I’ve been asked many times for the magic formula in marketing. What do you need to do to find success? There are ways you can give yourself a much better chance in marketing, but it isn’t magic. It’s the balance of short term and long term marketing. Get both working together and you’ll be in a very good position.
The reason you need both elements in any marketing plan is because to really elevate your brand, be known in the market and to get your name established it takes time. People buy from who they know and trust. Marketing is all about relationships and emotion. Just as it can take time to become good friends with someone, it will take time to form a bond with clients – both prospective and current. So you need that long term thinking.
But that’s all very well. That will give you excellent growth that will be sustained in the long term. That’s how to build a fantastic business that can stand on its own two legs. But while you’re doing that, how are you making any money? Where are the new customers coming from to fund your long term plans? You need some short term marketing to keep you afloat while the long term stuff takes effect. You need both for true success.
Short Term Marketing
This is all about immediate wins. It needs to be slick and quick, targeted straight at your audience, and with a simple call to action. You need a hook. I often recommend discounts or timed promotions. An Easter campaign, May Day discount, 20% in August to celebrate the sun, a back to school promo, Halloween ‘Spooktacular’ offer, or the “End your year with a bang by taking advantage of our 5th November 55% off” deal. You don’t need to tell a long story here. People won’t be interested in the ins and outs of your brand. You just need a super headline that will grab attention.
Next you need to get this message out there. But don’t just put it on social media. How many posts do you see every day? How many people are going to miss it? Put it on your website as well. Hand out flyers. Send out a direct mailer. Email people. Do an advertising campaign. Tell everyone. This is short term shouting about what you are doing. It isn’t about your brand. It’s about the particular thing you’re promoting.
It’s fine that people will forget about you afterwards. Some people won’t. You might get some loyal customers. But most will look and forget because there’s so little for them to remember. But as long as you sell some stuff, that’s fine. This is just about boosting your bottom line for a short time while you work in the background on the big stuff.
Long Term Marketing
This is the big stuff. This is where you need to get under the skin of your business, find out what you stand for, how you can relate to your audience, why they should care and how you’re going to get them to listen. This is where you tell your story. Tactics here might include:
- Branding work
- Content plans
- PR and advertising
- Website development
- Long term campaigns – that long term hook
- Customer communication
I’ve worked on long term plans that have taken about two years to take effect. You have to have patience. You’ll start to see signs of success such as more people visiting your website, more people looking at your social media, more people clicking on ads. There will be the odd enquiry here and there, and you might be afraid that it’s just not enough. But hang on in there. If you’ve thought about your strategy well enough and you’ve planned things carefully, have faith. Because when it does start to work, it will work very well.
If you’re searching for that magic formula, you won’t find it. Doing marketing well takes time. But don’t be afraid to put out that short term plan to get a bit of a boost in the meantime. And don’t fret if after the gush of your short term plan, all the momentum vanishes. That’s normal. It’s short term. It’s the long term goals that really matter.
If you’d like to discuss your marketing plans, please contact us at Lindsay Woodward Marketing.