As marketers, we live for those times in our careers when we’ve developed a powerful brand, an amazing strategy, a breakthrough insight and the killer idea – all coming together to create a perfect storm. And when your time comes, you know that this is going to be game-changing, this is going to be award winning, this is going to get you promoted. This will be one of those moments when competition says, ‘I wish I had done that.’ But, this confluence must be expertly navigated. If not, the burden of execution will become a very stormy reality. Success will be determined by your ability to champion the idea and inspire the organization to bring it to life across the entire value chain. You must get everyone what they need to fulfill their role and to deliver their piece of the broader execution plan. But there’s a problem – some will deliver and some won’t. This is not a big-idea problem, this is an every-idea problem. Big or small, the burden of execution is the constant and consistent obstacle to success for any brand initiative that counts on flawless implementation and execution across cross-functional teams. Here’s the drill: The sales team wants customer-specific selling tools and partnerships for their must-win retailers. Your distributors require delivery of the right materials, to the right place, at the right time. If it’s late, they can’t promise they will meet execution targets. Plus, there are thousands of retail accounts that have to be merchandised before your marketing hits. Your agency is insightful, strategic and creative, but production on a timeline and within budget may not be their strong suits. They promise it can be done, but you worry there’s not enough time for them to get the creative right and also complete all the artwork versions required to meet the needs of the field and sales organizations. Last time they had to bring in freelancers, and not only did they not know your brand, it blew up your production budget. Your internal supply chain people tell you that the display and merchandising materials are going to have to be produced in different locations and shipped separately to your distributors, sales teams and retailers. Everything will show up on a different day, and they’re concerned that key pieces may be lost or pitched. Your career-changing idea is becoming an ever-diluted executional nightmare. This brand-building, award-winning, get-you-promoted event is falling into the black hole of an organization with aspirations that exceed its capabilities – all known as the Burden of Execution. If you’ve been here, your goal is to make different decisions that keep you from being there again. Marketing is about problem solving and choosing the right partners to solve those problems. Don’t put yourself in a position of having to choose what’s expendable in order to save the program, whether it’s brand integrity, flawless and broad-based execution, giving sales teams what they need, providing retailer customizations, trusting your creative agency to get it all done, or committing precious budget dollars on rush and shipping charges. There’s a better way. Find experts that understand your entire value chain and can complete the steps from your great idea to flawless execution; a team that will work with your lead agency to deliver the big idea to shoppers, bringing calm to the storm. Madden Studio has the proven expertise that consistently delivers solutions for getting marketing materials to market. Agencies joke about unreasonable clients who ‘just don’t get it’. They say, “You can have great work. You can have it fast. You can have it on budget. But you can only choose two.” Clients get all three with Madden Studio: Quality Work. Speed-to-Market. Fair Value.

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