Executive Perspective: When GOOD Marketing Is GREAT Marketing

You’ve probably read or at least heard of Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, but if you haven’t, it’s honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read. The book focuses on how good, mediocre, and even bad companies can achieve enduring greatness, and really emphasizes how companies can go from good to great based on their leadership.

I also recently read an article from SiriusDecisions titled “When Good Enough is Great,” which highlights the fundamental shift away from the “Steve Jobs-esque” approach to perfection. The SiriusDecisions article instead explores GE’s product launch method, which involves going to market knowing that their product is not as good as it could be. However, the product is good enough to get feedback, iterate, and improve.

So what does this have to do with marketing and marketing automation? I’d venture to say it has everything to do with it. As marketers, we often get caught up in the vision of a perfect product or campaign, but the reality is: it’s okay to be flawed. Instead of letting our perfectionism hold us back, here are some ideas for ways to approach our campaigns as building blocks to greatness:

1. Kill long nurture program ideas and start with one-two-punch email drips.

Don’t wait until you have 50 emails ready to go, distributed among complicated nurturing tracks with several branches and if-then scenarios, before you push your nurturing programs live. Start with one-two-punch emails and see if there is any traction before focusing on the next step. For example, if someone downloads an eBook, they’re probably in research mode, so provide a more in-depth case study or content on a similar topic. If they click on this additional content, then congratulations — you just moved someone from stage A to stage B, which is a huge step in the right direction! Now, take them even further by sending a Demo video or a Buyer’s Guide.

2. Don’t wait to create the perfect video. Grab a camera and start rolling!

Many companies spend a lot of money, time, and resources on every video they produce. While there is certainly a time and place for professionally-produced videos, not every video needs to have a diamond cut. There are a ton of internal enablement videos, whiteboard series, and Smarter Marketing series videos that can be done with your own internal staff and an iPhone. Just make sure the content is solid, short, and thought-provoking. Start small and iterate!

3. Stop trying to craft the perfect message for the perfect buyer in each of your campaigns.

“Campaigns” has always been a term loosely used by marketers to describe anything from white papers to year-long messaging campaigns. Unless you have millions of dollars to throw at these different campaigns, why not experiment with iterating on your messaging through pay per click, social advertising, and email subject lines to see what resonates with more targeted audiences? A great deal of insight can be garnered by digging through digital consumer behavior. Start looking at campaigns as messages that you want to push out to buyers. People are more likely to click on a message that is about their pain (an emotional CTA) than your gain (product-focused).

So let’s use these three examples as inspiration to do “good” marketing while still being agile and focusing on continuous improvement. Don’t wait to be perfect — as my grandfather once said, “There isn’t a day more perfect than today to get the job done, so pick up the shovel and start working!”