Marketers have been trained to get things “right” before the big reveal or launch. Best practices preached that we test our concepts with our audience until we receive minimal to no negative feedback. We agonized over getting the color on the ad campaign just right. We wrote and re-wrote copy until it was “perfect.” And then we discover — oops — our competition has introduced a better solution or campaign while we weren’t watching. Or our customers actually want what they said they didn’t need – and are getting it form someone else.
The way marketers succeed today is to maintain a bias for action over perfection. You don’t need what’s perfect (perfection is subjective anyway), you need what WORKS. And the only way to know what works today — in a timely enough manner to keep you ahead of the competitive curve — is to put it out there!
As a recovering perfectionist myself, I know how difficult this is. But time waits for no one. The planning window has shrunk. If you wait until your programs are all tied up with a pretty bow, the opportunity will vanish.
The good news is that the very technologies that are distracting and disrupting marketers are the ones that allow us to quickly and easily tweak our work once we put it out there, and to test various options to release to market in the first place.
Iterative action is the right action nowadays. You try something, then you continue with what works best. And then do it again. And again. The marketing process is no longer linear. It’s an upward-moving spiral of output and refinement that is constantly pursuing better outcomes. Indecision is never the right action.
This isn’t condoning a flurry of pointless activity that today’s need-for-speed can generate. Remember the law of Focus. Everything your decide and subsequently do should be validated against your goals. A popular motivational mantra is “Get Stuff Done,” but using that as your team’s rallying cry can deliver productivity but not effectiveness.