GE management has recently stated that they would rather spend $30 million to release an imperfect prototype of a new product and gather customer feedback, rather than spending $300 million for a completed product.
This example shows a shift in focus from delivering a perfect offering to an emphasis on speed to market and ability to iterate. This demonstrates how an ethos once exemplified by startups and small companies has jumped to one of the world’s largest brands.
Marketing organizations are adopting this approach as well these days. While it brings clear benefits, it does raise some questions: How do you know when a marketing effort is ready? How do you know when enough is good enough?
Companies trying to answer this question have to change how they evaluate their readiness. In marketing, readiness usually revolves around the concept of perfection. Marketing assets and efforts are evaluated against the standard of being the best they could possibly be. While this makes sense in a few cases, it’s often overkill for assets used in short-lived marketing campaigns. In the end an imperfect asset in use is more effective than a nearly perfect asset that is being developed. This is especially true when your competition is already out in the market with 5 other assets just like it.
In order to side step this trap of pursuing perfection, readiness needs to be determined by evaluating whether the asset or marketing effort addresses buyer concerns and guides them through the buying cycle. If it provides value to the majority of buyers by giving them the information they need, when they need it… it’s ready!
This approach can reduce the expensive process that marketing efforts go through as they are reworked in search of perfection. It can stop edge cases and exceptions from delaying the progress of marketing efforts that would be useful to the majority of buyers.
Changing your standard from “perfect” to “effective” creates a more meaningful measure and ultimately helps you get to market faster.