Long Road Marketing

long road marketingAs a society, we’re used to immediate gratification. It’s no surprise that this expectation has spilled over into the way we do business—and marketing. We expect instant results from our marketing efforts, and occasionally, we get them. But the fact is that it’s a long road to “overnight” business success. Most “overnight” successes actually take years to become successful.

Successful marketing is the same. It doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t “just happen.” It requires thoughtful planning, careful execution, and persistence. The ease of use that many social media tools offer has deceived some of us.  Once you know how to do it, it’s easy to send a tweet. It’s easy to add a comment to a Facebook page. It’s really not all that hard to post a blog.

That’s the easy part.

The hard part of marketing is doing those things (and others) intentionally, doing them well, doing them consistently, and continuing to do them day after day. You don’t do good marketing by dabbling. You can’t tweet for a week and expect great results. You can’t blog every other month and expect it to make a difference. You can’t give your website a stunning new facelift, leave it there to collect digital dust, and then expect leads (and sales) to magically appear.

Overnight success in marketing happens as a result of understanding what messages are important to your audience and making sure that you’re getting those messages out there in a clear way that generates response. It’s a long road. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it feels like pulling teeth. But you’ve got to have a plan and you’ve got to stick to it (and adapt it when necessary).

Can success come overnight? Sure! But it only comes overnight after you’ve walked down the long road of thinking about what you want to accomplish and taken the many steps to make it happen.

If your business is on the long road to success and someone offers you a “fast marketing ride”, don’t get in the car. Should you explore new technologies and tools? Absolutely! Should you experiment with new ideas? Of course! But don’t forget your fundamentals. And don’t expect to arrive at your destination tomorrow if you’re beginning your journey today. Know your audience. Refine your message. Keep taking step after step down that long road. Eventually, you’ll pass all those burned out “Tweetmobiles” along the side of the road.