Marketing – when to strive for perfection and when to cut corners.

Marketing is an interesting business. The established adage certainly holds:

A marketer can deliver something of quality, quickly, or for less expense, but you only get to pick two.

Unfortunately, it will never be black and white. However, here are some comments.

Let’s start with quality.

Never sacrifice the quality of your message, there is nothing more important. If you need to delay the launch of something, stop production, or miss an opportunity - do it. You only get on chance to say something right.

When looking at the quality of communication, ask yourself, “Is this branded content or social content.”

Branded content should always be high quality. It is intended to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself. Social content (focusing on form not message) is designed to be fast and light. People understand that its shelf life is extremely limited. Less weight can be placed on how such content is delivered.

Quality should always be pursued when there are no real time constraints. As a marketer, having time to reflect and think (surprisingly) is a big part of the process. If you are going to ask a marketer (internal or external) to deliver something tomorrow, you are going to get the first thing that comes to mind, and, unfortunately, the quick solution isn’t always the best.

That said being “in market” is often times way more important than being “perfect.” In our industry people spend an inordinate amount of time focused on changes that do not create value or make something better. If you are constantly micro-managing work done by a professional designer or marketer, perhaps it is best to reflect on who knows more. (Would you ever let a marketer pop a few trades into your portfolio… exactly?)

When does speed trump all?

If the minutia of marketing deliverables is swallowing progress, stop marking things up, call it done, and get it out.

Speed is critical when the overall momentum of a campaign can no longer be de-railed. If Michael Bloomberg is scheduled to fly in to cut a ribbon, best make sure your website is live that day. 

Speed is important in social environments. You cannot wait to respond to social criticism or complaints. To be relevant you need to both participate and respond quickly.

General responsiveness requires expediency, always.

Finally, a first mover advantage requires speed. If you are vying to beat a competitor to market, best get on with it.

When do you pursue something of less expense? For many of you, the answer will be “always.” That is not entirely accurate? There are obvious things you pay for, experience, the top priority.

There is one thing, however, that most people don’t understand. They need to pay for – someone to care. Grinding down costs around marketing tends to create an environment where marketers aren’t overly interested in you, and that isn’t good.

Hope it helps.

By Kyle Dunn