Tuesday 2¢: Plan and Keep Going

This week’s Tuesday 2¢, I’ve been running and it got me thinking about marketing planning, but mostly about stopping.

I’ve started running again. During my last run, I was a couple of miles, or so into it. It’s cold and miserable, and the going is tough. As I run, I’m deliberating if I should run the full 5km (3 miles) I had originally planned or stop.

I’m using an new app, trying it for the first time, switching from another app, it is feeding me data via my earphones. My split times, how far I’ve run, and how fast.

As I think about stopping, I’m thinking about whether this is the right app. I am making mental calculations,based on the data negotiating with myself. If I stop, what I would have achieved? What I should promise myself to do next to make up for it, if I do stop?

I’m doing that thing we sometimes do as marketers, especially when the going gets tough. I’m thinking about the tools I use, analyzing the data, deliberating if this activity should continue, and replanning.

The difference with thinking about stopping when you are running is that you are still moving forward. The task is actually getting easier the longer you think about stopping as you are traveling further and getting closer to your goals. Whereas, when we do marketing planning, choosing a new tool, or changing our organization we stop.

Sometimes it’s a form of procastination, but even when we don’t mean to, have the best intentions, planning takes time.

Of course planning is important, however it takes resources to review tools, examine the data, to re-org and plan. We might not stop, but we definitely slow down and achieving our goal is not getting much closer.

We need to recognise this and balance this activity, ensure that some of our marketing energy is keeping us moving forward while we plan. Figure out how to do this without slowing down, by recognising how much planning and change we have capacity for, what techniques we can use and maybe what external resources we need to help.

To use my running analogy, keep moving our marketing legs, getting closer to our goals while our marketing brain recalculates, decides what’s next or maybe makes the intentional decision to stop and do something else, rather than the unintended slow or stop.

That’s my thought for this week.

If you are wondering, I carried on running, thinking about this blog post…

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