We live in a fast-paced world. Things move quickly and are only speeding up. We believed that technology would give us our time back, but instead, it has robbed us of even more of our time. Amazon brings nearly anything we want (but usually don’t need) to our door in a day or two. We’ve been conditioned for instant gratification, and anything less is simply not acceptable.
I Need Results – NOW!
This desire for “all things now” has spilled over into our perspectives on business as well. Annual results now translate into quarterly expectations, which lead to monthly tracking, weekly reporting, daily KPIs and, in some cases, hourly metrics. Even expectations of our marketing efforts have become almost real-time.
As a marketing professional, I often find myself in client discussions about schedules, expectations and when the true effectiveness of a marketing plan can and should be measured. I always reinforce the fact that a solid foundation is still essential, and flash-in-the-pan results are not indicative of long-term success (or failure). Think of Apple, Budweiser, Chase, Nike, Coca-Cola. These brands obviously have a strategic marketing plan in place and make decisions accordingly. You need to approach marketing as a process, not an event – a process made up of many individual events that present the full picture.
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How Long Will This Take?
We all want our efforts to be successful. We want everything to work just as we envisioned it. One way to capitalize on today’s fast pace and digital tactics is to monitor campaigns and make on-the-go modifications. We’ve all heard the phrase “Ready. Aim. Fire.” Today, we have more of an opportunity to follow the phrase “Ready. Aim. Fire. Shift. Aim. Fire. Shift…” Monitoring constant digital feedback affords the opportunity to fine-tune and adjust. However, these are small changes that still support the original strategy. Perhaps we shift more placements to one social channel over another based on performance or allocate more of our spend to a particularly responsive audience segment. We don’t alter the destination – we simply modify the course to get there.
Executing a marketing plan requires consistent effort and dedication. There must be a willingness to invest the time and attention necessary to see it through. “Good things come to those who wait” is actually, believe it or not, a slogan that was part of an advertising campaign to sell Guinness draft beer. A proper Guinness pour takes longer than other draft beers, and from this product feature, a memorable slogan and effective campaign was born.
Like a great beer, great marketing takes time, so let your marketing do its job. Then you can savor the results. Cheers!