Perfectionism is the enemy of progress and procrastination is its close cuz.
If you find yourself saying the following things, you might be procrastinating your digital marketing and without even realizing it. It happens to everyone. Heck it was happening to us and we run an agency. We do this type of work every day for around 25 partner clients in a multitude of different industries from B2B to B2C businesses. Yet procrastination and perfectionism still knock at our door.
Do any of these sound familiar in your monthly marketing meeting?
- We need to segment our email list before we start that newsletter
- We need xyz tool to commence with ____________ part of our marketing plan
- We need to figure out how that integrates with the website before starting that campaign
- We need to do some keyword research before we start blogging
- We’ve got to get closed loop reporting established before we go any further
- We have to get our buyer personas defined before we create a content download
- We need better imagery before we launch this website
- We need to get lead scoring established before we generate leads
- We have to write the script before we shoot that video
Plans are great. Strategic ones are even better. That being said we’ve found that progress begets progress. Action is usually the quickest path to learning. One of my heroes and mentors in business, Peter J Daniels, says you can correct something but you can’t correct nothing. Let that sink in for a moment. It doesn’t take nearly as much effort to bring any task, idea, or project to a screeching halt, as it does to solve a problem, create something useful and hit publish. Did you hit publish?
Our 8 Core Values help our marketing agency balance out our desire to have a plan with our desire to take action. We lead our team to be Strategic Doers and Faithful Stewards but not at the expense of being Passionate Storytellers and Creative Problem Solvers. Even with a Core Value like learning, we added the phrase disciplined to create Disciplined Learners. We’ve seen plenty of unfocused learning in the digital space. You can drink from the knowledge firehose but never implement anything you learn and therefore never impact a business bottom line. But you did gain new knowledge, right?
So, how do you balance action with planning when it comes to digital marketing?
We believe it starts with plans but we don’t believe in planning out too far into 2018. Are we an agile, lean startup agency? No. Not yet. But we do believe digital marketing is a mix of editorial planning, persona creation, and goal setting with a good dose of real-time media. If you’re making plans too far out in advance, you’re setting yourself up to waste a good bit of time. Things change rapidly with digital marketing and social media. So will your plans and reactions to what’s happening. You need a flexible approach with progress as your goal, not perfection.
Get better each week, each month, and each year. Sure there are setbacks along the way and no progress curve is without some steps backwards and downward spikes, however, in the end, progress and momentum are the keys to your success.
At times you have to press into the urgent, and circle back to the strategic. Sometimes opportunity is thrust upon us and we have to take advantage of it. Other times we must work the plan and wait for the results. Seize the opportunities but make the strategic plans along the way. It can be done.
If your marketing is too planned out, it will wreak of automation and people will tune it out. If you have no plan and shoot from the hip, you’ll struggle to get consistent results. Avoid both extremes. Again, the answer is in the middle. Make plans, take action, then measure, rinse and repeat. You’ve got this.
Whatever is the case, don’t let your marketing team be excusiologists. Encourage one another to try things and take action. Then at least you have something to measure.
Need help? We may have the ongoing digital marketing program for you. Many of our partner clients choose to outsource all or a portion of their inbound/digital marketing to The Squad. If you’re the next contestant on the Price is Right, then come on down.