The marketing team is the real revenue generator of an establishment, which is why marketing plans affect the growth of the entire brand. Watching a marketing plan fail is equivalent to watching a train derail. Everything goes out of control and things become unmanageable very quickly.

Speaking of derailing, why is it so hard to stick to plans anyway? I did a little digging, and reached some conclusions:

  1. Constantly making changes to the plan.
  2. Lack of motivation.
  3. Lack of commitment in the team.
  4. The plan itself seems very strenuous.
  5. The tasks leading up to the goals do not seem quite doable.

Committing to a plan also means that you are committing to your team. Even when you are using the right marketing tools, you may reach a point where abandoning the plan altogether will seem like a good idea. And, though sticking to plans isn’t easy, it is required and it is necessary. As Johnnie Dent Jr. very aptly said in his book, Great Reflections On Success:

“You are too important to the bigger picture to just fall off the canvas.”

As a leader we must find ways to keep our team focussed on the project and engaged to keep working on the best outcome. I have compiled a list of 7 easy ways to actually stick to a marketing plan, all of which have proved beyond effective for my team without fail. Take a look at them and see how they can help you:

#1 Make A To-do list

Make a to do list
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Every task needs initiation. A plan will not move forward until you do. But when you want to stick to a certain path, it is good to map out the whole journey before you act on it. With a to-do list, or even better, a workflow, it becomes easier to view the timeline of the whole plan and how it will unfold.

I know when I am attempting a task, I like to know what is next on the agenda. This acts as a driving force to achieve more while sticking to the plan. You can determine how to pan out a to-do list by stating everything that you want to see done.

For example, for a content marketing manager, the to-do list would say:

  • Research and analysis.
  • Prepare marketing plans and strategies.
  • Assigning a timeline.
  • Distributing work.
  • Providing SEO input.
  • Publishing the content.
  • Promoting it.

Once you have the list, you can easily focus on the most important tasks and take necessary steps to stick to the plan.

#2 Break the steps into doable tasks

Break the tasks into subtasks
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It is hard to move forward and often easy to deviate from the plan when the steps leading you to the goals are borderline unrealistic. This is why we break the steps we made in the to-do list into smaller doable tasks.

For instance, using a task management software platform, you could easily map out a workflow with all the steps and break them into various smaller tasks. The best part of using such tools, in this case, is that you will be able to further break these tasks down to subtasks and track the progress of the whole plan moving forward.

For example, for my marketing team, this is what my tasks and subtasks would look like:

TASK 1: Research

  • SUBTASK 1: Find resources for research.
  • SUBTASK 2: Reach out to references.
  • SUBTASK 3: Find the right audience.

TASK 3: Strategize

  • SUBTASK 1: Put references together.
  • SUBTASK 2: Consolidate and discuss researched data.
  • SUBTASK 3: Run analysis.
  • SUBTASK 4: Set achievable goals to be fulfilled during the journey of the project.

TASK 2: Timeline

  • SUBTASK 1: Break the strategy into a series of tasks.
  • SUBTASK 2: Assign deadlines to all the tasks.
  • SUBTASK 3: And set a date where when you know you will have the desirable outcome.

#3 Support one another

Support each other
mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

If you want your team to stay on topic, keep talking about it. Visualize goals, celebrate small victories. Bring together people to state the achievements they have witnessed rising from the plan and how it will benefit the whole team, and subsequently, the whole establishment.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to achieve this:

  • Make everyone feel that they are working towards shared goals.
  • Let them know how the whole organization is going to benefit from the plan.
  • Assign clear tasks and be open about what you expect from them so they don’t have trouble following the plan.
  • Use a collaboration tool to give the team a view of their tasks and how their work fits into the complete picture.
  • Distribute responsibilities to everyone and delegate tasks tactfully.

#4 Set milestones

Set milestones
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Nothing is more motivating than watching yourself win. So, another way to save yourself from swaying from the path of your ambitious marketing plan is to mark milestones in your timeline. Milestones are nothing but checkpoints in the journey of a well-thought-out plan. These represent small achievements.

In our example for baking a cake, our first milestone would be getting back home after buying all the ingredients. And the second would be when we are done assembling the ingredients in the cake pan.

Achieving milestones is a great motivation booster because when we celebrate these milestones, it eases the pressure and also encourages the team to achieve more by trusting the plan.

#5 Get technology to help you

Get technology to help you
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Sticking to a plan is easy when we have reminders telling us to stay on the path. Automating the process can help you in the following ways:

  • Every team member can have a list of their tasks in front of them the whole time.
  • It is easier to analyze the timeline of the project and understand their personal responsibilities.
  • Make a workflow easily with the help of custom workflows and to keep track of individual progress. This will help everyone move forward with the plan more easily.
  • It is easy to collaborate with the team, share information, and send files with a management tool.

#6 Work on morale and motivation

Work on morale and motivation
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The best way to stick to a plan is to maintain a place where morale is high. Now, we gave the team a list of tasks, told them when to do it and how to do it, we are using technology to streamline the workflow a step further, and are celebrating whatever success comes our way. Now, we make sure they are happy following the plan.

We need to motivate the team so they can feel engaged and hopeful. Here’s are the best ways to inculcate these 2 values:

  • Celebrate achievements by highlighting everyone’s contributions.
  • Schedule sessions to go over the numbers so everyone knows they are on track.
  • Set up a system of rewards and recognition.

#7 Make each day mean something

Make each day mean something
gabrielle_cc / Pixabay

—> Weekly goals

If you never want to slip from the pathway of your marketing plan, you need to make sure to make every day count. For example, when you start following a diet plan, you will have several opportunities to cheat, but you make conscious efforts not to.

Here’s what you can do to replicate the formula for your team:

  • Give them weekly goals and accordingly, achievable daily targets.
  • Keep records by enabling your team to report their activities at the end of the day.

Following these two points will help you make sure your team is on track to follow the marketing plan.

To conclude

Plans and strategies would mean nothing if we couldn’t follow through with them. When we are working on a marketing campaign, so much depends on it to work. So we must do everything in our power to make sure that the team is on board and ready to stick to the plan.

The key is to make sure that people in the team are motivated enough to go ahead with the tasks. So take my advice and follow these 7 tips to make the plan more manageable and effective at the same time.