An old Chinese proverb goes something like this: “Confucius say, ‘Hungry man sitting with mouth open waiting for roast duck to fly in have long wait.”

So it is with marketing. So many businesses have great ideas and plans, but they fail to take action. They’re waiting for “things to be right,” before they do anything. To some extent, that’s understandable.

Considering that most businesses… especially small businesses are tight for money, they want to make sure their advertising pieces are laid out just right, that the message is clear, that they’re getting the very best deal on advertising rates, and that the market conditions are favorable.

Make no mistake, all those things are important… very important.  But it’s critical that we don’t get anaylasis paralyais.

Back when Apple Computer was first getting off the ground, articles were written about how they used the “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach. That is, they got a product “Ready” (it wasn’t perfect), they “Fired” (got it out in the marketplace), then “Aimed” (listened to customer feed-back, then made modifications) and got it back out there again. That is so different from the way many small or even mid-size businesses run their marketing campaigns today.

They get an ad, a promotional letter, or campaign ready, then sit back and analyse it for months. Then they may or may not actually run it.

What holds them up? Why don’t they take a chance? Why not get the ad “out there” and see what happens?

That’s what Apple Computer did. Who knows? Maybe the ad or promotion will be successful, and maybe it won’t. But they’ll never know unless they test it to see. Now, I’m not advocating wildly spending money and blindly running ads and promotions just to see it they’ll work or not. You certainly must put some thought into the market you want to target, the message you will send them, and the offer you make to them. This takes careful and calculated consideration.

But any business, even your business, can learn what exactly what Apple Computer found out: That the market will tell you if your product is right or wrong for them and whether or not your prices are too high.

And, they’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to make it saleable to them. Not only that, as a bonus, they’ll tell you exactly how much to charge for it.

How do they do that, you ask?

It’s simple:

When you run an ad or promotion, if a lot of people respond or take you up on your offer, it obviously worked. If the response was too great, it may mean that your offer was too good, or your prices too low.

On the other hand, if you get no or very few responses, then something is wrong.

Either you’re:

marketing to the wrong target;

The message you’re sending them is not clear;

Or the  offer you have made them isn’t attractive enough for them to justify parting with their money.

But, if you just conceptualise the ad, design it, lay it out, and spend months on end analysing it, you won’t learn a thing, except that your procrastination cost you a lot of unnecessary time and missed income. Better to get the ad out in the marketplace and find out if it works or if it needs improvement. No need to second-guess. Let your market evaluate it for you and tell you what corrections you need to make.

But do it carefully… by testing as we discussed earlier. Once you find that it works, take massive action. Roll your ad or mailing campaign out and let it bring you the profits you’ve worked so hard to earn.

If you have a marketing piece and are stuck in letting perfect get in the way of your progress and need some quick advice, email it through and I’ll swipe my eyes over it and give you a give you an expert second opinion. Hit us up at

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