How do you view marketing? Do you see the opportunity it provides your business and the power it has to build your business over the long term?
If you see marketing an investment in your business then it should be treated as such. You should approach your marketing execution just as you would any other long-term investment—with adequate research using proven methods that rely on substantive evidence rather than following what the “crowd” is doing.
So, how are you approaching your marketing investment?
Long Term Security vs The Day-Trader Approach
I enjoy following the stock market. At one point, I was consumed with my portfolio, following the market everyday (all day), getting alerts sent to my phone so I could be able to make decisions at any minute. Reading the Wall Street Journal every morning so I could see opportunities in news, events, and any other trends that I thought might influence the conditions of the market that day. There was a rush to it all, being able to adapt and change everyday so I could benefit from small fluctuations in the stock price. For some, this approach works very well. For me, while I saw decent returns, I found that I was always stressed and on edge and everything else sort of faded into the background.
I’ve met a lot of marketers and business owners (often the same person) who approach marketing this way. They get on social media and check their follower counts 10 times a day. Or they use AdWords and check their account every morning to see how well their ads are performing. I call these people the Day-Marketers. It’s one thing to put effort into setting up your platform correctly and it’s another when you approach marketing as if you can set a course on Monday only to change it on Thursday. This may seem exciting but it most often results in a huge waste of time.
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
– Warren Buffet
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes because it illustrates the product of long-term thinking and focusing on building rather than always responding. You can’t wait until you’re going hungry to plant new seeds (leads) or wait to water your roots (current customers) until you see the branches drying up. In order to cultivate a thriving business, you must approach marketing with a long-term perspective.
If you approach your marketing execution as a Day-Marketer, you’ll wind up adding more risk to your investments than required because your decisions could be (will likely be) shortsighted and not made on sound, proven principles.
Seeing Your Marketing from Above
Taking the long-term approach to marketing allows you to see your business from a different perspective and have expectations that are more closely aligned with the resources you have to execute your plan.
The Day-Marketer approach wants to get a bargain on everything. They are looking to buy low and sell high. They often expect to build their 7-figure business on a 4-figure budget. For example, is $12,000 too much to spend on a website? It depends on whether you’re wanting to generate $5,000 or $50,000. If you’re launching a new product or service and expect to generate $100,000 in annual revenue can you expect to achieve your goal on a $10,000 annual marketing budget? Is that a realistic expectation?
When you’re budgeting for marketing, consider the overall business objectives related to your budget. You’re going to have different expectations if you’re setting a budget for a small event or a small niche-product compared to revamping your business brand and/or setting up an entire Internet-based marketing platform.
And what about the human factor?
According to Salary.com, the median expected salary for a typical Marketing Manager (someone who develops and implements your marketing plan) in the United States is $86,788. After you include taxes and health insurance, you’re looking at an annual minimum investment of over $100,000 (about $8,300 per month)—and that is just for 1 person (with a certain amount of experience and expertise to get the job done).
This is where most Day-Marketers get tripped up. They don’t think long term and end up allocating insufficient resources required to achieve their own expected outcome. Then, when things don’t turn out the way they wanted, they end up trashing the marketing activity they were using (email, social media, seo, ppc…you name it) and moving on to the next one–only to make the same mistake.
Bottom line: We all make mistakes. But when you take the time to take a long-term approach to marketing you get closer to meeting your own expectations and will prevent a lot of headaches down the road.
What type of marketer are you?