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Revisiting Top Trends: Is Execution the New Innovation? (Thinks Out Loud)

Execution is the new innovation: Woman celebrating successful product launch

OK, Big Thinkers, Covid has finally hit your favorite little podcast, which has put us a bit behind schedule. Of course, that makes a good time to revisit the archives for trends that continue to be important to your business. And, though this episode of Thinks Out Loud is from more than a few years back, its basic point—that execution is the new innovation—remains critical to your success this year… and beyond.

Why is execution so important for your business? What is the connection between execution and innovation? And how can these set you up for success in the longer term? This episode of Thinks Out Loud has you covered.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Revisiting Top Trends: Is Execution the New Innovation? (Thinks Out Loud) – Headlines and Show Notes

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Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 04s

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Transcript: Revisiting Top Trends: Is Execution the New Innovation? (Thinks Out Loud)

Well hello again, everybody, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud*, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. This is episode 145 of the big show. And thanks so much for tuning in and listening as ever. I really, really appreciate it. Well, we have a lot to talk about. I realize there are only two weeks left in the year, so this is our second to last episode for 2015. We will do an episode next week on the 23rd, and we will do an episode the week after that on the 30th. So yay. But this is very exciting stuff we’re running out of year rapidly. And as we did last week, we’re gonna talk a little bit about some trends that you might want to think about as you go forward into 2016.

So one that I really, really want to talk about relates to this series of articles that have come out over the last couple weeks, all about the disconnect between the chief marketing officers of many companies and either the chief technology officer or the chief information officer at those same companies. So whoever that the head of technology is media post wrote it up by saying there’s a relationship problem between CMOs and CTOs. There isn’t one meaning a relationship to use the media posts, articles information. They talked about a study from the leapfrog marketing Institute, where they talked to people who are directors or higher in marketing functions and it functions. And over 60% of the respondents said that marketers and it types don’t see eye to eye on incentives and metrics while I’m quoting. Now, while 20% of CMOs believe working on data driven or technology driven programs has improved the CMO CTO alignment.

Only 4% of it feels that way. And while 40% of it executives say that they are more confident in their company’s omnichannel channel customer experience, only 27% of senior marketers are. So that sucks. I mean, that’s a really big problem. And they also said that there’s a big perceptual disconnect at work where basically what they’re saying is more marketers. And again, I’m gonna read this. It says more marketers than CTOs. Think the CMO CTA O relationship is collaborative, meaning there’s this enormous, enormous disconnect between how marketers perceive the relationship and how their it counterparts their technology counterparts perceive the relationship.

And that’s a big deal because one possible trend as we go forward. And the only reason I say it’s possible is because I’m not sure this hasn’t been true for a long time, but, but we’ll pretend like it’s true is that execution is the new innovation, your ability to deliver on the things that you need to deliver matters, at least as much, if not more so than working on the right things in the first place. I mean, really, which is better the best strategy in the world poorly implemented or a poor strategy well implemented. Okay. Let’s be fair. They both suck in different ways and sure. If you had to pick one, you’d probably say, well, I’d rather have a good strategy. That’s not implemented as well than have the right implementation of the wrong thing. I think we would all agree that that’s true at the same time.

If it’s really poorly implemented, it doesn’t matter how good your strategy is. You’re still—to use a technical term—screwed. So it’s really not either/or. You have to have a good strategy, which we talk about a lot, but you also have to deliver on that strategy really, really effectively. And increasingly in marketing, delivering effectively depends on technology. While that’s always been true in digital, really so much of marketing today is digitally-enabled that there’s not the distinction there once was between digital and between what used to be called traditional marketing. For instance, Newscred listed the top seven skills that CMOs need. And the top three that they listed of that seven were agile development, big data and programmatic buying. And they had innovation at number six of those seven. So that’s four of the seven that are very, very, very much technology enabled. And it’s only going to get bigger with regard to that. If you look at the growth of millennials more than one third, according to pew, more than one third of all, millennials are online. And this is a quote almost constantly.

Clearly we’ve talked a lot around here about how big millennials are becoming as a core of your market. There’s a really good piece over on brand strategy, insider that talks about how millennials are changing CMOs and brands. And the reality is it’s because of the fact that these folks live online, digital, isn’t some other channel it’s core to what you do. And if it’s core to what you do, technology is core to what you do as well. And your need to actually deliver is going to be critically, critically important. For instance, Google has announced that it’s gonna start integrating its amp pages. So it’s accelerated mobile pages project starting in February, where they’re gonna open it up to everybody, which will allow your pages to show up faster to people on mobile.

