Marketing New Years Resolutions: Execution is a Strategy

I resolve to focus on execution.

There's a bias for Big Ideas. I like Big Ideas as much as the next guy, but in my life as a marketer - not a philosopher - I have to constantly tie Big Ideas back to execution. That doesn't mean having no strategic plan, quite the opposite: execution is my strategic plan.

cupGive me somebody who can get stuff done - even if they occasionally do the wrong stuff or make mistakes - over a creator of Perfect Big Ideas any day. Speed to market and speed of iteration can be incredibly important in marketing, especially for high-tech products. Agile is a great example of an execution-focused method, and it is fast and iterative too.

The bias for Big Ideas means that the makers of such ideas often rise in organizations or become high-priced consultants, while people focused on execution get labels like "worker bees" and less institutional standing. I'm not arguing for a total inversion of this order of things, only saying that the distinction shouldn't be so sharply drawn. Big Ideas are worthless if they can't be realized; they must be broken down into doable parts, and done by people who know both how to get them done, and why they're doing it.

Especially in small companies and startups,  be wary of employees and consultants who want to do the big thinking and become mysteriously scarce when it comes time to execute.

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