It’s more important to do the right things, than to do things right

“It’s more important to do the right things than to do things right.”

This was my takeaway from an away day event with a client company many years ago.

What it means is that it’s better to get on with doing the right things, even if you don’t execute them 100% correctly. That doesn’t mean that you can be rubbish, but 90% right is often good enough, rather than putting things off and waiting until you can deliver something 100% correctly (and, perhaps, keep putting it off so you never do anything at all).

I’d certainly say this is generally true in PR and marketing. It’s far better to start your marketing and PR programmes, even if you’ve not quite got everything in place, because it takes time to build up a profile, gain familiarity and trust with your audience, and get across the messages you want them to take in.

As long as you’re there or there abouts with your messaging, you can tweak it as you go; in fact, many marketing messages change over time in response to market changes and demands.

It’s important to get the fundamentals right and deliver them consistently:

• brand identity and values

• comms channels best suited to your audiences (again, this can be tweaked as you learn more about what works best)

• key messages and ideas that will best present your products’ USPs and fit with your brand

• a simple and appealing customer journey for people interested in buying what you’re selling

The exception

There is, however, one sector where 90% or even 90+% doesn’t really work and that is where you are selling high end, luxury products and experiences.

In these situations, people expect 100%. From the moment your marketing is seen or heard about by your audience and throughout the buying process and beyond (after sales) everything must be spot on.

It is expected.

The more you tend to high end (prices), the closer to 100% perfection you need to be.

So, over the years since that enlightening away day with my client, I’ve come to view such pithy quotes in a different way.

They are often clever and are said to make you think and reconsider your approach to the way you work, which is a good thing.

(They are often also said to make you think that the presenter is really clever).

But, and there’s pretty much always one of those, like any advice, you need to apply it thoughtfully, so it improves what you are doing.

Otherwise, you might fall foul of another business mantra:

“You can’t run a business relying a load of pithy quotes.”

One of mine – I just made it up.