Instant Gratification is Leading to Stupider Decisions


Now, now, now isn’t really working for me very well.

Truth be told anyone in my immediate circle of friends and family will tell you I like planning stuff out – I get some enjoyment in it, it’s like foreplay for life.  Something I learned about myself early in life was that I can get anxious about ‘what’s happening next.’  When I was a kid, when I woke up early on Saturday mornings to go surfing with my dad, I would get antsy and nervous.  There was no Google or Surfline or to give me access to the surf report.  I didn’t know if I was driving to a flat day or double overhead waves, and as a young grommit, that could be terrifying.

I certainly could have used the internet and the internet of things back then to gain a little control in how I was preparing for what I was about to go do, interact with, perform etc…

The keyword in that idea for me is ‘prepare.’

We seemed to have moved away from ‘prepare’ and substituted in ‘NOW.’  I see this everyday.  Twitter as a platform is certainly about NOW.  YOLO, seems to be about NOW.  FOMO is certainly about NOW.  And marketing in general seems to be about NOW; and no other period in time.

What do I mean by that?

I am suggesting that as a society in general, and marketing industry specifically, we seem to only be concerned about the now.  We are allowing ourselves to get spun into a tizzy with rapidly advancing technologies and the fear of being left behind or being outdated.  We spend a fraction of the time we should, thinking through problems and ascertaining solutions.

“The rush for personalization is ON!  Everyone is doing it, your brand will be left behind if you don’t get on board NOW!”

But what people aren’t saying out loud is that few organizations are doing personalization well.  Once someone has already performed something, you can no longer achieve being first, you can only achieve being better.  In order to be better there is value in analyzing the work of the market, finding a differentiating or disrupting opportunity or better yet, a way to provide a service that is needed.  Not just one you are capable of delivering. And this process takes time.  I am not suggesting years, or even months, but yes, weeks.  Single digit weeks. You can’t solve these problems and expect the answers to be good when you do it 15 minute calls, or 30 minute increments.

What’s even better is identifying a process in arriving at a solution or plan, not just verbalizing and discussing it.

Clayton Christensen said that ‘Competitiveness is more about doing what customers value than doing what you think you are good at.’

And I think this is ringing true in today’s CX planning.  Customer Experience isn’t solely about shoving your message into the faces of your customers or proposed customers.  It isn’t about delivering the same content or experience you had yesterday through the newest device or channel.

  • Just because you can send an alert, doesn’t mean you should.
  • Simply being able to deliver an email, doesn’t mean it should be automated.
  • Because you bought marketing automation, doesn’t mean you use every feature.
  • Having the ability to geo-target messaging, doesn’t mean it’s always needed.


It is always possible to stumble into success.  One might very well make a marketing decision that renders spectacular results with little planning or thought.  But the idea of that being likely, or even a strategy itself is a lot like planning retirement with the assumption of winning a lottery jackpot at some point in your life.