Give It Time…Please!

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Introduction

You’ve heard it. You’ve probably been a part of it. And IT is killing your business. What is “it”? Not giving your marketing efforts time to breathe and mature. Look, I have been guilty of this in the past too and surely will be in the future. Your boss, CEO, or team member will look at you and say “Ok, we need to do something different to generate more results… let’s try {Fill in a creative idea/tactic/strategy here yall!}”.

So you try whatever the “new” thing is for a short period of time, then abandon it completely when you don’t get viral results within the first 60 days. Or worse yet, within the first two weeks your boss/CEO pulls the plug because “it’s just not working out!”.

If you’re a LinkedIn Influencer, you would then write a post about how bad this initiative actually is (with COPIOUS amounts of ellipses and double spaced paragraphs of course) and why it’s totally outdated.

Sound familiar? I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Businesses try a new marketing tactic for a short amount of time, and then pull the plug when nothing happens within 30 days. 

But, I’m here to tell you that you have to give your marketing time to grow, mature, and breathe. Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than burning valuable time, money, and energy.

But Why?


Well, marketing is a mid to long term investment. 

First, you need to recognize that when you start something new… you are entering into a learning experience. You may have experience in google ads, social media marketing, email marketing, ect. from your past jobs… but do you know how THIS audience will react, at THIS point in time, with THIS buying environment? The world of marketing today is far from that of the early 2010’s. Learning how to implement a new-to-company marketing strategy/tactic in a new market, during a new age is going to take time to refine. If you’re just starting out on social media, stay consistent over several months and tweak your messaging, frequency, and content type. The first several months should be a learning period for whatever endeavor, so you should be constantly iterating and measuring.

If after several months of testing and tweaking at scale don’t produce the results you were looking for, evaluate your process and consider an alternative. Let me repeat and bold the most important part… Don’t produce the results you were looking for… that means before you start, you must have a goal that is measurable. Impressions, follows, leads, engagement… you must have a goal in mind before you start. Otherwise, you’re a ship without a captain. 

Doing so also keeps you long term oriented. Marketing, as a whole, is a time based endeavor. Short term results are less likely than long term results by the nature of what you are doing. 

Sure, you might see short term results from an advertising campaign or email promotion, but consider how you got there.

How You Got There

The success of those initiatives were likely built on a longer term foundation. First, you had to build up a list of warm contacts (those that were interested and could benefit from your solution). Then, you had to entice the audience to listen to you, perhaps by showcasing why your process/product/service was better than others. They likely did their own research, talked internally, looked at your social media, browsed your website, put off purchasing due to budgets, got distracted or went on vacation.

From there, they may have seen an ad or talked to a reference, read some reviews, and finally they decided to move forward. There was no ONE piece that truly influenced their decision to buy… sure they may have clicked on the ad, but they also had 15 other touch points along the way that shaped their world view. That is the result of consistent marketing that was given time to mature. 

Keep in mind, In the digital age, most buyers are 70% of the way through the buying process before they ever talk with a salesperson or request a demo or free trial (Nearly three quarters of the buying process… that’s a lot of information and touch points). That means you need to provide enough information to your prospective buyers through your marketing channels like you are taking them through the first 70% of the buying process. Give yourself enough time to learn, refine, and perfect each tactic before hopping onto the next shiny thing.

Cutting the timeline short on your marketing is akin to hiring a salesperson, giving them a quota, and then firing them a month in for not hitting their yearly quota. If you heard about that, you’d probably exclaim “well that was stupid!”… and yet, time and again, marketing initiatives are given the same treatment with no qualm.

Conclusion

Perhaps this was more of a pep talk than a blog post, but I see so many businesses struggle because they are impatient with their marketing. Constantly shifting directions and losing focus don’t let you actually measure the impact of your initiatives. Not only that, the morale of your team quickly deteriorates and can lead to burnout (another productivity killer). At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing initiatives, but give each time to adapt and mature… you’ll be surprised at the results.

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