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Measure the Runway

When the agency fails to measure the runway, it’s the client who gets hurt in the resulting crash.

Here’s a story I’ve seen play out too many times:

A company that measures its success in direct sales – whether through retail, e-commerce, app, subscription or membership – reaches a plateau in its growth. The board puts pressure on the CEO who puts pressure on the CMO or head of marketing. A new idea is needed, a new level is called for, and probably a new agency.

Next thing one reads is that one of America’s great creative agencies has been retained. Some months later a new campaign is the talk of the advertising community. What insight! What verve!! What cojones!!!

A couple of months pass, and my phone rings. Or my email bings. Or my LinkedIn, or Facebook. It’s the CMO, and he’s in trouble. The campaign missed its mark or forgot to sell or lacked an offer or just didn’t work and all we really know is that we just missed our key selling season. Totally missed it! They – one of America’s leading creative agencies – just didn’t get it. We need a campaign to turn this around and we need it yesterday. Can you help?

They forgot to measure the runway!

No matter what the marketing leader told that agency, they just didn’t believe that sales were as important as re-launching the brand. Despite what they heard and learned, they were sure that there would be time, that the client would “get it” after the great campaign was launched and lauded. But it was a very short runway indeed – it always is in direct model companies – and now the agency has the consolation of their awards, and we of sharing the client’s problems – and a much shorter runway.

You can build a brand and sell at the same time. If you’re building a direct model or direct-led business, you really need to. Here, we use every inch of the runway to get safely aloft.  After all, a few feet too late is a disaster. On the other hand, taking off with runway to spare just means you’re flying!

At DiMassimo Goldstein, we call that Inspiring Action, and it’s the only thing we do. My purpose here today is to inspire you and to help you gain altitude in all the ways that matter to you.

What action are you trying to inspire?

This was Key #1 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Next up: Key #2 – Follow The Money. You can download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.