1. Square peg problems
    1. Poor target audience definition
    2. Use of incorrect tactics for the situation
    3. Correct tactics don’t fit the budget
    4. Reliance on shortcuts and threats
  2. Principal/Agent problem
    1. Agency controls budget
    2. Agency controls timeline
    3. Agency controls upkeep
    4. Throwing more money at the problem/sunk-cost fallacy
  3. Management and operations
    1. Unqualified Manager
    2. Unclear roles
    3. Undefined Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
    4. Uncoordinated efforts
  4. Poor direction
    1. No budget/underfunded
    2. No tie to overall business goals and values
    3. Not part of the larger business plan
    4. No metrics or wrong metrics
    5. Misuse of metrics
    6. Too much brand confusion
  5. Translation problems
    1. Lack of shared lexicon/language
    2. Lack of marketing education in leadership
    3. Lack of published plan and structure
    4. Lack of brand guidelines
  6. Fear and stagnation
    1. Lack of inspiration
    2. Status quo over innovation
    3. Research is preferred to design
    4. Compliance is over rewarded
    5. Courage is punished
    6. “Worst customer knows best” (power of negative voices)
  7. Groundwork Failure
    1. Company policies not in place
    2. No vision, philosophy or value statements to provide guidance
    3. Lack of strategy/not codified
    4. Absent of leadership expertise in key areas:
      1. Legal
      2. Financial
      3. Product
      4. Marketing
      5. Support
    5. Total alignment failure across all functional areas
    6. Lack of leadership support systems
    7. Confusion and resentment in the chain of command