How to Ensure Great Marketing Execution

What’s the easiest way to sink a marketing campaign? You guessed it: poor execution. Many marketers focus extensively on strategy, which they should. But problems can begin to emerge when strategy is the sole focus at the expense of the tactics that will be executed. A good strategy and tactics often lead to a winning marketing campaign, but good strategy and poor tactical execution almost always lead to failure.

With this in mind, how can we promote great execution of our marketing campaigns? Think in terms of the three T’s of execution: time, talent and testing.

  • Time – Great execution takes time. Rushing inevitably leads to second best or even mistakes. Good creative and planning should be well thought out, which is difficult to do if there isn’t adequate time. Make sure to build in appropriate timelines for each stage of execution to ensure the best results.
  • Talent – Use the appropriate professionals for each part of the process, including writers, designers, photographers, videographers, media professionals and any other professional that’s needed. Many professionals bring skills in several of these areas. Utilize as much talent as possible for the best results.
  • Testing – A great way to make sure you’ve hit the mark with your execution is to test it, and on people in your target market if possible. This will allow you to validate that your work is quality or provide an opportunity to tweak it if necessary before going to market.

There’s no way around it; great execution is critical to great results. Getting this right is worth every minute you will put into it. Don’t waste a great strategy. Take any and every means needed to match it with great execution.

Let me know your thoughts on this important aspect of marketing.

Picking Sides

It seems to be human nature to want to pick sides. I was reminded of that again this week when I noticed the Facebook versus Google+ debate heating up again. The launch of business pages on Google+ has beckoned advocates on both sides back into the ring.

I read one well reasoned and written post that predicted Google+ will be a dismal failure after one or two more years. I also read an equally well-developed post that outlined why Google+ will be a great success and a real threat to Facebook. Who’s right?

Just as interesting were the comments under each post. One person after another vehemently stating why one platform is better than the other and predicting success or failure based on their opinions.

Ultimately, nobody really knows what will happen to Facebook or Google+ in the long run. Both platforms are similar in some ways and different in others. Both have good features and benefits as well their fair share of drawbacks, whether for business or personal use.

Here’s the important question: Isn’t there room for both?

I know my answer.

Practical Steps for Nurturing Creativity

The world today is one that works against creativity. Too much happens too quickly to allow time for a robust creative environment. Since everything all at once is the new norm, how do we protect and maintain the creativity that is so vital to innovation? It’s an important question that has ramifications in both our professional and personal lives.

An absence of creativity leads to stagnation. This increases the possibility of failure if it continues for an extended period. With that in mind, we must consider how we can nurture creativity and not allow it die. Here are some very practical steps that can be implemented quickly to allow creativity to continue to grow:

  • Don’t fear failures – Fear eliminates creativity before it can get on track, because exceptionally creative ideas often delve into uncharted territory. Who knows how many new ideas have never surfaced because of fear. Instead of allowing fear to quench creativity, push forward and allow new ideas to flourish.
  • Don’t dismiss ideas too quickly – In the creative process, come up with as many ideas as possible without evaluating them. Excessive evaluation too early inhibits creativity. The goal is to let as much creativity as possible to flow. Critical evaluation of ideas can take place at a later point.
  • Practice creating – It’s important to get in the habit of being creative. Set aside regular times to generate new ideas, produce new material or to focus on innovation. Regular practice leads to higher levels of creativity.
  • Set goals – How often do you need to create? By when? How much? Knowing what your creative goals are helps bring about a greater focus that can help in being more creative.
  • Develop a healthy curiosity – Learning about new things and how they function or operate often sparks new ideas. Expanding our horizons promotes broader thinking.
  • Loosen processes – Excessive rules and boundaries limit outside-the-box thinking. Creativity can often flow more freely in an environment that allows flexibility.
  • Reduce obligations – Being over over committed leaves little time for creativity. The mind is constantly focused on the next item to do. More time for free thinking allows the mind to explore new possibilities.
  • Eliminate distractions – Constant incoming distractions like text messages, emails, social and numerous other forms of media captures thoughts and leaves less time and energy to be creative. Sometimes the best creative ideas flow out of times of solitude.
  • Get to know other creative people – We can learn from others who are more naturally creative or who have taught themselves to be this way. Creativity is infectious.
  • Take care of yourself – Healthy eating, exercise and rest all contribute to inner creativity.
  • Be persistent and determined – Much of being creative is the relentless pursuit of new and innovative ideas and expression. The more effort put into being committed to creativity ultimately leads to growth in this area.

What do you think? Any other means of nurturing creativity that you would recommend?