And when it comes to marketing, there’s a distinct overlap. The same apps that are draining brains and batteries also turn likes into leads and prospects into pounds. It’s why digital marketing ad spend continues to rise every year and shows no signs of slowing. The simple matter is this: the short of it works. Ask anyone running ads; they’ll testify to the simplicity and speed of successfully targeting demographics, followers and leads to pull them through the sales funnel.
But away from the misinformed brands where short-termism reigns supreme, there’s a vital but increasingly neglected strategy, a method that follows the age-old proverb; slow and steady wins the race. Most marketers and brand managers are familiar with the short of it, but some have lost sight of the long of it. Make sure you’re not one of them.
Think of the long of it, before it’s too late
We often work with challenger brands that are at a tipping point. Despite many of these juvenile high flyers being in their infancy, they’ve already experienced super-fast growth. Since day one, they’ve been pushing the envelope and jettisoning anything antiquated or unadaptable. They’ve shaken up markets and struck like a lightning bolt in their categories. They’ve resonated with niche audiences and grown a small but loyal band of consumers.
Naturally, as the numbers tick over, more and more money is ploughed into that pre-proven, performance marketing formula. Usually, part of that success is down to an effective short-term marketing machine that’s propped up the pounds via the algorithms of Google and Facebook. But believing that the same conditions and formula will prevail as the business scales is a mistake.
As Ernesto Schmitt from The Craftory, says: “Without awareness of the brand, what it stands for, and how it is differentiated from the incumbents, the bulk of consumers never consider, try or switch to the challenger.
“In other words, above-the-line brand marketing – slow, wide and wasteful as it might seem – is in fact the necessary enabler for challengers to scale.”
All of a sudden, they feel the turbulence. Plans have derailed. Effectiveness has dried up. For brands to break out into the mainstream and beyond the committed few, it’s time to look inside the engine. It’s time to look at the long of it.
These things take time
At this point, it’s worth noting that this isn’t some theoretical, untested marketing theory. This is evidence-based thinking taken from Les Binet and Peter Field‘s comprehensive and in-depth research into thousands of companies. It’s a simple way to get companies to understand and then execute their marketing in a better way.
Yet it’s a battle that’s been going on for decades. From the smoke-laden, boozy boardrooms of 60s Madison Avenue to the coffee-stained ping-pong tables of noughties Shoreditch, marketers, brand managers and directors have been batting their arguments back and forth. With budgets and brainpower at stake, it’s a debate that has severe consequences for performance and revenue.