What is Your Marketing Roadmap Telling You NOT to Do?

The key is knowing when things aren’t going well and when it’s time to reevaluate your marketing roadmap.

As much as we would like to believe it on some days, a strategic marketing roadmap is not etched in stone for years to come. The truth is, having a marketing plan that looks out farther than a year is really not even a practical solution.

Too often, entrepreneurs spend a great deal of time and too much money on long-term marketing plans that just aren’t a good fit and then are understandably unwilling to deviate from that plan regardless of outcomes due to the high investment (time and money) spent on it.

And executing a plan well is not easy — it’s more often than not a pretty big challenge for large and small companies. The Harvard Business Review found that “executional excellence” was the number one challenge for leaders of companies in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Simply put, sticking to a marketing plan line by line doesn’t guarantee your success. In fact, the ideal marketing plan is a living guide to reflect your growing business. Just as you don’t expect your business to be in the same place at the end of 12 months, you shouldn’t expect your marketing strategy to remain the same either.

Play your marketing plan like “The Birth of the Cool”

Think of it like Miles Davis and his approach to jazz improvisation—you’ve got to constantly be watching for opportunities or pull back from roadblocks and find a different, more creative way. This is strategic execution.

Truth be told, knowing when to modify or pivot is more important than you might think. No one can anticipate every problem that will crop up as you execute your marketing roadmap.

A recent Gartner poll of strategy leaders highlighted “slow strategy execution” as the top challenge for 2019, as 70% said they had little confidence in their ability to solve the problem.

Other surveys show that possibly nine out of 10 managers actually expect their company’s major plans will fail. That doesn’t bode well for successful execution of their marketing roadmaps.

How do you know you are in trouble?

When your plan begins to stray, it usually doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll see the signs of trouble long before the marketing roadmap can be called a failure.

Signs your roadmap is going off course:

  • You don’t have anyone in charge of leading the execution and ensuring your team stays on track.
  • Your plan has gotten overly complicated and your team doesn’t know where to start.
  • You haven’t allocated extra resources for the plan and your team members are feeling burned out.
  • The metrics you are tracking are going in the wrong direction for a consistent period of time.

Remember, a key factor in a successful marketing roadmap execution is keeping your goals easily understood, achievable, and measurable!

So what happens when your marketing roadmap isn’t working for you?

If things seem to be going wrong–or not going at all–with your strategic marketing roadmap, it’s time to sit down and look at what is working and what isn’t.

Yes, it may be painful, but determining the actual current status of the project is important to understand— before you spend any more resources on it.

And even if you have spent a lot of time and money on a plan, it’s still much better to reevaluate and seize upon those opportunities you may see while letting go of the parts that are not working.

If you feel like you need to reassess your marketing roadmap, try our free mini-assessment to discover your marketing foundation score. And if you’d like to talk more, you can book a free quick call with one of our experts to help get you started in the right direction.

Tomato Fish Marketing is an Indianapolis marketing company focused on helping small and midsize businesses make good strategic planning decisions.