Are You Half-Pregnant?

by Thomas MORADPOUR on February 3, 2011 · 3 comments

I certainly hope the answer is no.

Quite clearly, when it comes to actual babies, there’s only two options – you’re either fully pregnant, or not at all.

Pregnancy is an “all-in” scenario. Once you start, you commit fully to the new life you’ve created. You can’t get away with just the diapers and crib, but no food and care. And you’re in it for the next 20 years.

When you decide to be pregnant, you need to do whatever it takes to make it work.
Whatever it takes. Not half.


Half-pregnant marketing plans look something  like this:

  • creating amazing new products, without disruptive packaging and in-store theater,
  • shooting shinny TV ads, without cut-through media weights,
  • designing engaging website experiences, without scale investment to drive traffic,
  • launching a social media presence, without trained staff to manage it,
  • starting brand movements, without long term resources to sustain it,
  • recruiting Facebook and Twitter fans, without a content plan to talk to them.

This makes no sense whatsoever, and I still see it all too often (I’m sure you see it too).

Fifty percent of the effort does not produce fifty percent of the results.
It produces exactly zero percent of the results.


If you feel you can’t execute on all your ideas one hundred percent, don’t do them all half-way… do half of them all the way. Find that one single thing you’ll do brilliantly, not the next incremental idea that you won’t have time to see fully through.

When you don’t have all the facts to make a call, take stock of what you know and make a leap of faith… or simply don’t! Success comes with calculated risks, not absolute knowledge of all the facts upfront.

And if you can’t convince all your clients or partners to do whatever it takes, be sure to find THE one who IS. Because it’s always better to work with the few who are fully committed to success, rather than with the many who will just go through half of the moves. Only epic success can breed success.

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  • samfiorella

    Good advice Tom

    I would add one more tip: If you only have the resources to pull off one of the tactics – STOP. You don’t need the execution budget to create the overarching strategy. Create your “All-In” marketing plan as if you have unlimited budget. Do it right. Do the research. Then plan all the elements in a coordinated way.

    Then execute one, two – fully – as you can.

    In this manner each of your pillars has purpose and lays the foundation for the future. And when additional marketing pillars are erected, they build upon each other so you avoid make-shift structures. (hey, if you can use the pregnancy analaogy…)


  • Steve G.

    Thomas –

    Good Post and good use of imagery – never really looked at some client’s marketing as “being half pregnant” but your comparison is right on!

    And your statement at the end, definitely should be heard (and followed!)…”Success comes with calculated risks, not absolute knowledge of all the facts upfront.”

    Thanks Thomas


  • Anonymous

    Slowly reaching for my Advil…

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