Although strategic marketing requires a high level of creativity, it also requires a certain level of discipline. It is easy to jump out of your seat and start slapping people on the back when a good idea bursts onto the scene, bringing fresh energy and endless possibilities along with it.

One thing I’ve learned is that you need to let ideas run around a little, stretching their legs and shaking their sillies out. You need to play with them and acknowledge their greatness.

At this point, many people gather up the good idea in a giant bear hug of excitement and run around telling everybody what they’re going to do with it. In effect, they’re racing to the altar without getting to know the bride.

I agree that good ideas need a period of basking in their own pure energy. You have to let them bounce off the walls and trip over a few things. And then you need to help them settle down. You need to lead them to a quiet place and examine them from all sides.

You need to think before you act.

And this is where we learn to respect the power of processes. Methods and processes may seem like the devil to some creative types. But the right processes, proven with time and applied consistently, are the foundation of good marketing. Rather than inhibit a project, they support its growth. Strong processes guide creativity through the steps and considerations that promote its success.

Grandma was right. Haste makes waste. Make sure your marketing firm has the energy and creativity to bring a spark to your business. Then make sure they use methods and processes that will neither snuff the creative spark nor let it burn out of control.