When you go to a doctor, the most important thing that happens is the first thing: the diagnostic process. Questions get asked, your patient history gets taken, tests are run and results are examined.

Only then can the treatment begin, because only then does your team of medical specialists know enough to recommend and implement the right treatment.

Without a full and complete diagnosis, it is too easy to mistake one condition for another. Without a full and complete diagnostic effort, there is an over-reliance on patient self-diagnosis, which may confuse urgency and importance.

Diagnosis often feels like it takes longer than it actually does. This is understandable; when you are in pain you want treatment right now. Even though asking questions and running a test or two doesn’t take that long, it is hard to allow the diagnostic process to run its course and provide the insight necessary to inform the strategy and the treatment.

Don’t confuse a quick diagnosis with a complete diagnosis. Diagnosis can happen quickly, but it must be complete.

Allowing the diagnostic process to run its course avoids unnecessary treatment.  Without the proper diagnosis, the treatment may miss the mark. That could end up doing more harm than good.

In developing marketing solutions, a complete and thorough diagnostic process provides the same benefits it does in health care: guiding treatment towards a successful outcome.