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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Digital Strategy & Execution - The "What Sandwich"

I try to use analogies that help stakeholders get their heads around some of the abstract concepts floating around in a marketing environment. Strategy and its proper relationship to Execution is one of them.

This is not a post on the elusive definition of strategy. Nor an attempt to define the difference between Strategy (with a big "S") vs. strategy (with a small "s") or Strategery or any of the other silliness that surrounds this term.

I like to think of the relationship between Strategy and Execution as a "What Sandwich" or, more specifically, a sandwich comprised of "What" needs to be built, that lives between 2 slices of "How" objectives will be achieved and "How" the features and functions will be executed.. The sandwich is made like this:

I'll leave the deeper question of "Why" for another time or other minds.


  1. An hungry mouth is the "Why"... The What sandwich is fulfilling a need: the "Why"

  2. I like your “sandwich” concept. It defines a simple approach for strategic marketing. It is amazing how you can link the two major factors in marketing planning by filling them the “experiences that are going to be developed” section. But there’s one thing I want to add as “dressing” to your sandwich—the statistical data that can prove the effectiveness of the plan.

    Wilber Barbosa

  3. Like it. To step away from the sandwich metaphor. There are two areas where data is most appropriately leveraged - upstream as a means of informing or driving a strategy & execution and, as you point out, downstream as part of the assessment of a program's effectiveness.

    I think the sandwich metaphor holds for the upstream use of data, as the dressing tends to go either on underside of the top piece of bread (Strategy) or on the topside of the meat (Features & Functions).

    Not sure the metaphor holds for the downstream data (dressing on the bottom of a sandwich?). Regardless, you make a great point about the importance of data.


  4. I love the approach and the sandwich analogy the question is how to actually illustrate this to your client in a way that they really get. I don't mean the head nod "yeah i get it" but the meaningfully engaged not only do I 'get it' but I want to 'engage in it' concept

  5. Great analogy from u, Jeff.. I was wondering if the sandwich could also include the "When" component which u often have in your approach (How, What, When).. Cheers! - Arvind