Rivers of gold flow from long-term plans

Anthony O'Brien


March 12, 2018

Doing business in 2018 is faster and more challenging than ever before. Competition is fierce, there are increasing margin pressures, and rapid-fire technology transformations make it hard to keep up.

In this environment, sales and marketing have a considerable role to play in your commercial success. So, I find it astounding that businesses continue to make short-term marketing moves. Taking such an approach to marketing and sales is a recipe for failure.

Rivers of gold

The thing is that many business owners are looking for a quick fix. Usually, they mean generating a constant stream of leads that can be sold to immediately. This commercial nirvana is implausible – if you haven’t laid the strategic groundwork first. Typically, to achieve this sales paradise, a business first has to develop a solid strategic plan, supportive go-to-market messaging, and a complementary program for executing the strategy. The problem is that many businesses expect the rivers of gold to flow without putting in the groundwork first.

For example, my business, Corpwrite, is often contacted to help business owners who have launched poorly considered marketing campaigns that have no discernible value or call to action for their targeted client. Not surprisingly, these half-baked campaigns fail to produce any impact in the market.

By failing to have the essential inputs of a sound strategy, they’ve fallen into the trap of expecting that any activity will generate a result. This kind of approach will always have a high chance of failure; for example, if you assume you can just fire out a media release to journalists and rivers of gold will follow, you’re most likely kidding yourself.

Focus on building long-term success

Having unrealistic expectations is why many business owners become quickly disillusioned with their marketing activities. There’s much trial and error in testing different concepts and messages in your activity, especially if you’re just starting out.

When setting your marketing goals, be realistic. We recommend looking at a rolling three-month calendar of activity, whereby you look at a long-term strategy for, say, 12 months, but add detail about your actions only for the initial three months. It allows you to have realistic long- and short-term goals. It also gives you the flexibility to tweak your marketing activity as you learn from your campaigns. It’s an approach that has worked well for our clients for many years.

TOPICS:   anthony o'brien,  Financial Planning Marketing