This story has a happy ending, I promise. Over the last several years, we have been working with a marketing team in which every member was at least three levels removed from anyone who had direct contact with customers. To compensate for that, the company and the team were treading water in an ocean of research reports. The team was also investing costly cycles, trying to convince the company’s developers and creative team to prioritize their implementation needs over demands from other departments. Then, once they convinced the team to prioritize a project, even more cycles were invested in a polite and totally well-intentioned tug of war with the creative department about exactly how those changes should be executed.
Spending so much time between plan and execution was costing the company millions in opportunities lost, and the watered-down execution rarely yielded the positive results that were hoped for.
You may be thinking that this sounds like a dysfunctional company. I’d respond that this company is anything but; it is one of the largest in the world, a digital industry leader, incredibly profitable, and one known for hiring the best and the brightest people.
You might also think I am exaggerating. I’m not! A typical project would take at least two weeks to get in front of development — then another two weeks, and at least four hours of meetings, ironing out implementation details with the creative team. If a copy change was involved, the project would spend an additional week in legal review awaiting approval. However, if you are thinking this team’s situation sounds even a little familiar, then this post was written for you.
We have read this book before and we knew how it would end. We needed to help this team write a few new end chapters.