It’s natural that when you receive a suggestion like this one, “Think Small,” that your radar goes up—your risk radar. We are all naturally programmed to be wary of new ideas, which is probably how our ancestors avoided dying from those new poisonous mushrooms. You might be asking yourself, “Even if this is a good idea, how can I lower the risk?”
Well, you’re in luck, because starting small is actually an idea that intrinsically lowers your risk. Not convinced? Well, let’s think about this.
Consider the risk that is being run every time you run a large project, such as a website redesign. It costs thousands—perhaps even millions—of dollars. It takes months—maybe more than a year. It requires such focus for the team, that many other possible tasks take a back seat. If this was poker, you’d be “all in.”
Doesn’t that seem just a tad risky to you?
Even though it is the normal way we do marketing, it is an immense risk—CMOs are betting their careers on projects like this. Despite our best intentions and supreme efforts, we often find that our big plan doesn’t turn out as well as we expected.
It is much less risky to think small. By thinking small, we can try out the riskiest parts of the new idea to see whether they work. Thinking small allows us to solve problems on a small scale before committing to the time, energy, and (most of all) cost of scaling that solution to the size of the real problem.
It turns out that most of the risk in these plans comes from the underlying idea not actually solving the problem, not from ramping up the solution to handle the size of a large organization. It’s typical that when you can prove that you have the solution for an important problem that you can get the money needed to solve it everywhere. The real risk is in going big before you know if you really have the solution.
Yes, it is risky in some organizations to propose a new approach, such as thinking small. But it is less risky than continuing the “Big Bang” approach to all problems—especially when many of those “solutions” flame out spectacularly.
Up NEXT, use the Reflect section to review what you’ve learned in this unit. Once you’ve finished the assessment, click DONE to navigate to the Units Page. From there, select ‘Unit 4–The Hallmarks of Agile Marketing’ to continue.