Why can't I get instant marketing results?
In marketing, “good things come to those who wait” means progress and results take time. As much as we would love to snap our fingers and make an instant impact, that isn’t how it works.
If you are building a long-term marketing plan, keep in mind the required stages and the time that goes into each stage. (Note: Instant gratification is not a thing, unless you’re ordering from Jimmy John’s.)
Research and strategy (2 to 3 months)
Laying the groundwork for implementation means you need to research, strategize and brainstorm. This may not be the “fun” part, but it is key. You want to put your money where the return on investment is, not simply throw stuff out there and hope it sticks.
Included in this phase is:
- Defining goals (long-term or short-term) and metrics (what does success look like?)
- Researching competitors, industry statistics and creating a SWOT analysis
- Identifying influencers, key reporters, publications, etc.
- 3-to-6-month strategy and timeline
Development (1 to 2 months)
Once you have completed your research and strategy and have defined success, then you need to develop the tools that will be utilized in the implementation phase.
This could include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Email marketing template
- Social media setup
- Blogging calendar
- Public relations calendar with key storylines
- Marketing collateral
- Website design and development
The development phase, along with the research and strategy phase, should be customized to serve your company and customers.
It’s time to get to work. This is where most companies want to jump to, rather than experiencing the research, strategy and development phases. Don’t do that.
Compile the tools you have developed and launch your plan. Set up monthly check-ins with your marketing team to ensure they’re adhering to the timeline developed in the research and strategy phase, in order to maintain consistency. There is a method to the process — to build a successful and long-term marketing program.
You should constantly be reviewing the milestones and goals you developed to ensure you are hitting them. This means reviewing your metrics dashboard. Success to you could be, “25 website leads a month,” or it could be, “two pieces of earned media.”
You should be adapting your strategy quarterly, if not bi-monthly. If something isn’t working, try a different tactic. Keep in mind, instant gratification is not a thing. Your investment will pay off over time.