#ThursdayThoughts — How to Make Tough Decisions as a Marketing Leader


Hey everybody. Today we’re going to talk about how to make tough decisions as a marketing leader. The reality is is everyday we have to make decisions. Some are operational and some are frankly on the marketing side, and what’s really difficult is to know how to give yourself the confidence to stand up for an opinion that you aren’t really sure on. I catch myself a lot of times feeling like I don’t have enough information to make the decision that I need to make, and so I’m worried that I might make a wrong decision, or I don’t feel empowered in the decision I’m making. And the empowerment part is so important because making the decision is the first step. Executing that is really where the value’s created. So we’re gonna talk about my personal method for how I make difficult decisions.

So, I do three things when making decisions. I grab a pen, and paper, and I write down just the facts. Now, I use pen and paper because I used to try to do this digitally, but there is something about writing things down one by one that unlocked a part of my brain that I don’t know how exactly to put it, but the actual physical, like, tactile, like, process of writing things down has been really powerful for me. And so I don’t take notes on paper, I only do this when I’m trying to make decisions. And so I start with the facts of my situation. One time, I was trying to understand how are we going to hire a head, and I was really nervous, like, “Hey, if we hire those three people, what if we don’t get the work?” You know, “Ahh, it’s a lot of cash. How do we make this decision?” And so I just started to write down the facts. Okay, over the last six months, we have generated this many clients. Okay. Over the last six months, we’ve generated this many opportunities. When I look at the information, we’ve closed this many deals. And I just start to write down the facts. And what I start to find is by the time I’m done writing down all the facts, the decision I need to make has become self-evident. And now I get to kind of laugh at myself, and it’s like, “Come on, it was obvious. It was right in front of you.” But a lot of times we’re so stuck in our own head that we aren’t able to actually properly process information.

So next time you’re trying to figure out across, let’s say, three things you’d like to do: you’re looking at ABM, you’re looking at search, and then you’re looking at content, but you have X amount of budget and will only allow you to do two of those things. How do you choose which of the three? And it is really difficult, like, which two of those three are you gonna execute on in 2019. And you’re gonna have to hinge a lot of your results, your projections, your forecasts, your own, almost, career, it feels like, on this decision of what to do or what not to do. And my encouragement to you is that everything will become self-evident, and you can make an educated, empowering decision that you’re motivated to execute on and follow through with over an extended period of time if you can write down just the facts and then save that paper. Because what I found is sometimes I write down all the facts, I make a decision, and then what I like to call blip, a little blip occurs in my life or in my business, and it shakes me. And I get nervous, right, and I get fearful, and I retract that self-evident decision, and I go back to what I was doing before, and I stay safe. And keep that paper. Keep those facts with you so that as you go through this process, you start to have more confidence in your decision-making, you can improve the speed of your decision-making, and then you also can obviously improve the results of the marketing campaigns you’re running and the decisions you’re making.

Garrett Mehrguth
CEO & Co-Founder
Twitter: @gmehrguth
LinkedIn: Garrett Mehrguth
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Music: http://www.hooksounds.com

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