If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I am a big believer in having a plan. Strategy is king. Today’s marketing dollars are too scarce to be wasted. The 4th quarter and early January seems to have most marketers knee-deep in research, budgets, what if scenarios and gantt charts.
All of that is well and good. And important. But there is a serious danger that you can get paralyzed in your planning. Smart is good. Perfect is paralysis.
Sometimes, especially when spending even a dollar feels like a calculated risk — we can let the need to be absolutely right freeze us in place.
Marketing is a healthy mix of art and science. Exacting precision is for engineers and surgeons, not marketers. We have to settle for darn close. The reality is we don’t have the luxury of operating in a sterile space. We have to function in the nitty-gritty of the real world. We can’t control all the variables and factors.
At a certain point in the process, we have to walk away from theory and leap off the edge into reality.
It feels safe to stay in planning mode. After all, the plan looks so pristine and right. There’s nothing tainting the purity of it. Once you step out and actually launch a new initiative, things get muddy in a hurry.
While we can be pretty smart and quite right during the planning process, it’s in the fray of the action, that we get even smarter. We can observe reactions, listen to customers, make little tweaks and then re-evaluate all over again. Unlike an operating room, the marketplace brings nuances, unpredictable truths and quirks of human nature.
If you need one more nudge to get you unstuck and out from behind the planning mode, just remember, no one ever bought a product or service from a gantt chart.