The process of decision-making for marketers is an overwhelming process. A lot of things can go wrong. The decision-making process can get frustrating very quickly. Given that the stakes are too high, there is no doubt that most B2B marketers have ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.
A topic seldom discussed, let us focus on the various aspects of analysis paralysis and how a B2B marketer can deal with it swiftly.
You enter a shoe shop and find the pair you are looking for. However, you want to take a look around the place before coming to a final decision. You move around the shop and find a second pair that suits your preference. This gets you confused about which one to invest in. You have a limited budget and cannot splurge on both. You need to make a choice. You ponder on the options for a long time, even over-analyze (over-think) the situation. The pressure to make a decision cripples you. The result, you come out of the shop empty-handed. This is what analysis paralysis is.
Analysis paralysis is described as a moment when you tend to over-analyze or over-think a situation worrying about the outcome. You analyze to the extent that your mind becomes paralyzed.
In our daily lives, we face analysis paralysis all the time. From which medical insurance is best for us to buying products from Amazon, the examples are numerous. Analysis paralysis is a psychological complexity, and it is more common than we agree it to be.
Experiences which are supposed to bring about joy in life may quickly turn painful. As mentioned, in the era of technology, the abundance of information can be unnerving. B2B marketers too fall into paralyzing effects from analyzing situations.
Given that the consumers today are well-informed about everything and competition is stiff, they are always faced with difficult choices to make. This is what gives rise to analysis paralysis. Challenges are real and so are the solutions. But when the mind of a B2B marketer wonders too much, the consequences are not so pretty.
Cause of Analysis Paralysis
According to psychologists, there are several reasons as to why a B2B marketer (or for that matter, any person) can be crippled by analysis paralysis. Some of these are:
- He/she fears to make the wrong decisions
- He/she is obsessed with achieving perfect results, therefore, delaying their decisions
- He/she is deluged with too many options and cannot come to one single resolution
- He/she tends to over-complicate situations
- He/she is also focused on the outcome, thus, delaying the decision-making process
There are several such factors which contribute to analysis paralysis in B2B marketers. Recognizing the same in a B2B marketer and working to find a solution is necessary to run effective marketing campaigns.
The Three-Dimensional Faces of Analysis Paralysis
Too much information is no doubt overwhelming. B2B marketers these days find too much information related to everything online. Whether reaching out to the target audience or finding the marketing strategies of the competitors, making a choice is difficult. From a B2B marketer’s point-of-view, analysis paralysis can be broken into three separate dimensions.
Vertical: When there is a difficulty analyzing the audience/competitors
Horizontal: When there are too many solutions available for one specific problem
Internal: When the fear of failure is also inherent
Most B2B marketers suffer all of them, and mostly, at the same time. Numerous alternatives, relations with the top management, the pressure to succeed- all of it combined leads to analysis paralysis in B2B marketing. While the paralysis is veiled from the eye, the results are visible. Suspension of deals, delayed strategies and stunted growth for the company are the consequences of B2B marketers facing analysis paralysis.
Now the thing about analysis paralysis is, you can pass these crippling dimensions all at one go without even realizing it. It is tough for people to proceed with reasoning when clouded over by analysis paralysis. But there is always a solution for everything!
Also Read: The Top B2B Influencers in 2019
7 Tips to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
Psychologists have outlined on numerous occasions that analysis paralysis is common but not recognized. However, they also highlight the fact that experiencing paralysis by analysis can be solved if the right step is undertaken, at the right time.
Looking at it objectively, analysis paralysis for B2B marketing can be dealt with effectively. These tips have been summarized here for your convenience. Keep reading to find out more.
#Tip 1: Learn how to differentiate between big and small decisions
The first step to defeat analysis paralysis is to distinguish between your big and small decisions. Prioritizing your resolutions is essential if you want to get your work done. Before you start prioritizing, you need to ask yourself- how pivotal is that particular decision? Do you need the outcome immediately? Will it contribute significantly to the bigger picture, say like your company?
Let your mind segregate the decision-making tasks into the most significant ones versus the versions that can wait for some time. Instead of putting your head into too many things, find the ones that require immediate attention, and work on devising a plan for the same.
Knowing what needs to be addressed first can help you direct your focus where it ought to be.
#Tip 2: Know what your goals are
To fix the problem of analysis paralysis, you need to determine your goals and objectives. To have a proper decision-making process that is not highlighted by bouts of sweats and anxiety, you need to lay down clear goals. When the purpose is clear, the road becomes apparent as well.
For instance, you need to decide whether your objectives require a decision to be made today or tomorrow. With a timeline on your decision-making process and the urgency of the objective to be completed, you will get the right push.
If you want to progress and achieve your goals, you need to define your objectives first.
#Tip 3: Perfection is not ultimate
A favorite YouTuber/entrepreneur, Casey Neistat once quoted, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough.” Oh, how true it is!
Speaking from personal experience, my quest to make everything perfect has affected me in ways unknown. I have failed multiple times to get done anything productive.
It was a hard realization, but an understanding nonetheless that, chasing after perfect gets you nowhere. There is a fine line between getting things done right and obsessing for perfection. You need to find that line and ensure that you remain on the side that helps you make faster decisions.
Always remember, it is okay to be “okay” to take a step towards your ultimate goals.
#Tip 4: Learn to identify bad options
Just like having too many right options can be frustrating, having innumerable wrong options can be exasperating as well. You should work to remove the clutter from your life. This will render decision-making easier. As a B2B marketer, you should have an idea (no matter how vague it is) of what works and what doesn’t.
You can try out the A/B testing method to rule out a more appropriate decision. You can ask a trusted colleague (or advisor) about their opinion. You can consider your objectives that complements it the best. There are several ways of identifying bad options. Once you are done recognizing these, pluck them out for good. Remove all the wrong choices, and you will be left with very few good ones. It will make selection easier.
#Tip 5: Don’t let the past stop you
Yes, we all have made mistakes. Some have been expensive, some not so much. You implemented a strategy that didn’t work out so well. So, should that stop you from moving forward? Should that prevent you from achieving your goals? No, they shouldn’t.
The mistakes you committed in the past, is a thing in the past. Contemplating the same will not get you anywhere. Stop drawing comparisons and start acting. You can’t change the past, thus, thinking about it is of no use. Don’t let the past stop you. In short, don’t let your previous mistakes draw your present conclusions. Start anew! That is the ultimate trick.
#Tip 6: Set a time limit for yourself
When it comes to analysis paralysis, the biggest enemy is time. Our indecisiveness is often justified by wasting time. Hence, you should set a time limit. We know, you know, and every marketer knows that time is precious. When you ponder upon your choices, someone else implements it and gets the job done. And you get left behind!
Time is relative, and every decision you make requires a different limit. But the idea is to move forward. Rather than letting yourself contemplate and waste time (thus paralyzing yourself), work with a set deadline. To liberate yourself from the crippling impact of analysis paralysis, you need to start setting time limits for every decision you make.
#Tip 7: Once decided, never look back
Looking back is only going to cause you more confusion. Why do you ask? Well, every time you look back, you will be reconsidering your previous decision. If you have decided on one thing, make sure that you stick to it. You have already put in a considerable amount of thought and time to reach a confident decision. Stop doubting your judgment!
Once decided, stop looking back!
Analysis paralysis for B2B marketing is very real. Most B2B marketers face difficulty coming up with a proper decision. The pressure is real, but so is the need to meet the objectives. Getting stuck in the decision-making process and not getting any real work done has become a hurdle for many.
To beat, analysis paralysis, keep the points mentioned above and start applying the same. Analyze things, but don’t over-analyze.
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