It’s one thing to create a marketing strategy based on an understanding of your customer personas and touchpoints, an informed media mix, and constant optimization based on feedback and data. It’s another thing entirely to execute on that.

Many marketing teams start off with the best of intentions but get distracted along the way by shiny objects, competitor efforts — or simply a lack of discipline.

As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” It’s easy to be creative and have new ideas, especially when we see so much inspiring creative around and blog posts from vendors and marketers on new tools, tactics and successful campaigns . It’s much harder to do the day-in day-out work to stay focused and make a marketing program successful. One of the reasons for Microsoft’s success in the 1980s and 90s was that they stuck with their marketing campaigns long enough for them to have an impact.

So do your homework, be creative, and then stick to it. Execute.