Last week in a meeting with a new client the question came up whether their lackluster sales growth is because their strategy is off or whether it’s an outcome of poor execution. I thought of my favorite quote from Isaac Asimov “The true genius of any plan lies as much in the execution as it does in the concept”. I read Asimov’s Foundation series when I was in college and this quote comes from that series.

I immediately chimed in with my thought. It was clear to me that the former media agency was so disconnected from the strategy as their TV media selection was made purely on cost per thousand impressions against a generic demographic target.  They never looked at what the brand was trying to achieve, why someone bought the product, what differences exist between prospects and random people.

In digital one of the recommended social vendors they wanted to use was Snapchat. This is a brand used by people with tired/sore/aching feet. While demographics alone don’t define them, they do tend to be older than 35 years old. I don’t know how many people in that age range can be found on Snapchat, but just because you can get a deal or have a creative idea for a vendor if it misses the prospect you’re wasting your money.

The brand in question had a rich segmentation yet nowhere in the media agency’s documents are segments mentioned. This is a case where no matter how good the segmentation was, how well the creative aligned to the segments needs/motivations the disconnect on execution in media doomed the brand to mediocrity.

Asimov’s quote is our mantra. We recognize the importance of delivering on strategy. It astonishes me time and again when we pick up assignments from large media agencies how lazy and siloed they operate. Are they even trying?

Are you getting lackluster results? Maybe it’s time we talk.