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You can rely on the fact that there’s a surprise marketing request out there coming into your inbox with an unrealistic deadline. When it happens you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. Take a deep breath and hold up on the reply.

Marketers are overwhelmed with internal marketing requests. And generally it’s based on the person’s lack of knowledge to what it takes to create a marketing effort. They are reacting to a situation in their world and are grasping for help. Or they may have created customer promises. Regardless it’s hard not to say ‘NO’ immediately. So count to three slowly when posed with this situation, and recognize there is an opportunity to possibly uncover a pain or problem that ultimately may increase business or market share and make you look pretty smart in the process.

Because you picked marketing as your chosen profession, you are a problem solver by nature. So ask yourself, what’s really up? And more importantly what could marketing do to fix the pain? And when would that be appropriate? Now? Next quarter? Next year?

Take a step back. Be objective (hard to do since this person has already sent you ten emails this week) and approach the request as a new project. Is there a way to take something from a marketing project in process and use it towards what they need?

Avoid the trap of speeding up a current project’s process and protocol (and not to mention messing with the budget). A current marketing project is very prone to aggressive deadline requests. More often than not, Sales is anxious.

Does this pain warrant the time and expense? Perhaps your in-house marketing team could tackle this quickly, however, that still means bumping something else to the side. Would it make sense to outsource it?

Approach the request with a solution. And deliver the solution with the consequences. Determine the ROI and expenses to get there. And let this drive the outcome. For every action there’s a consequence.