Marketing 101: Consistency is Key
To get in shape, you wouldn’t go to the gym for ten hours straight, right? You wouldn’t try to master the piano in a day, and you certainly wouldn’t brush your teeth once to maintain good hygiene. Instead, for long-term efficiency, it would produce better results to work out for an hour a few days per week, practice the piano regularly each week, and brush your teeth every day (hopefully).
This is because consistency outweighs intensity. Intensity is fixed in time and easy to measure. However, on its own, intensity produces only short-term results, and changes nothing in the long run. To create lasting, effective change, we need to repeat things consistently over time:
This concept is no different in marketing. Great marketing is consistent marketing. It’s doing some level of marketing, over a long period of time, making incremental changes based on what works.
Sometimes, business owners think that a quick boost in their marketing will take their company to the next level. They ramp up their marketing and after a few weeks, or months, they stop. This actually does more harm than good because it will confuse your customers. When they stop hearing from you (or seeing your name), they may wonder what happened to you. Are you still in business? Do you not care to thank and educate your customers? This is a bad message to send.
Business owners typically halt their marketing for one of three reasons:
They believe their strategy isn’t working
They believe they’ve generated enough exposure / new clients
They believe they don’t have the time / resources
Your Strategy Isn’t Working?
A lack of consistency is a common reason that marketing campaigns do not produce desirable results. In the beginning, business owners or managers are motivated to launch a new campaign, but then they get worried that they aren’t seeing their desired results right away. In this situation, we have to remember to stay patient and maintain consistency. If you’re not experiencing an increase in sales in the first few weeks or months, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have a poor marketing strategy.
For example, on social media you need time to build an audience. Schedule out posts for the month and remember to send a monthly email-newsletter to past customers, current customers, prospects and even to friends of your business. This helps to keep your name in front of potential customers and to remind people of exactly what you do. Sharing successes from current clients also helps to reassure potential customers that you are successful and that other customers value your products or services.
It’s OK not to experience a jump in leads and sales instantly. After all, we are talking about your marketing and not your sales efforts. These are two different things. It’s crucial to remain consistent and build an audience that trusts you. Consistency can make a ‘weak’ marketing strategy stronger in the long run. But what if your marketing strategy is ‘strong’ in the short run?
You’ve Generated Enough Leads / New Clients?
This is a good problem to have. When you’ve generated new business from your digital marketing, for example, in the first few weeks, you may think it’s OK to stop marketing. Yes, you’ve increased exposure and revenue; however, remember that consistency outweighs intensity. Your gains won’t last.
Do you expect the increased exposure and revenue to continue in the long run if you place your marketing on hold? It won’t. Remember that customers will often go to who is perceived as strong and the safest bet. They will also call the one that they heard from last (or the most). By limiting your visibility and level of communication, you are missing the chance to educate your customer about what you do, reassuring them you are a solid provider, you are a successful organization and that you can help them address their needs.
You Don’t Have the Time / Resources?
If you don’t think you have the time or budget to continue marketing, there are several strategies that might be helpful. Remember, maintaining visibility with your target audience is like pushing a rock up a hill. If you stop, you will lose momentum and it will be that much more difficult to get moving again (and build that same level of visibility and brand awareness with your target customers).
Consider outsourcing your marketing to a marketing agency. Outsourcing isn’t always as costly as people assume and can leave you and your team with more time to focus on what you are best at.
Also, consider marketing automation. Marketing automation is a great way to save time and money. For example, create a series of autoresponders, which are automated emails sent to certain prospects. Use a social media dashboard like PromoRepublic or Hootsuite that allows you to quickly build and schedule social posts to multiple platforms and profiles.
Something as little as scheduling a few social posts per month, taking 20 minutes to engage with your audience on social media, producing a monthly blog for your website, and sending a monthly or quarterly e-newsletter go a long way. You maintain brand awareness with little marketing effort, setting your company up for long term success.
Simply put, the more consistent you are with your marketing, the more effective it will be. After all, sometimes a little goes a long way!