Marketing Execution = F1 Pit Crew

This week over at the great blog of MarketingProfs, they turned their attention to marketing execution/marketing operations. Notably, a favourite subject of mine. Both terms (marketing execution and marketing operations) seem to be used interchangeably and mean slightly different things at different companies.

Laura Patterson wrote the excellent post on marketing operations that caught my eye. She used two metaphors that illustrate marketing execution brilliantly. Reading her article, it was one of those times where I wished I thought of the analogy she presented.

She suggested thinking of your company’s marketing like a car, and your marketing execution team either being like the pit crew on a Formula One racing team, or being like your friendly neighbourhood service station. Both are needed to run a car (depending on the car), and both have very different goals and purposes.

Looking at the F1 pit crew example, this team needs to operate fast, respond to current conditions and put in place actions that defend the company’s progress, and those that go on the offensive. The pit crew is very much part of the strategy for the F1 team to win.

In contrast, the service station example of marketing execution operates in a less strategic, albeit a very responsive manner. The cars come in, and the service station is requested to do whatever it is the car owner wants. The way to be seen as successful as a marketing execution team in this situation, is to operate in a pleasant, quick and cost effective manner. Like a service station, a marketing team in this situation has little say in what type of work they’ll do each day as the work is done in response to whatever situation pulls into the “garage”.

Although I personally see the pit crew example as a more exciting illustration of marketing execution – an area that seems to be ignored or taken for granted – both analogies are equal and needed and function well depending on the particular needs of a company.

Which example applies to the marketing execution work your company needs doing?

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