As Marketers, we take pride in our results and understand what they mean, even when others don’t. We may struggle at times to demonstrate to others the impact of our Marketing Plan. Until we understand the reasons why we are struggling, we can’t show how we add value. The good news is that by making some simple changes in the way we communicate, we will show the value of our work to others.

1) You aim to please.

Our cheerful attitude can lead us to overestimate what can be accomplished. Do you ask yourself whether you have enough resources to achieve your objectives? Make sure that you’ve set realistic expectations and time frames for achieving them. If not, then it’s time to recalibrate.

2) You measure things beyond your control.

Decide on the right metrics and make sure that your plan impacts them directly. Be clear and realistic on external forces that could impact your results. Building a contingency factor into your plan can help mitigate the risks.

3) Your strategy does not align with higher business goals.

Make sure to answer the question, “so what?” If your strategy contributes to what’s important for senior management and your sales team, then your efforts will be more appreciated and supported. It helps to socialize your plan as you prepare it because it means there will be no surprises later on.

4) You operate in a silo.

Maybe you’re stressed for time or simply prefer to work independently? Whatever the reason, when you don’t seek input from your team and other departments, it’s hard for them to see value when they’re sitting on the sidelines. When preparing your plan be sure to consult with stakeholders regularly and focus on your common goals. Better communication will help everyone feel involved and they’ll be more likely to support you. You’ll be less stressed, too.

5) You avoid confrontation.

If you’re avoiding those difficult conversations, you’re likely missing out on valuable feedback from your customers, your sales team, your peers and perhaps senior management. Listening and responding to feedback on a regular basis, even when it’s uncomfortable, not only helps you gain additional support, it builds trust and respect. In time, they may offer up helpful suggestions rather than dish out harsh criticism.

6) You’re measuring too much.

Do you measure what matters most, or do you just measure anything and everything? In our exuberance, we tend to present too much information and pepper it with jargon. Numbers without context and analysis are meaningless to others. Be prepared to tell a story with your data, summarized in a concise way that’s easy to understand. Focus on the most important metrics and keep the rest in an appendix as back-up.

7) You lack transparency.

It’s scary to admit when something doesn’t work. No one wants to disappoint others or risk losing respect. No matter the outcome, don’t keep your results to yourself. When things go wrong (or even not as well as you’d hoped) try acknowledging that it didn’t meet your expectations. Emphasize what you learned and how it will benefit future undertakings. Learning from your mistakes shows others that you’re trying something new and earns trust and respect.

Rational Icon

What’s up with the ice cream image? The blog speaks to taking risks and learning from your mistakes, whatever they may be. The ice cream on the ground represents what can happen when you step outside your comfort zone and find that things don’t go as planned. Of course, learning from the mistake is key – no one wants to waste ice cream.