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Like the brain, marketing has two sides that play important roles independently. However, to be truly effective, they must function in lockstep and with equal skill.

Those two marketing components are marketing strategy and marketing execution. Without a sound marketing strategy, execution will have little impact. And without the correct execution, the most brilliant strategy on earth is worthless.

The key is both doing the right things and doing things right.

"Right" is the word to focus on here. Our experience with hundreds of best-in-class marketing organizations has consistently highlighted the importance of strong execution. However, many marketing organizations struggle to execute consistently or quickly enough, use partners efficiently, or measure results in a meaningful way.

Those challenges were front and center in our own research with global marketing organizations. Regardless of industry or geography, marketing executives expressed a need to close the execution gap by having better insights and deeper knowledge of the best-practices that drive excellent execution.

So, what is the secret to marketing execution done right?

The first step is to understand what drives performance. Our work with hundreds of organizations across the globe has consistently highlighted five drivers of performance.

1. Keeping (or adopting) an innovative mindset

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Chris Dent is vice-president of marketing strategy at InnerWorkings, global marketing execution firm for Fortune 500 brands across a wide range of industries.

LinkedIn: Chris Dent