In sales, it’s a fact that you must plan and prepare. Those salespeople who are ready to present and close a deal usually win out over those who are not. And in many areas of the sales profession, there are built-in deadlines. If the meeting is Tuesday, you must be ready by Tuesday. If the account renews on Friday, your quote must be ready to go by Friday.

But in marketing, timelines are typically soft and described as “goals” — meaning an organization hopes to be finished this week, but next week would be acceptable, too. In other words, there is no hard-and-fast deadline. This leaves ample time for all parties involved to review and refine a project, which is positive, unless the reviewing and refining delays your campaign for weeks, months or even forever.

Failing to launch a campaign is not the solution to your marketing dilemmas. Eventually, the trigger must be pulled. Choosing the paint color for your bedrooms cannot delay the pouring of the foundation, or your house will never be built.

So, turn that marketing goal into a deadline. Plan and prepare your campaign as effectively as possible, and then launch it. Measure you results; review and refine. The worst marketing campaign is no campaign at all.

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John Scranton is an insurance agency marketing expert and vice president of StartUpSelling, Inc. which helps small businesses with lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information and tips from John, visit www.StartUpSelling.com, or go to his blog at http://startupselling.com/blogs/johnscranton.