Now that sounds like it’s a good thing. We all know speed is important. It’s something I’ve written about on the blog. It’s something I’m sure you’ve heard about, but here’s the kicker. Google is probably going to start to preference pages that use amp or some similar technology higher in the search results. So if your business depends upon search, it suddenly becomes a question of, should we use amp? Is it right for our strategy or are we giving away too much control to Google? Does your technology team have an alternative? Have they researched alternatives? Have you asked them to, these are not just marketing problems, which they are, they are also business problems and they are also technology problems. It’s not either, or, and it’s hard to do well. There’s a piece that I thought was really interesting where they talked to folks over at Priceline did day had a great interview with some people over at digit over at Priceline. They talked to their director of product planning and strategy at guided by the name of Scott lake. And they said that one of the biggest challenges they have is coordinating across the various parts of their business and the bigger they get, the, the more challenging that becomes. So if leapfrog leapfrog marketing Institute’s research is correct that today there’s a lack of coordination between the CMO and the CTO. Just imagine where you’re gonna be as you go forward.

And what that creates is a real threat to your ability to succeed. So what do you do about it? Well, for starters, you gotta admit there is a problem. You have to take a deep look at your own situation and say, is this working as well as it could be? And don’t just look at yourself, have a discussion with your technology counterpart, find out what his or her biggest pain points are and ask, how can I help? You know, there’s a very funny piece. That’s been going around the web for years about a, a man and a woman having a conversation. And the woman keeps talking about the bad day that she’s had, and there’s this giant spike sticking in her head. And the guy keeps wanting to tell her, well, there’s a spike in your head. And what the woman in this, in this video wants is just for him to listen, just to acknowledge. Now, most of us have gotten where we are, have achieved the success that we have because we’re good problem solvers, but that’s also true for your technical counterpart. They’ve gotten where they’ve gotten because of the fact that he or she is a real problem solver too. So rather than telling them, wait, I think I have a solution to your problem. Just ask, how can I help ask how you can engage better with their team, ask how you can offer more support, or can you offer more support?

You know, if you have to hold a pizza party or an ice cream social or host a happy hour once a month to foster more communication between your team and the technology team, because the more you do to break down those walls and create better communication between the two groups, the better a position you will be in to execute. And then you lather, you rinse, you repeat as you’re well aware, you build relationships over time. It’s not a one and done kind of thing. It’s you spend the time to get to know the people, listen to what their challenges are, and then listen to their suggestions about how those can get better. Doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything. You can have a debate about it once you understand what they think is the right solution. And if you think it’s not the right solution, explain why and explain what your alternative is and why you think that’s better, but keep the dialogue going because the more you do to break down those barriers, the more you do to truly collaborate the better a position you will be in to actually execute effectively, to actually be innovative.

And that’s huge as you go forward in 2016, because as I said, a few moments ago, speed matters. And the more you can do to break down those walls, the faster you will get things to market, the faster you will learn, what works for your customers, the faster you will learn, what doesn’t work, so that you can learn from those and make adjustments and the better a position you’ll put yourself in to succeed. So I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say execution is the new innovation, but it’s pretty damn important. So one of the key trends you should watch in 2016 is how can I execute more effectively? And you do a good job of that. You’ll be in a really great place to succeed all year long.

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. But once again, I want to thank you so much for tuning in. I really do appreciate it. I wanna remind you that you can find the show notes for today’s episode and an archive of all past episodes And while you’re over there, you can go ahead and click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there so that you can get each week’s podcast delivered to you directly. Ultimately you can subscribe in your favorite podcaster, such as iTunes or Stitcher radio or whatever you choose to use just to a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or plain old Thinks Out Loud. You can also find us on Facebook at Peter associates and on Twitter using the Twitter handle at TC Peter. And of course you can email me by sending an email to podcast @ Tim Again, that’s podcast Tim Just feel free to shoot many comments or complaints or questions or concerns, whatever happens to be top of mind for you. I do look forward to hearing it with that. I hope you have a terrific week ahead. Thanks so much for tuning in hope to see you back here on Thinks Out Loud again next week. And until then take care, everybody.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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