In marketing, it happens all too often that we work with clients who want to get the opinion of practically every person at their company. No joke! They will ask everyone from the CEO to the cleaners for opinions on logo design, tagline, color palettes — even brand position. All the while, nothing is going out the door, and they are invisible to their target audience. Indecisiveness is killing their growth.
There are usually two causes for this type of behavior: lack of conviction to pull the trigger, the belief that the marketing agency doesn’t truly understand its customer or that if you get everyone involved, it will make team members more accepting of the change.
Typically, indecisiveness stems from fear or perfectionistic tendencies. Have you ever worked with a marketing agency and been unable to decide on a direction for your just-sold postcard? Or any other decision in sequential detail of the marketing strategy?
In search of validation, perhaps you asked everyone on your team and everyone you know for an opinion, then hesitantly went back to your marketing team with 20 changes. When those changes were made, you sat through round two, three and maybe even four before making a choice.
What to do
Next time you find yourself in such a situation, remember that breakthroughs come from one single idea or a small team — never from a crowd. If we always had to put it to a vote every time we made our most critical decisions, our world would not move forward. What started as a good idea would involve into something completely unrecognizable.
Thanks to the Internet, we live in a world full of voices and opinions — of which you should ignore for the most part. It is hard to know where to start and who to trust, and the result seems to be stagnation.
This has spread to all decision-making — people freeze in the face of the unknown and scour the Web for possible answers. They aren’t there.
It can stem from a fear of return on investment or a cost higher than expected, but the cost of being indecisive is often higher!
There’s no such thing as a perfect decision
So what’s so bad about waiting to make the perfect decision?
For one, if you wait too long to launch something new, it won’t be new. You’ve lost time, and now your competitors have beat you to it. Do you know how that ends? If you aren’t unique, you are the cheapest option.
If you are seeking perfection, you will never find it. There is no such thing as a perfect decision — only good ones. Making a decision means you are moving forward and not remaining stagnant.
If you wait long enough, what might have been a good idea can turn out to be a bad idea. Some things require immediate feedback to be effective.
For example, if it takes you several weeks to get a just-sold postcard out the door, it has completely lost its effectiveness, and now no matter what it says, it isn’t going to have the desired result.
Additionally, momentum and productivity are lost. You’ve lost the opportunity you had on the table. It even applies to hiring an assistant; if you think about it too long, your ideal candidate will find another job.
Pull the trigger
In marketing, we’ve met with clients whose businesses were failing completely, and yet, they could not pull the trigger on what they knew could save their business.
Doing nothing would certainly mean the end of their business, yet they still froze. They wanted ROI, proof, statistics, outcomes and everyone’s opinion. Unfortunately, by the time they got it, it was too late.
You could think about a decision forever and collect thousands of opinions, but what would they matter at the end of the day? If you don’t make decisions and move your marketing forward, you won’t grow. And if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.