They say that half of a loaf of bread is better than no bread at all, and the same is true for your marketing. All too often companies struggle with a sea of options to create the perfect marketing message and to find the perfect platform.
When Apple introduced the Macintosh in 1984, they knew their product wasn’t perfect. It didn’t have the best hardware, the greatest software, and it was really expensive at $2,495 (equivalent to $5,664 in 2015). According to Guy Kawasaki, then “Chief Evanglist” at Apple, their mantra was, “Don’t worry, be crappy, we must get our product to the market now.”
They understood at Apple that they didn’t have time to wait to release their product. The competition in 1984 was fierce and was dominated by powerful companies such as IBM, so they had no time to wait for the perfect computer. Their model was to get the product to market, learn and constantly improve. Had Apple waited to release a “perfect” Macintosh, we might not be using iPhones today.
No, I’m not telling you that your marketing should be crappy. That would be the furthest thing from the truth. But what I am telling you is that something is better than nothing.
“Don’t worry, be crappy. Revolutionary means you ship and then test… Lots of things made the first Mac in 1984 a piece of crap — but it was a revolutionary piece of crap.”
— Guy Kawasaki, Former Chief Evangelist, Apple
Too many companies wait until all of the stars are aligned to start marketing, and by then it’s usually too late. The market passed you by and your competitors have once again upstaged you in the marketplace.
It’s easy to see why so many campaigns never see the light of day and why companies get stuck in the paralysis of analysis. Should we promote this product? What is our strategy? How can we make it sound sexy? Should we promote in magazines, post to social media, use our internal list, run digital ads or do email blasts? What incentives should we use? What are our competitors doing? Is our timing right?
There is no perfect time to start marketing, and you will never have a perfect message if you don’t test it with the market. And once you start testing your messaging, the evolutionary process begins. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes only happen when you are trying to accomplish something and they bring you closer to finding the message that resonates. No one hits a home run the first time they step up to the plate. And no one has ever hit a home run by not playing.
The Rule of Something is a very powerful rule to adopt, because it prevents you from resting on your laurels and shows the market that you are committed to the marketplace and serious about growing your business.
When it comes to marketing, it is better to do something than nothing. If you do nothing, you relegate your success to someone else. You can sit around waiting for referrals or you can decide to take action, even if it’s small to start. Doing something now will help you gain momentum that no one other than you can stop — take it from Nike and “Just Do It!”