Puddle Jumping With Mindy: Where the details start and stop. Micromanaging is a marketing nightmare. (Part one)

Stop marketing like it’s 1999! I know we all miss the microscopic unemployment rate and the soaring stock market of that time, but things have changed – especially in the marketing world.

The days when you could do most of your marketing by phone, snail mail and print advertising are long gone. So where does that leave marketing today? A whole lot bigger and with a whole lot more opportunity to influence your bottom line – and that means looking at the big picture and not getting tangled in the details.

Clients come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s critical for the person who interacts with the agency partner to be strategic. Strategy plays a vital part in every aspect of the ad agency/client partnership.

Every company has a business strategy; one that’s (hopefully) propelling them along to success. The tricky part is translating that business strategy into an actionable marketing plan.

Let’s take an almost universal business objective as an example: Growth.

The marketing leader’s job is to translate growth into a strategic MARKETING direction. The agency’s job, then, is to manifest this strategic marketing direction into an overall plan.

Too often, clients will lose sight of strategy and concern themselves with the colors or the placement of product in a television spot, or changing a word buried in the copy.

It’s important to stop and ask yourself: “Is this relating back to the strategy? Are we going to grow more if I’m focused on this?” Usually, the answer is no. We are quickly getting vertigo traveling farther and farther away from the strategy and, instead, finding ourselves stuck inside a small box of details.

Today, more than at any other time, companies need strategic leaders to run marketing! That strategic leader, however, also needs to have skills in translating the strategy to execution and managing that!

Most importantly: This marketing Wondergod needs to understand what occurred during the past month and look deeper with his or her marketing partners (ad agency, etc.) to think about how the cycle can be improved. It’s a tall order for sure. One that’s hard to fill.

Don’t get us wrong. Details can make a difference. But, focusing on them for too long is an expensive exercise, often at the cost of a grander purpose – while putting deadlines in danger of being missed.

I’ll be sharing more thoughts on where I’m cutting marketing details in part two of this memo. Stayed tuned.

Mindy Jeffries