Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Marketing Effectiveness: Just Hit Your Foul Shots Baby !

After watching the Memphis vs. Kansas NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals last night, I kept thinking back to the fact that Memphis was up by 9 points with around 2 minutes left in the game and ended up losing. One of the keys to blowing the lead: missed foul shots. They make just one more of the many they missed in the last 8 minutes of the game and they are national champions. Kansas won in overtime.

As a CMO I know I constantly look for that big strategic idea that will change the game for my company, or the most creative tactic that will engage our customers more effectively. Looking back I can pinpoint a number of times where just plain lack of attention to detail or missed fundamental execution has negatively impacted actual results. Examples include:

1) Holding yourself, your team and agencies accountable to meet deadlines. You commit to a date, you make the date. How many times have I let things slip and that piece of analysis goes another 2 weeks before completion, the required product marketing content is not completed by the end of the month as promised, or my agency needs 2 more weeks to complete planned changes to your website.

2) Lack of clarity around roles/responsibilities within your department. I come out of meetings having discussed a number of great ideas and deliverables and not everyone is clear on who owns what.

3) Putting the right metrics in place to not only keep score better, but monitor programs more closely for quicker response times. Defining the right metrics, not just the ones you need to demonstrate your value to the business, but the metrics you need to monitor your program execution for quick response to changes in customer response and resource priorities, is basic marketing fundamentals. Adding the focus on how you are going to capture the data required to monitor accurately is difficult at times and in many cases does not get the attention needed to actually add value.

I have just decided to call these fundamentals, “Hitting my foul shots” and to place a higher priority on them within the business. I would love to create a list of overlooked fundamentals from the CMOs in the group so please add you most important piece of advise to other CMOs in this area.


Paul Dunay said...


I am absolutely sure this audience has some really good stories of "missed foul shots" in execution or otherwise

We should compile some of them in an anonymous fashion so we all can learn

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