Why Human Resources Is More Important Than The Idea

I love ideas. They excite me, engage me and energize me.  Frankly the favorite part of my job is when I get to sit with great brands like Disney, Anheuser Busch and Duck and brainstorm ideas.

Further, I love watching the ideas come together.  Graphic designers work their magic, copy writers bring the words to life.  But, while I love these facets of my job, they actually have very little to do with why Pro Motion is so successful in activating events, or why I’m so confident that I can guarantee our results.

You see, what really makes an event work and allows your brand experience to come to life, engage customers, create fans and drive real, valuable outcomes occurs long before “the show hits the road.”

I’ve learned that success is 80% HR and logistics, and 20% ideas.  Think about the last time a marketing effort failed to deliver the result you desired?  Was it because the idea was bad?  The graphics were wrong?

Sure, on occasion this is true.  But everyday I see great ideas fail, and, frankly I’ve seen very average ideas yield huge gains.  What’s the difference?  It all comes down to execution.

It’s about how the brand ambassadors were recruited.  Did the message resonate with them?  Are you bringing natural ambassadors to the table and trying to make everyone fit?

How were they hired?  Jim Collins shared a secret to organizational success in his landmark book Good to Great.  He said one of the key ingredients was getting the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off.  Truer words have never been spoken for experiential marketing – but how are you ensuring that the right ambassadors are getting on your bus?

Then, it’s all about training.  Was the message taught the right way?  Did your ambassadors learn the direct parts of their job, as well as the indirect parts?  Do they understand the bigger mission, and how they contribute to it?

Finally, success boils down to the famous phrase “stuff happens.”  It’s easy to plan an event; it is excruciatingly hard to ensure its success when the unexpected happens.  Are you ambassadors prepared?

So please, spend the time coming up with great ideas (it makes our job easier), but never forget what really causes success. Superior human resources and execution.