The Thinker – the power of thought by Auguste Rodin
According to the movie The Iron Lady, Maggie Thatcher’s dementia physician once told her not to worry about her troubling thoughts. She responded, “But that’s just it doctor. I do worry about thoughts. Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become character.” It’s an expansion of René Descartes’ famous line on which the headline of this post is based.
Success in life is a judicious mix of both thought and action. Dreams are figments of our imagination until they are made real by deeds, yet actions without thought and preparation seldom accomplish great things. To be successful you can’t get stuck in analysis paralysis, but you also can’t rush in like a fool. Again, it sounds so logical you have to wonder why so few of us put it into practice.
Applying Maggie Thatcher's words to the Science of Marketing we could write that thoughts become strategies, strategies become campaigns and campaigns produce prospects who generate revenues. It sounds so straightforward, but unfortunately, many people are like the dementia doctor: they believe that actions are more powerful than thoughts; that to hesitate is to lose.
Which brings me to the concept of Continuous Process Improvements (CPI). Think, Plan, Do, Measure, and Repeat is precisely the judicious blend of thought and action we’re talking about. If you make this your marketing mantra, you will be successful. It may take a large number of Repeats before you achieve the goal and so you will need a healthy dose of perseverance, determination and courage, too. If it were easy we’d all be superstars.
But CPI does work: Back in the 1950s, the words, Made in Japan usually appeared on cheap, badly made products. And then, within 20 years of Edwards Demming presenting his ideas on CPI to them, Japanese manufacturers had become the world leaders in their fields.
I doubt there’s a reader of this blog who doesn’t believe all this and so why is it that so few of us use this approach? Apart from questions of intellect and capability, I believe the answer to this question lies in the amount of work it takes to practice CPI. Sure you can spend a whole bunch of time Thinking, Planning, Doing, Measuring and Repeating. But if you don’t waste the time thinking and instead leap right in you gain a competitive advantage by getting there first.
As a software project manager, I have seen this thinking often: management tells the team that they don’t have the time to sit around designing the system; they need to hurry up and start coding it. And they do, and they deliver the wrong system in record time.
Do you have a detailed marketing strategy in place? Are you measuring your results? Do you think about the strategy and ponder its success frequently? Do you revise the strategy based on the latest findings? If you answered no to these questions, you are not doing the thinking you need to, to be successful.
If you want to successfully implement an Inbound Marketing Automation system; if you want to execute successful marketing campaigns, you really have no choice but to carefully balance thought with action.
Bit-by-Bit # 60 from Eric.