Is your marketing plan set up to succeed in 2024? Use this checklist to find out.

Caeleigh MacNeil contributor headshotCaeleigh MacNeil
December 19th, 2023
3 min read
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5 steps to set your 2024 marketing plan up for success
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It’s crunch time for marketing teams, with 75% of CMOs facing pressure to do more with less. But in the quest to drive revenue, a great marketing plan isn’t always enough—it’s how you implement it that matters. In this article, learn how leaders can put their annual plans into action and ensure every campaign is set up to drive revenue growth, without wasting valuable time and money in the process. 

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1. Align marketing and sales with shared goals

Only 23.1% of sales professionals say sales and marketing are strongly aligned. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By rallying marketing and sales teams around shared goals, you can break down silos and ensure everyone is working in the same direction. 

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To be successful as a marketer, you have to deliver the pipeline and the revenue.”
Sarah Franklin, President and Chairwoman, former CMO at Salesforce

For shared goals to work, a few different things have to happen: 

  • Marketing and sales decide on the key metrics they’ll use to measure success—like revenue or closed deals. By keeping those metrics consistent across teams, you ensure everyone is aiming for the right targets. 

  • Both teams align on their ideal target audience, so all efforts are spent in the right place. For example, this could mean mapping marketing campaigns and sales tactics to specific buyer personas. 

  • Teams make their shared goals visible across the organization—so both marketing and sales stay accountable and on track. For example, leaders can use work management software to ensure every sales tactic and marketing campaign ladders up into shared goals.

Case study: Connecting work to goals at Lucid

How exactly can companies connect marketing campaigns and sales tactics to company goals? Here’s what work-goal alignment looks like at Lucid, a company that provides virtual whiteboarding, intelligent diagramming, and cloud visualization products to 96% of the Fortune 500. 

Lucid uses goals in Asana to track company OKRs and link them to employees’ tasks—so every initiative maps to a business goal. Each quarter, program managers make sure teams create quarterly OKRs and update them throughout the quarter, ensuring work stays on track.

2. Set actionable targets

Despite the importance of goals, 90% of executives at companies with annual revenues of $1 billion fail to reach all their strategic objectives because they’re too difficult to implement. Closing that gap between goal setting and implementation is essential for marketing success—and leaders can solve this by making every campaign goal actionable. 

One way to create actionable goals is with objectives and key results (OKRs)—a goal-setting methodology that pairs objectives with the metrics teams use to track progress. OKRs follow this simple but flexible template: “I will [objective] as measured by [key result].” In this format, the objective is the goal you want to achieve, while the key result is the metric you’ll use to measure progress.

Case study: Goals at Asana

OKRs are a powerful tool, but they can be difficult to implement across your organization. Here’s how Asana does it. 

Asana’s executive team sets business objectives, but individual teams create key results to align to those objectives. Then, each team member sets their own personal key results that ladder up into broader team KRs. This approach gives employees a north star to aim for, ensuring all work connects to key business goals. But leaders (often lacking the full picture) don’t need to be too prescriptive. Instead, teams and individuals can set—and own—their specific targets.

3. Communicate your plan

If your marketing plan stays in a drawer to gather dust, it’s not going to yield results—period. Employees need visibility into company and marketing team objectives, so they know how to plan and prioritize campaign work. Despite the importance of communicating goals, it’s still a challenge for many leaders. According to our research, only 16% of employees say their company is very effective at setting and communicating goals, and only one quarter of employees say they have a very clear understanding of how their work relates to company goals.

Technology, like work management systems with built in OKR features, solves this by enabling everyone to see business goals and visualize how their work ladders up into those top-level objectives. That means the leadership team doesn’t need to spend lots of time and effort to guide workers in the right direction. Instead, marketers have enough information to guide themselves—choosing on their own the best way to support your marketing plan.

Research spotlight: Executive goal setting data from The Work Innovation Lab

Systematically sharing goals across the organization is critical for alignment—especially for executives. This is because they’re often more removed from the on-the-ground work of employees, making communication difficult. In fact, when The Work Innovation Lab studied Asana usage, they found that executives are three times more likely to share company goals in Asana compared to non-executives.

4. Track goals and course-correct 

It’s critical for leaders to adjust their strategy as conditions change. Shifting marketing conditions, new competitive threats, and other internal and external factors can put goals at risk—or even open up new areas of opportunity. Without a system to track and adjust goals, leaders can’t monitor the situation and adjust their strategy. They’re like a pilot flying blind, following a pre-set course despite changing weather and air traffic patterns. 

Here’s how marketing leaders can successfully track and course-correct goals: 

  • Document goals in a central place, so every team can see what your starting targets are. Having a record is especially important if you need to shift goals later. 

  • Decide on a regular reporting and status update cadence to keep teams informed on progress. For example, check and share your goal progress every month for a quarterly objective. 

  • Share status updates in one place, so teams can see a record of progress over time. Ideally, stakeholders should be able to find and look through past status updates whenever they need to.

  • Decide in advance who is responsible for updating goals if market conditions change.  Creating a decision-making framework ahead of time ensures teams carefully evaluate any changes, especially when those changes will impact the entire marketing organization.

Research spotlight: Executive goal tracking data from The Work Innovation Lab

Goal tracking is especially important for executives, who are often held accountable for business results. In fact, The Work Innovation Lab found that executives were two-and-a-half times more likely to update the status of their and their company’s goals in Asana than non-executives.

5. Keep teams accountable

Setting, communicating, and tracking goals is one thing, but how do you ensure work stays on track once it’s assigned out across the marketing org? Keeping teams accountable is one of the greatest challenges when it comes to delegating work, but it’s doable with a bit of extra structure. The key is to clearly define roles and responsibilities, so everyone knows exactly what they should be doing. 

Here are a couple different frameworks you can use to keep teams accountable: 

  • RACI charts: A RACI chart clearly identifies a project team’s roles and responsibilities. By following the acronym, you can clarify who’s in charge of what—so there’s less confusion and you can move forward decisively. The acronym stands for: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. 

  • RAPID® decision-making: While a RACI chart defines project roles, the RAPID® framework assigns roles for the decision-making process itself. The framework identifies five key roles for major decisions: Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide.

Case study: Areas of Responsibility (AoRs) at Asana

At Asana, we keep teams accountable by assigning Areas of Responsibility to each employee. For any given area of the company (like engineering, HR, or internal communications), there’s a single AoR-holder, also known as a Directly Responsible Individual (DRI). Identifying one clear decision-maker helps teams make decisions quickly. 

When workers have an AoR, that means the company trusts them to move work forward in the way they think is best—as long as it falls within their specific area.

Turn your plans into action

You’ve put a lot of work into annual planning—now it’s time to turn those plans into revenue-driving campaigns. For more actionable insights, check out our webinar about how to create a successful marketing plan for 2024.

3 ways to launch marketing campaigns faster with Asana

Join Gympass and Asana to learn how to align stakeholders, monitor performance in real time, automate manual processes, and more.

3 ways to launch marketing campaigns faster with Asana

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