How to Ensure Marketing Plan Execution

by McKee Wallwork & Company
Strategy without execution is only theory.

This is a powerful statement and one that we find ourselves repeating all too often. In the chaotic world of marketing (we call it The Jungle) it seems like there are aHow to Ensure Marketing Plan Execution lot of starts-and-stops these days. Brands and their agency partners work diligently to put together strategic long-term programs, then watch them go under- or un-implemented. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this happening more commonly lately.

So we’ve been asking ourselves, “Why is this happening?” and “How can we prevent it from happening again?” The answer to the first question is usually due to one of these three things:

1. Budget cuts or a change in management (which are often unforeseeable and unpreventable reasons)
2. Higher-ups kill the program
3. The task at-hand seems too daunting and brands don’t know where to start, so they don’t

Since the first reason is usually something out of our/our clients’ control, I won’t address it further here. However, we do believe there are ways to prevent #2 and #3 from happening to your brand. The most straightforward and easiest solution to #2 is to ensure that those “powers that be” are highly involved in the brand planning process and are an integral part of the program’s development. The extent to which top management is involved in the research and strategy design along the way is the extent to which they will feel ownership of the plan and be more interested in seeing it implemented.

As a marketer, you may be thinking, “Our CEO doesn’t have the time or the interest to help create our brand and marketing plan. That’s my job.” Yikes! We firmly believe that the CEO (as the ultimate representative of the brand) must contribute to the development of the strategic branding program. He or she should be able to make the time to help determine how the company or product will come to life in the marketplace. If that’s a non-starter, then you have a different problem (we can help with that, too).

Regarding the third reason (the task seems too daunting), we’ve outlined a fairly simple process for determining the best way to successfully execute and implement a long-term, integrated marketing program.

Step 1. Place all of the tactics down on one piece of paper and organize them by marketing category – advertising, direct, social, PR, event, in-store, promotion, website, etc. This allows us to easily see what the plan really looks like.

Step 2. Eliminate any redundancies and prioritize ideas with a simple A, B or C system. We found that it’s best to use our instincts here and not over-analyze our decisions.

Step 3. Assign available resources to each tactic by choosing one specialist to head-up each item. We try our best not to assign two or more resources to one tactic. If we don’t have an available resource for a particular idea, we simply write TBD next to it and make a note to find a partner.

Step 4. Roughly determine how long it will take to execute each tactic. We think of time in terms of whether it will take one month or less, two to six months, or seven or more months.

Step 5. Make our best guess at the cost associated with producing and delivering each item. If necessary, consult with vendors to determine these costs. We don’t want to estimate too low, but we also don’t want to guess too high and scare ourselves out of executing something before we know how much it will really cost.

Step 6. Now, we put away for a day or two the work we’ve done so far. Then we come back, take another look, and make any appropriate changes. Lastly, we create a flowchart with a timeline across the top that includes for each tactic: brief description, cost estimate, launch date, and responsible party. The timeline on this spreadsheet could start now and span over two to five years depending on the breadth and depth of the strategic plan. That’s okay. The point is that each item has a budget, timing and resource allocation associated with it. That way, it seems more digestible and hopefully less daunting to allow for more efficient execution.

You may be surprised at how these six straightforward steps help our clients ensure that work gets done. And, we’ll also help you remember to invite (or help you convince) your CEO to participate throughout the strategy development process.

This post is from Emily Griebel, Director of Integrated Marketing at McKee Wallwork & Company. Emily leads our Integration Architecture practice and is responsible for ensuring our clients’ marketing plans are seamlessly interwoven. If you’re interested in an audit of your marketing plan, you can reach her at [email protected], or @MWCemily on Twitter. This post was originally posted at


  1. Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site accidentally, and I am stunned why this coincidence did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  2. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  3. Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I want to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and in no way appear to get one thing done.

  4. Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.

  5. After research a couple of of the weblog posts on your website now, and I actually like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and will be checking back soon. Pls try my website online as properly and let me know what you think.

  6. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  7. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  8. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  9. We absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome weblog!

  10. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog. You have some really good posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

  11. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing situation with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting an identical rss drawback? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  12. I’m not positive where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or understanding more. Thank you for great information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  13. We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with helpful info to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our entire community will likely be grateful to you.

  14. I’m not certain the place you’re getting your information, however great topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thanks for fantastic info I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  15. Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a honest price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

  16. You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  17. Somebody essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish extraordinary. Excellent job!

  18. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is an element that insufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I am delighted we came across this during my look for something with this.

  19. 302028 878271This sort of in search of get the enhancements created on this unique lifestyle and diet, begin your L . a . Shifting the pounds diet solution is really a huge procedure into accesing which typically hope. weight loss 70638

  20. 369136 499752Possible need all types of led tourdates with some other fancy car applications. Numerous also give historic packs and other requires to order take into your lending center, and for a holiday in upstate New York. ??? 744192


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here