Big Data and Big Results Are Great, But Sometimes It’s the Little Things That Matter Most.

LIttle ThingsIn the marketing business it’s easy to get hyper-focused on the big clients, the big media, big campaigns, big projects, big agencies, big celebrities. In a way, it’s natural.

But I am reminded daily that it is almost always the little things that make the difference between good and great (with all due respect to Jim Collins). The one extra effort or attempt or idea or question… the one extra phone call or email or letter… the one extra minute… the one extra review or edit… the one extra pat on the back or word of inspiration… the little things.

There is a great story about Jack Kahl, then the owner of a fledgling tape company called Manco. Jack was working his own booth at a lumberyard trade show in Dallas. The show ended at 5:00 p.m., but 20 minutes before close, when hardly anyone was around, Gary Broach, a buyer from Walmart, approached the Manco booth looking for promotional, seasonal goods. But Broach had other appointments, so he told Kahl to wait for him, which he did. Broach returned at 5:25 p.m. and was surprised to see Kahl still there. Broach asked about the cost of the tape, and Kahl told him $1 per roll. Broach responded, saying he wanted to buy 88,000 rolls. Less than 25 years later, Kahl sold the business to Henkel Group for $116 million.

And there you go.  Little things.

Or for those who prefer a good song to a good story, consider what Good Charlotte said:

The little things, little things
They always hang around
The little things, little things
They try to break me down
The little things, little things
They just won’t go away
The little things, little things
Made me who I am today

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.