Marketing for the Long Term

Marketing is a long term investment, just like buying real estate. Sales are immediate, and the selling you do today will have a direct impact on your bottom line today. Marketing is just the opposite; the marketing you do today may not have an impact on your profits for weeks, months or maybe even years. Is it important? You bet it is! Do you want your business to still be around in a few years?

When you evaluate the performance of your marketing you need to look at it over the long term, because sometimes your marketing can be incredibly successful at it’s purpose and not generate any immediate sales. Here’s an example:

Imagine a homeowner with a plumbing problem. Not having a previous relationship with a plumbing company, the consumer calls the first one she finds online. Although the plumbing problem is eventually remedied, since the plumber’s demeanor, quality of service and punctuality were subpar the homeowner realizes she’s in the market for a new plumber for future.

She almost immediately begins paying attention to marketing from other local plumbing companies. One, in particular, stands out. She begins noticing their marketing on flyers, billboards, in the telephone directory, on the radio, the internet and their brightly colored trucks on the road.

Since she doesn’t have a plumbing problem right now, she hasn’t called them. But because their marketing makes them look professional she plans to call them the next time she does have one. In other words, their marketing has worked, they just don’t know it yet!

If the plumbing company measured their marketing based on it’s short term results, they may come to a conclusion about the success of their marketing that is completely different than the truth. Marketing is a long term investment. It should be monitored and continuously improved, but if you attempt to measure it’s results over too short a period of time you may mistakenly come to wrong conclusions.

Photo by danmachold.

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