What’s more important than strategy or creative or execution?

I have been in this business of marketing and public relations for more than 30 years now.  All of it on the agency side.

During that time I have had the opportunity to work with and represent hundreds of organizations, from global industry leaders to one-person start-up businesses.

And I can state without hesitation that the single biggest oversight of most is the inability or unwillingness to set and document goals and objectives before planning and implementing marketing initiatives.

Don’t get me wrong, there is almost always a general agreement that the organization knows what it wants to accomplish – we want to increase sales, we want to successfully launch a new product, we want to crush the competition, we want to change market perception of our company, we want to become the industry leader – and some might accept these vague, abstract and intangible intentions as goals.  And perhaps they are.

But without their companion – precise, tangible, measurable objectives – they are little more than ideas.  And unless both are committed to paper and shared across the organization, they are simply ideas floating through the atmosphere.

The best strategies, the best creative and the best implementation – even if they win prestigious awards – amount to nothing more than a bag of crap if they do not achieve the specific goals and objectives they were intended to reach.

But if there are no specific, concrete, documented and shared goals and objectives that can be measured and analyzed, how can you ever hope to validate your achievement?

“Well,” you might say, “This is both obvious and ridiculous.  Every organization – particularly industry leaders – have documented goals and objectives that drive their ongoing and continuously evolving marketing and public relations initiatives.”

Really?  Please send me a copy of your current goals and objectives.  I would like nothing more than to give you credit for doing the right thing.

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.