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A couple of days ago, one of my connections on LinkedIn asked what the best piece of business advice we’d ever received was. It took me back to 2004, when I wanted two more days to perfect a web project, but the MD wanted it live…now! I later found that it was the day that a prospective acquiring business was valuing the company… and the new website was a quantum leap from what was live at that moment. ‘Done is better than perfect’ he said. ~ Bryony Thomas, Author | Watertight Marketing
As a recovering perfectionist (a lifetime struggle), I have to remind myself often that good enough really is good enough. And so I’ve set a bar on what that is, ‘functional, and not too embarrassing’ has become a bit of a mantra.
I share this with all my clients, and it’s in the book, as the first bar to aim for with a new marketing tool or technique. That means being ok with putting stuff live that might be just a little bit embarrassing. (I know, hard right?!)
Reasons to go live with less than perfect marketing:
- If there’s a gap for the thing you’re working on, you fill it (or plug a leak), that will be better than nothing. A path to purchase with a gaping hole in it is pointless.
- You test the concept before spending too much time or money.
- You can’t get to perfect (or even near) without getting it in front of the real intended audience. That means showing it to people!
- If it works, you should then have money to reinvest in stepping it up to the next level of polish.
If you go big immediately, you can easily blow the budget
That doesn’t mean that you bodge it, or that you leave it like that. You do something that meets the need at a basic level, then come back to it and tweak up the quality over time. This is much like fitness, you don’t get an athlete’s body after a week at the gym. It’s also manageable, financially and energetically. If you tried straight for the marathon without training, you’d struggle. The same can be true of spending time and energy on a ‘perfect’ piece of marketing that misses its mark, if you’d worked up to it gradually, you could have tested and refined.
We recommend a quarterly rhythm of reviewing what needs improving and tweaking it up incrementally each time.
Do you need a regular reminder of this?
Author & Founder, Watertight Marketing
Bryony Thomas is the creator of the multi-award winning Watertight Marketing methodology, captured in her best-selling book of the same name. She is one of the UK's foremost marketing thinkers, featured by the likes of Forbes, The Guardian, Business Insider and many more, and in-demand speaker for business conferences, in-house sales days and high-level Board strategy days.