Let Reality be the Judge

Being a partner at a small business marketing agency taught me a variety of lessons. One of the most important ones is not to get bogged down with differing opinions. It’s easy to get hung up on a specific creative design, marketing tactic, tagline, etc… This is particularly difficult for me because I maintain strong viewpoints and I really enjoy being “right”. I mean, who doesn’t?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve discovered. It’s much better to be effective than it is to be “right.” And I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s a lot easier to be effective than it is to be right!

What I love about marketing is that you can try multiple things at once. If you’re conflicted about two different creative concepts then try them both! If there are five different advertising headlines then try them all! Think your message might resonate with a different audience, then share it with them and see what happens. All you have to do is let reality be the judge. You’ll know what’s “right” by measuring actual results. Do more of what produces the best outcomes and less of what doesn’t.  

This is how modern digital marketing campaigns evolve. It’s called A/B testing and it’s used by most organizations to continuously optimize in order to adapt to changing conditions.

Here’s the great part. Approaching differences of opinion this way isn’t limited to marketing or advertising campaigns. It can be applied to things like retail design, project portfolio management, vendor selection, computer programming, websites, product sourcing, startup investing, process or operational improvements, and dare I say even aspects of organizational design.   

So the next time you find yourself getting slowed down with differing opinions, try exploring ways to test multiple paths simultaneously. You may not always get the satisfaction of being “right” but it will go a long way to increasing overall effectiveness.