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Marketing Meditations: How Good is Good Enough?

Three meditations: something to think about, a “how-to” resource, and a marketing deep dive. Ommmmmm.

 

Something to Think About

One "How To" Resource

Visual Identity and Brand Guide Template

“Is that color on brand?”

“Can you get them to send over the logo again?”

“No, the dark one.”

They asked for “high res.” 🤦🏼

It’s not just designers that need to reference colors, logos, typography, etc.

Consistency in how your visual brand gets used starts with a good document that everyone can refer to.

This Process Street workflow will include the Google Slides template we use at CMO Zen and give you step-by-step instructions to make it your own.

As an added bonus, once you’ve copied the template, updated colors and fonts, and reviewed the master slides—you’ve got an on-brand presentation template anytime you need a new slide deck 

A Marketing Deep Dive

How Good is Good Enough?

Entrepreneurs are often passionate, driven, perfectionists.

Maybe that’s what it takes.

But one of the great stories of our entrepreneurial pantheon is Facebook.

And Facebook’s motto in the early days was a dramatic counterpoint to perfection. They proudly embraced the early motto, “move fast and break things.”

I don’t know about you, but in my ears that sounds totally at odds with perfectionism.

So which is it?

Quality or speed?

Adding fuel to the fire, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook/Meta until a year ago, made famous the phrase, “done is better than perfect.”

She’s not pulling any punches.

She’s calling out perfectionism to its face, and saying there’s a better way.

Aren’t both of these phrases attacks on quality?

There’s clearly a bias in favor of speed over quality, of iterations over methodical examination.

I mean the Six Sigma crowd (and every other child of TQM) have to be beside themselves, right?

Zuckerberg appears to have been totally okay with less than 99.9997% error free output when he recklessly touted “break things” as his company value.

Again, who is right?

And as a control-freak, perfectionist entrepreneur (IYKYK), can you even stomach such a cavalier, laissez-faire, devil-may-care approach?

Early stage companies just don’t have any luxuries.

They have no time, no money, no resources.

At least none to waste.

If you care too much, you squander what you have in pursuit of asymptotic gains.

Ultimately, trying to deploy perfectionism in all areas of the business is a death sentence.

What it requires, you just don’t have.

On the other hand, there’s no margin to absorb mistakes either.

If you care too little, you’re headed for disaster.

A failed product launch, a deal that falls through, a bad hire…

…these can kill a business too.

So you can’t just charge in blind or the thing you break is the company.

The line between success and failure is just razor thin.

I think it’s possible to honor both.

Here’s how I like to split the difference.

One of the pitfalls of entrepreneurship is thinking that because you are innovating in one area, you need to innovate in all of them.

But for 90% of the operations of a startup you’re looking for vanilla, boring, best practices.

You don’t need to innovate on GAAP accounting, HR best practices, or create new code libraries.

Unless those are what your business is about.

Because these are known and well-tested domains.

ROR 90% of your company, you shouldn’t be reinventing ANYTHING.

Just learn what everyone else is doing that works and shamelessly copy them.

Then pour all your passion and fire into that 10% that makes your product truly special.

The standard for most areas of your business isn’t perfection.

It isn’t even excellence.

It’s sufficiency.

And the same thing is true for marketing at early stage companies.

Occasionally there’s a place where your creative genius moves the needle.

If so, embrace it.

But most of the time, done is good enough.

Because the difference between zero and one is so much bigger than the difference between one and a hundred.

Think about it.

“Done” puts you ahead of most of the competition.

Who are still at zero.

An email program, events strategy, content marketing initiative that is in place almost always beats one that is missing.

Most early stage marketing is going from zero to one.

Even if you wanted to really nail one campaign, one channel, one program… you can’t optimize something that doesn’t exist.

It’s not worth it to get hung up on trying to make everything novel or perfect.

Start with “sufficiency” for the 90%.

Then find the 10% where you want to be truly great and lean in like crazy.

 

Until next time… namaste.

 

Chad Jardine, Founder & CEO

CMO Zen

 

 

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