MYPRODUCT9 Success of Failure. Who Is Responsible?


In 2005 as Brand Manager I was the creator of the first DHL marathon, a traditional corporate event having its 9th edition in 2018. From this position I was directly responsible for organizing a BTL project highly complex from a logistic point of view. It was mandatory to be a success as the event involved the company’s name and reputation in front of its own customers, general public and DHL colleagues from other countries who came in large numbers to participate to the marathon.


Based on the extensive experience I gained in BTL projects for Cosmorom during my work in the advertising agency, I knew from the very beginning that beyond the project concept a critical factor that ensures the potential success of the event is related to choosing the partner with whom to develop and implement the event. The right partner must have the operational and human capabilities to put this logistics into practice.


At the time, as a Brand Manager, I was developing communication projects with a big networking advertising agency (an agency with which DHL collaborated internationally in all countries from our region) and a local agency.

As the DHL marathon project was out of the usual collaborative standards, I initiated a discussion with the commercial manager – my hierarchical superior – to whom I shared these considerations. For reasons I do not expose, his approach was to work with the networking agency, but considering that I was directly responsible for the project, and implicitly for its success or failure, I argued that this BTL event required collaboration with specialized suppliers. The standard advertising agency was a good choice for classic communication campaigns, while BTL companies have the resources, capabilities and connections perfectly calibrated for such initiatives. And as long as I have the responsibility and “right of signature” for the event, it would be appropriate to have a point of view in choosing the right supplier.

We agreed to invite the two agencies to a pitch and, together with the general manager, to decide which option is the most appropriate.


Following the presentations of the network advertising agency and the BTL company, it became very clear which company represented a valid option for implementing our first DHL marathon. And decision went to the BTL company.

This decision directly contributed to the success of the event, as later on the BTL company proved to be able to provide a quick and elegant solution during a major crisis that occurred in the project implementation process.

It is worth to mention that one of the BTL’s key leaders who were involved in the first DHL marathon is also responsible this year for the organization of the 9th edition!

5.Key Learnings

Each of us goes through moments when is exposed to spotlights. Moments when we are accounting directly and personally for the success or failure of the project.

When you are in such situations make sure that beyond the responsibility of developing the project, you have the right to decide on choosing the tools, resources and the right collaborators to implement your project. With tact, diplomacy and arguments, support your points of view and strive to ensure the success of your project. Because at the end you are the only one responsible for the success or failure, not your colleagues or superiors.

Notification: MYPRODUCT reflects my real professional experience and expertise as well as my subjectivity. I do have a profound respect for all the companies I collaborated to and for all the people I worked with. It is not my intention to approach any sensitive, confidential or offending information related to companies, projects or people. If you the reader deduct or recognise companies, projects or people in my examples, I kindly ask you to respect MYPRODUCT and my professional and ethic approach and to not share any detail, information, situation, name, company.