“Quantity and persistence will get you the outcomes you need.” –James Altucher . . . I recently earned my Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Cleary University. The experience not only changed my life, but also taught me something about effective marketing. Let me explain…
There were times I doubted I would actually make it through the 14 years. With marriage, jobs, numerous family obligations and two bright, beautiful, lively daughters, at times it was a struggle to balance it all.
But standing on that stage in front of my family and friends as I accepted my diploma made me realize that every moment of those 14 years—the good, the bad and even the ordinary—had to happen in order to reach my goal. Especially the ordinary, as strange as that sounds.
It’s easy to keep going through the good times because you’re so happy your days fly by. The help of adrenaline (and Monster energy drinks) gets you through the bad times.
However, ordinary times make up the bulk of our lives, and that’s when you have to rely on persistence to get you through. When you’re (precariously) balancing home, work and school obligations day after day after day. When you’re learning a foreign language called statistics and searching for tutors. When you finally get to bed at 3:30 a.m. after another 18-hour day of getting the girls to school, working full-time-plus, attending after-school activities with the littles, making dinner, enjoying a (too-short) bit of family time, and then after all that, settling down to work on homework.
The days are long but the years are short, as they say.
Somehow, though, every day you bring it. You channel the patience to get through, because you want to achieve your goal but OMG, that goal seems so distant. And really, how can you be sure you’ll actually live long enough to meet your goal because right now even the end of this day seems like it’s a century away!
“If you are aiming at the top, consistency is the name of the game.” –Olawale Daniel
I think about those types of days (yes, I had them) when I talk to our clients about their marketing strategies, and they tell me they feel like they’re not seeing immediate results. And I try to explain to them that marketing is truly a process—that things are happening, but it takes consistency, persistence, and patience to see the inevitable results.
Right about now, I can almost hear you thinking, “That’s her answer? I’m here at my desk every day, ready to market the heck out of our product/service! How much more consistent, persistent and patient does she want me to be?”
First, I’m going to offer you a long-distance high-five. That’s easily half the battle so you’re on the right track. But when you say you’re marketing “the heck” out of your product or service, are you being consistent, persistent and patient with all aspects of your marketing plan?
I’m talking about consistency of…
- Messaging. Does every marketing communication your company produces convey the same consistent message about your product or service—whether it’s a brochure or an email? Do all departments have email or letter templates to use when sending out their own communications? Does everyone know the company talking points—or just as important, what not to say? They should.
- Brand. Do all your marketing communications and branded materials have a consistent and cohesive look, so whether you’re looking at a business card or a trade show booth you know it came from the same company? For instance, if your company colors are ocean blue and sea green but your collateral is designed in every color of the rainbow, how can you expect your audience to recognize you at a glance?
- Voice. Does the brand “voice” you use when crafting copy for your marketing communications suit not only your company culture, but your target audience’s style and expectations? You should always aim for clarity and readability, but you wouldn’t speak to an audience of established financial services professionals in the same tone you’d use to address a three-person software startup.
And persistence in…
- Sharing content. Do you put out content like blogs, videos or white papers on a schedule? And stick to that schedule so your readers can reliably anticipate new and interesting information? Even if no one posts comments, that doesn’t mean your content isn’t being remembered or shared. It takes time to build up a readership, but the wait is worth it when people immediately think of your company as THE authority.
- Posting on social media channels. Do you go where your leads, prospects and customers hang out to engage with them on social media? As today’s version of word of mouth—the best form of advertising—social media is the place to talk to them and keep talking. If you’re not sure where your audience spends their time, I’ve included links to a few social media demographic guides in this blog.
- Working toward and adjusting your goals. Do you regularly review your marketing and business goals and adjust them as needed? The business world changes at super speed these days, and what worked even six months ago may not work anymore. A periodic tune-up of your goals is never a bad thing, especially when that slight turn of direction could lead you to a new world of opportunity.
And finally, the patience to…
- Follow your marketing strategy. Like goals, marketing strategies aren’t etched in stone. Think of them like the apps that route you around accidents on the freeway so you’re not sitting in traffic. But that doesn’t mean you should change your marketing strategy at a whim. Look for patterns that show you what is and isn’t working. There’s a whole wonderful world of marketing analytics these days to help you.
- Build your audience. Just as there were days when I thought I’d never hold that degree in my hands, there will be days you’re positive no one sees your content. But this is definitely an area where you’ll need your patience—along with a judicious helping of social media presence to spread the word about your product or service. Even Shakespeare didn’t come complete with an audience; he had to build it, person by person.
- Nurture your leads. As you execute marketing campaigns, keep in mind: people buy at different speeds and times. And, honestly, some people will never buy. Have the awareness to stop chasing dead-end leads, but also the patience to nurture your most promising leads at a more leisurely pace. Here’s another place where analytics (there’s that word again!) is your best friend.
When you’re confident in who you are, what you can do, and what you bring to the table, you’ve taken a major step toward breaking through the constant noise of today’s world to reach your audience. And though you’ll probably hear the words “consistency, persistence and patience” in your sleep tonight after reading this article (sorry!), they really are the key to reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business. Take it from a tired, proud and happy graduate-account-manager-marketer-woman-wife-and-mom: There’s no feeling like it in the world.
Need a little help cutting through the noise with a marketing and content strategy for your business or organization? Give me (Ashley Anger) a call at 734-334-3845, or email me at email@example.com.
“Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.” –George-Louis de Buffon