badly designed marketing plan until they are months into execution, when results have ground to a halt or even tanked. As a result, a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources are wasted.

Whether you’ve created your marketing plan in-house or you’ve hired an agency to help you, you can quickly identify whether you’re working off of a sub-par marketing plan that is destined to disappoint if you know how to spot key red flags.

Here are five of the most common signs that a marketing plan is destined for failure.

Warning Sign #1: It’s missing KPIs and attribution metrics.

If your marketing plan is missing attribution and expected ROI by marketing channel, how will you even know if you’re successful?

In 2018, a successful marketing plan needs to include a set of key performance metrics and goals. Everything in marketing is measurable today, and marketers who don’t bother to track and analyze the wealth of analytics available are at a crippling disadvantage. Even below-average marketers should be able to build a plan that documents your baseline numbers and creates a way to get you to your website traffic, lead generation and customer acquisition goals.

You should work with a strategic marketing partner to build a set of realistic monthly website traffic and lead goals to measure against. Start with your current numbers as a baseline, and build out predictions based on the approaches you've outlined in your plan as well as historical and industry data.

Warning Sign #2: It’s finished.

A truly successful marketing plan will never be completely finished. A good marketing plan today is an evolving, proactive, process and strategy that should be regularly informed, optimized and updated.

Marketing teams today find the most success when they use an agile marketing strategy, meaning that tactics are planned out on a rolling basis for shorter terms, and future marketing campaigns are optimized based on data, improving continually over time. This is a stark contrast to rigid and cumbersome 12-18-month marketing plans of the past, where strategy is often outdated and off-schedule within the first few months. This approach to marketing strategy is limited, unrealistic and difficult to measure.

Every element of your marketing plan should be agile and living, and updated regularly, informed by data.

Warning Sign #3: It’s boring.

If your marketing plan doesn’t leave you feeling excited about the future of your business, it’s a probably not a good sign.

When we present marketing plans to clients, there is obvious excitement in the room. One client even recently told us that she got goosebumps when she saw our work unveiled.

Your marketing plan should excite you! It should communicate a strong strategy and a measurable roadmap that attracts demand, converts leads and closes deals for your business. It should also include memorable, human-to-human messaging that sets you apart from your competitors in a remarkable way.

If your marketing plan doesn’t excite you, it's not going to excite your audience. Get ahold of a plan that inspires you.

Warning Sign #4: It’s a dinosaur.


A no-tech or low-tech marketing plan is not going to get you anywhere.

It’s crazy to me that there are still organizations, and even marketing agencies out there heading into 2019 who are building marketing plans that don’t include technology as a central element, but it happens.

If your marketing plan is a "digital dinosaur," take a hard second look at it. Reexamine the plan and layer on marketing automation, CRM, and analytics technology. You’ll hit your goals faster and you’ll empower your marketing and sales teams along the way. It’s extremely difficult to compete today in almost any industry if you’re not leveraging the simple tech solutions out there for marketing and sales.

Companies today face the daunting task of selecting from the nearly 7,000 marketing and sales technology tools to help them generate new business. Your marketing plan needs to include the core pieces of technology that will get your company to its goals.

Warning Sign #5: It’s templated.

Beware of templates or bundled services packages that pose as marketing plans. If your marketing plan is highly templated or resembles a long list of tactics without a cohesive strategy, your odds of achieving good results are unfavorable.

Buyers today expect a personalized and optimized user experience on their journey to making a purchase. Out-of-the-box marketing plans or strategies might seem like a great way to cut costs, but they often lack depth when it comes to connecting with modern buyers.

If your marketing plan doesn’t include a robust strategy component that outlines your target audience and a highly customized plan to get you to your lead generation and customer acquisition goals, you might want to start over. Otherwise, you’ll be running the risk of executing random acts of marketing and just hoping for the best. 

If your marketing plan contains any of the above red flags, don't despair. Let's fix it together. Click here to book a meeting with me.


Topics: marketing, strategy

Meghan Hultquist

Written by Meghan Hultquist

Subscribe to Email Updates

Search the Blog