Here’s a riddle for you: What does marketing have to do with fine dining?

More than you might think—because in both cases, success or failure depends on what gets put in front of the customer.

Imagine you’re at a restaurant that’s been getting rave reviews. The chef is brilliant. The menu is enticing. The waiter can’t say enough about the quality of the ingredients. You can’t wait to eat.

And then the food comes out, and your heart sinks. The greens are looking a little grey. The gravy is dripping over the side of the plate. It just doesn’t look that good, and you kind of wish you’d gone somewhere else.

Now imagine that you’re a marketer getting ready to launch a campaign. You’ve done your research, developed a powerful messaging strategy, tapped the most cutting-edge, AI-driven data to pinpoint your target audience.  Everything is perfect. But all your customer sees is the end product: a glossy brochure with blurry images and bad color.

By the time you realize what happened, it’s too late: Each of your most promising, carefully selected prospects have received something that makes them think a little less of your brand.

Here’s the thing. Our eyes eat first. It seems superficial, but it’s not. Research has shown that visual cues actually alter our perception of flavor. The same holds true with marketing and advertising.  In one glance your customers take in a huge amount of information and begin forming opinions that will be very hard to change.

So what do you do? If  you’re that chef, you fire your floor manager and personally inspect every plate before it leaves the kitchen. You rethink everything and come up with a system that gets everyone working together and puts quality first.

And if you’re a marketer? Well, you get off much easier. You start using a marketing services platform that defines the workflow for your whole production process, supporting true collaboration, stringent quality assurance and efficient, effective approval phases. That way you’ll always know where you are in the process, and you can be sure that the right eyes are on each piece collateral—digital, print, dimensional—before it goes out.

Which is pretty fantastic when you think about it.

What’s even better is that  the right marketing services platform goes way beyond quality assurance. It opens up new possibilities for cross-team communication and collaboration. It also serves as a reliable home for all of your assets, provides templates for frequent types of workloads, and generally makes creating and disseminating branded materials easier and more intuitive than ever before.

So by solving one problem, you tap into a solution that can make your work better and your life easier. That’s food for thought.