3 Ways to Beat Perfection Paralysis at Its Own Game
In marketing, the word “perfection” might conjure up images of running effortless campaigns and initiatives. Though, as we know, that’s not always the case. Marketing is sometimes imperfect. We face challenges and must forge ahead.
This begs the question, should marketers strive for perfection? Perfectionism can prevent you from getting off the ground because you’re waiting for an ideal state, which may or might not come before your deadline.
Being overly meticulous in today’s digital world can lead to perfection paralysis. In our quest to achieve the unachievable marketing state—exceeding every deadline, never making a mistake, and producing flawless campaigns—we can end up stalling projects. That’s why perfectionism is often synonymous with procrastination. The longer you wait, the faster you must rush to the finish line.
Perfection paralysis is not a new concept, but it’s one that is picking up speed in high profile roles like marketing. The word perfection paralysis sprung out of ‘analysis paralysis,’ which is the over-thinking of something to the point of inaction. Since this concept made its mark, people have been learning how to overcome it.
Like my fellow consultants at Marketo, I’ve brushed up against perfection paralysis many times. While developing best practices for our customers, I quickly realized that it would take longer than expected to launch a ‘perfect’ final product.
Some telltale signs of perfection paralysis are:
- Setting overly high expectations
- Rushing towards impossible deadlines
- Internal criticism
By finding a balance between perfectionism and realistic goals, you can take a step towards overcoming perfection paralysis. Here are three tips for putting your best foot out there without suffering from perfection paralysis:
1. Focus on Being Great
There’s a difference between being perfect and being great. Perfection is sometimes unachievable, especially with the strict deadlines that marketers face. However, delighting and engaging your target audience on a consistent basis is achievable. A great marketing strategy takes time to formulate. Because it will be the sounding board for your current and future campaigns, you should take the time to do it well.
For example, at Marketo, one of our nurturing methods is called ‘wake the dead,’ where we reach out to valid leads who need a little extra love to re-engage. With the right marketing platform, you can pull a list or audience segment and develop a nurturing strategy that dictates when leads enter and exit the campaign, and what content they should see at each stage. Then, it’s about setting and communicating realistic expectations for your team. If you believe that a deadline is too ambitious, start by breaking down the tasks to map out a timeline. Follow-up and ask for extensions as needed. From there, the onus is on your team to collaborate.
During this process, consistent communication is essential for producing great work and staying away from perfection paralysis. By talking about the requirements upfront, your team will be able to determine a more realistic deadline and set feasible expectations for the final deliverable.
2. Create Templates and Clone Away
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