I was recently at a meeting with Scott Allen, Microsoft’s Global Marketing Development & Strategy Director. While we were talking about various marketing subjects, he was saying that they have recently made significant changes by merging all of their individual Marketing teams, working more co-operatively, and while we started to conclude the meeting, one of the things that really stood out for me was the mantra that Scott has encouraged within all of his teams ‘To do something is better than to do nothing’, or as he refined in his summary ‘Done is better than perfect!’.
On returning, I was very mindful of this and started to myself push this philosophy out into my own teams, and I have to agree with Scott, it is something that many Marketers often forget.
We get too wrapped up in trying to make something perfect, or procrastinating, putting things off until we have the time to do it, as we term ‘Properly’. However, when does that time ever come? More often than not, things go missed or don’t get produced when we need it. It could be that website you have been planning on building or the social channels you are thinking of setting up, or those product videos, or walk-through videos that you are thinking of making.
Now again, by following this philosophy, there is nothing wrong with re-visiting the work you do, laying in better voice-overs to an already published video, re-shooting sections to make them better. But stop holding off, get them out initially, even if you feel there could be more to do on them further along.
Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not saying publish any old rubbish. Because after all, you are building brands that you need to protect, but, in this day and age of YouTubers and Bloggers, people aren’t expecting the production finishes of old. More often than not, old-school production-grade videos aren’t as successful with trending or going viral as more organically produced ones. Millennials are much more used to natural descriptor videos, choosing these time and time again over more commercial ones.
Our enemy is really both perfectionism and procrastination. – So how can we prompt change?
Another way to combat procrastination is to first, write things down – Write a list; by doing this, you can then move to start ticking things off.
Don’t put off
Within my departments, we run several different project management platforms; now, some of these are a lot more complex than others. For example, our Design Department uses Microsoft Azure DevOps – Even though our designers don’t use all the features of this, our developers do – checking in code to projects, managing assets and more, and because we work closely with them on projects it means elements that require design can easily be assigned over to our design department, highlighting within our dashboard, enabling us to manage our workload, prompted from theirs.
In other departments, such as our marketing department, we use products such as Asana, prior to this we used GQueues, with its straightforward list management, but Asana takes it a little bit further – There are also lots of other systems you can use, such as Monday or Basecamp, all of them providing similar features and productivity improvements. Also, with many of these, if being used for smaller teams, there is no charge. Asana allows up to 15 users before you need to start paying anything. However, they do limit some of the functionality, but to be honest, it is a great product to use under the free licence, and you will immediately see the benefits by way of improved productivity.
Remember, when using these, categorise, prioritise and upload all of your projects, then push forward to get productive more quickly.
Another big part of marketing is the process of ‘Test and Measure’ – Now, test and measure again fits very nicely with ‘Done is better than Perfect’ – You could already be putting off publishing that fully-fledged product video or that blog article you don’t quite feel is polished enough, and after spending a couple more months on the production of each, find out that when you do actually get it finished and put it out, it’s not what your target audience wants, it doesn’t get the traction you thought it was going to.
So, try following the ‘Done is better than perfect’ rule, push things out, see what works faster, then put more finished approaches behind the things that do, and drop the things that don’t.
In this age of needing to get traction online, of trying to reach our audiences digitally, of trying to provoke a reaction faster, think of it as if you were fishing; If you don’t drop your nets in the water, you’ll never catch any fish.
So, stop procrastinating, push out, be brave, get things ticked off your list, I promise you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.