Have you had any experience in which you created a solid marketing plan or campaign, then the budget was reduced or the product got delayed and the marketing plan you put so much time and effort into became useless and out-of-date?

Or the business environment changed forcing you to plan all over again?

Here is the irony of planning that frustrates us: we spend so much time and effort planning yet it usually does not work out the way we plan. Chaos intervenes. If we don’t plan, chaos still intervenes. It’s just a depressing lose-lose situation.

Does this mean we should not plan? No. Frankly, planning is in our DNA.

We plan our wedding, our vacations and even our days because we recognize the benefits of planning: 1. Know what to do to accomplish end goals and 2. Mitigate foreseeable chaos

The truth is there is a difference between plans and planning:


An active way of discussing the goals, objectives, strategies, and tasks that we need to accomplish.


Typically any diagrams or list of steps with details of timing and resources used to achieve an objective to do something. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal.

Planning vs Plans

Since things change, plans need to get updated on a regular basis. Planning is a continuous process that helps us adjust course, keep on-track and make accomplishing our goals more likely.

President Eisenhower said it poignantly, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Planning is the prerequisite of business success, but success is not guaranteed by planning.

Three Key Planning Takeaways

  • Planning is an active ongoing process, while plans are the documentation of that discussion at one point of time.
  • Planning aims to mitigate problems and changes, yet bear in mind that the only constant in life is a change.
  • Planning does not guarantee success, yet it’s absolutely necessary.

Quotes that reflect the essence of plans vs. planning

“Have a plan, but be ready to abandon it at any moment.” – Jennifer Baichwal

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” -Yogi Berra

So, don’t fall in love with your marketing plans.  Don’t get frustrated with constant changes.  It’s all part of the game. The saga of planning continues.



What can Pam Didner do for you?

Being in the corporate world for 20+ years and having held various positions from accounting and supply chain management, and marketing to sales enablement, she knows how corporations work. She can make you and your team a rock star by identifying areas to shine and do better. She does that through private coaching, keynote speaking, workshop training, and hands-on consulting. Contact her or find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. A quick note: Check out her new 90-Day Revenue Reboot, if you are struggling with marketing.