The Forward ‘Thinking Cap’ . . .

Doug Isabell - Director of Marketing

May 2013 – For over three years now, I have helped build a marketing team at COACT, and by far the most gratification comes from our ability to implement and manage marketing campaigns for our clients, who work across radically diverse industries. With so many internal and external variables constantly being accounted and recounted, it is essential to be proactive in our marketing plan… it’s sometimes challenging to wear that proverbial forward ‘thinking cap’, but it is a mandatory job requirement that needs to be monitored and adjusted, often times daily. Reacting to issues that arise is important, but being proactive in planning and implementation is what sets individuals, departments, and their company’s apart from the competition.

If proactive planning and implementation is consistently addressed; daily review of future work elements, building consensus and transparency amongst people and activities at your company, then stop reading now… nothing to learn here.

It all starts with the right team – Jim Collins has the right idea. By ‘right team’ I mean the people you depend on every day to help you do the work to gain those ‘wins’ for your organization. In my experience, the right team is the biggest asset to business growth success.

Even the best team, looks average if there are communication break-downs. Taking the time to listen, communicate and adjust plans – building a collaborative structure, is critical to success. Help the team remain connected to the marketing objectives, internal processes and deliverables planned. If things aren’t going swimmingly, most often it is due to poor communication.

Once you’ve built the team and developed communication structures that help make your work- products more transparent, it is time to focus on support systems that best fit how you do your work. These systems are based on the myriad of projects that any marketing department or consultancy deals with on a daily basis. Driving projects, making deadlines a top priority is critical. What use is a well-designed marketing campaign, if your call to action isn’t delivered to the market in a timely manner? Deadlines aren’t deadlines if they aren’t met. Any marketing campaign takes thorough upfront planning, from concept, to graphic design, to back end engineering. What are your goals? What conversions are needed to drive positive outcomes? Quality processes and standard operating procedures must be in place for your team to deliver on the planned calls to action in timely manner. Of course, this is all designed with the purpose of meeting your over-arching business growth objectives.

Lastly, measure twice and cut once. It is important to measure activity, your progress against deadlines and the results that are produced against your goals. It doesn’t need to be a science project, but find the handful of measures that will inform your system about progress and results. Report those key performance indicators to the team and organization, as necessary. The resulting analysis of those measures should allow you to make meaningful changes that produce improved results.

Summary of Key Points to Consider

  • Get the right team in place
  • Build and manage transparent communication processes
  • Structure your systems to produce timely results
  • Measure activity and results, adjust


Like any occupation, it is much harder to be proactive in planning than reactive to the unexpected interruptions that often occur. Like we like to say at COACT, when “running your business gets in the way of growing your business”, it is even more important to have the people and processes in place that drive quality interactions with your clients. Building your overall brand message, developing quality and repeatable calls to action is critical to market growth success. If a solid departmental structure is in place with dependability and accountability built in, it makes each day substantially easier to manage not only failures, but what is most important to any company’s bottom line… building upon and repeating the successes you have helped uncover in the market place.