Marketing Projects: Why You Should Finish What You Started

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MarketingAn argument as to why you want to finish the marketing project you started in a timely fashion.

I understand. Creative thinking can be draining. It can be the one thing you put off because it’s not fun for you. I think the same thing when it comes to creating charts in excel or pulling together financial reports. I can imagine that for the analytical mind of a financial advisor, you think the same about picking images for your marketing collateral or crafting compelling marketing messages. But it’s important. Just like I have to think about numbers to run a business, you have to think about your marketing to be successful with yours.

With that said, it’s important to note that half completed marketing projects bring no value to your business. You may have made the excruciating decision to start a new marketing project or campaign, but if you can’t see it through to completion then there was no point beginning it in the fist place. Delaying completion of a marketing project will just cost you more of your valuable time and money over the long run.

Let me paint a hypothetical example…

You’ve made the commitment. You are creating a new website. You’ve hired a great company to help make it happen. You might even be excited at first – giving your attention and input to the necessary details that need to be determined to move a project along. How should the website look? How should it function? What kind of images do you want? What should it say? What’s your call to action? How will you engage people? How will you get them coming back?

You did it though. You made all the grueling decisions to get to the next step. You turn the chosen vendor loose to do their part and then… the novelty wears off. The vendor comes back with a proof for you to read and approve. You don’t like doing this so it takes you a few weeks to get around to giving feedback, no matter how often the firm follows up. You’re busy! You have clients to see and business trips to take. But finally, after a few weeks you painstakingly scan over the copy and provide quick feedback. The vendor is satisfied and moves on with the project.

Then, inevitably, they will need more of your time to set up things like the call to action piece or contact database. They may need your opinion or approval on how the site functions or if you like how the pictures scroll, etc. You don’t know – you don’t like these decisions so you ignore it again for several weeks. The vendor follows your lead and begins to limit their follow up to once a week giving you the time you so desperately need to find the 20 minutes it takes to answer their questions.   Before you know it… months goes by with this same back and forth. They have questions or need approval, you take weeks to respond.

Finally, it comes time to put the final touches on the site and turn it live. They send you a link to test everything and give your final approval. You now realize this is serious and it should get your full attention. This is your website! This is the first thing people will likely see about your company.  So you decide it’s time to actually focus on the project.

How should the website look? How should it function? What kind of images do you want? What should it say? What’s your call to action? How will you engage people? How will you get them coming back?

You start going through the site and begin questioning things like – Do I like how the website looks? Is this how it should it function? Are these the images I really want portraying my business? Do I like what the copy says? Is this really the best call to action? Failing to realize that these are the same questions you asked yourself when the project started. You’ve already thought through this once and came to a decision. But it’s been so long since this project started; you’ve since forgotten all the great progress you made at its inception. Instead of acknowledging your initial strategy, you decide to stew over these questions. You talk to your employees, colleagues and family. You get so many opinions that you don’t know what to think. You finally ask the web company if the website as is makes the most sense and they have to walk you through the same decision making process you went through when you first hired them. And again, you finally come to the same conclusions.

What should have been a six hour investment over a six week period has now turned into infinitely more hours over the course of six months.

Marketing does not have to be this painful. By picking up marketing projects and then putting them down, and picking them up again and putting them down again, etc. time and money is wasted for all involved. My suggestion, start what you finish and in a timely fashion. Nothing is ever written in stone, and having something “almost right” is better than not having anything at all.

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