I once worked for a brilliant leader who had a saying: A’s are good in high school but bad in business. This was something he said often and was meant to be thought provoking.
There are a lot of variations on this theme, but it can be traced back to Voltaire! “Perfect is the enemy of good,” is an aphorism. An aphorism, by definition, is shorthand that expresses a general truth or principle. It is meant to be memorable but yet to give direction.
We all know people who can’t even get started because the idea of perfectionism is looming in their mind. The marketing leader today has a to-do list that is daunting and a marketing budget that is lean.
How do we make these two set points work? Perfectionism is unattainable, and it can be back breaking. How do you know when something is good enough to make the phones ring or to grab the sale?
The brilliance of this saying is not to do a bad job; it’s that today, there is so much to do AND it’s more important to keep ALL the plates spinning than to have only one plate spinning perfectly.
That same leader used to say: Plagiarism was wrong in high school (and college!) but good in business; so if an idea works, recycle it!
I am not really condoning plagiarism (smile). This again is an aphorism! I am promoting reading. Wait…back up! Read all you can, and find successful marketing programs that work even in other verticals or industries.
What can a success story in retail teach us about selling technology products? What can we learn and cross apply? Additionally, throw pride out the window. Learn from others how can you borrow success, and then apply it to your own challenge.
I do believe in practicing innovation. Think how you can make it a little better.
Today’s marketing is a tough world. Don’t be proud; be effective. Get big results.
TV spots always bring out the best illustration of this shortfall. All of us want to perfect every last detail when it comes to television. Everyone is going to see it. My mother, my friends, my customers, oh my! It has to be the equivalent of a modern Picasso.
So why do we make television spots? To meet business goals. But if a brand manager is focused on details vs. the big picture, a crisis like the following can happen.
Brand Manager: Make the offer larger.
Marketing Strategist: But now it’s covering up the product.
Brand Manager: Well, move the product to the right.
Marketing Strategist: Now there’s too much white space, and the design elements are off.
Oh my…soon everyone is frustrated and pointing fingers at everyone else. Teaching big-thinking leadership is difficult – especially in an agency/client relationship. If you keep the objective in the forefront of your mind at all times, results will occur: We’re trying to sell more swimming pools (insert your product here…I love swimming pools!).
What “levers” can I use to effect sales? The call to action? Yes. The headlines? Yes! Placement? Yes! The details…no.
Where else am I thinking speed to market, consistency vs. perfection? Social media. Social media has to be organic and engaging. If every post had to be fleshed out like a print advertisement, company Facebook pages would remain without updates.
Craft a social media strategy so you know what you’re trying to accomplish and how, and then be more spontaneous with it – knowing what you’re posting is still within your strategy. The goal is to be reachable and relatable, not perfect. 85% of all Facebook videos are watched without sound. Don’t spend hours on a voiceover; get in front of your customers right now!
If you don’t want to be left behind when it comes to marketing, you have to stop and take time to plan. Then execute the plan on time and budget. All the elements have to be there, and they have to be correct – but not perfect. The cycle of marketing must be efficient and on strategy.
Results will be big. I promise.
What are you doing on a daily basis that allows your customers to engage with minimal effort? Shoot me an email. I have lots of out-of-the-box ideas when it comes to marketing.