Once a week I spend a few hours cleaning our house. You'd be correct if you guessed it's not one of my favorite tasks but it does have some benefits. It burns a few calories, which is not a bad thing. And, it's actually somewhat relaxing. (Sometimes its nice keeping your hands busy while your brain rests.)
But the best thing about cleaning your house is you get instant results. You do the work, and you get a clean house. No waiting. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor right away. What could be better, right?
This reminds me of the reason many small business owners get frustrated with their marketing. It's because they often want instant results from something that is not designed to deliver instant results.
Effective marketing can make your business or organization almost a household word in your community. It can push your revenue through the roof. And it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
But it does take time. You could compare marketing to exercising because they have a lot in common:
- You rarely get results right away.
- You need to do it on a regular and frequent basis for best results.
- The longer you do it the better it works.
Remember our marketing rule:
"Deliver your message to your market as many times as you can within your budget."
The more times people see or hear your message, the more they will remember it. The more they remember your message, the more likely they are to believe and trust it. Therefore, they will be more likely to do business with you.
What if you heard about a new toothpaste that promises the freshest breath, the whitest teeth and no more cavities. If one person tells you about it or if you see one commercial touting it, you might not even remember it. It's in and out of your consciousness so fast you might not even realize it was ever there.
On the other hand, let's say you hear about this new toothpaste on the radio when you wake up in the morning. Then you read about it in the newspaper during breakfast. Then you see it on a billboard while you're stuck in traffic.
Then you get to work and receive a flyer in the mail promoting this toothpaste. Then a co-worker tells you all about this new toothpaste they tried. Finally, you get an email from a friend asking if you know anything about this new toothpaste.
After all this exposure in one day, do you think you might remember this product? In fact you might even try it next time you buy toothpaste.
Of course this concentrated level of exposure is unrealistic in one day, unless you have a ton of money to spend. That's why you need to keep your message in front of people on an ongoing basis. What you lack in concentration, you make up for with repetition.
If you expose people to your message frequently, regularly and through multiple media, you develop awareness of your brand. Do this long enough and your brand becomes part of their long-term memory. It becomes part of their world.
The bottom line is this:
You get best results from your marketing when you focus on building awareness and credibility for your brand over the long term. The more people know you and trust you, the more they will want to do business with you.
So, if you want instant results then go home and clean your house! But if you want to build your business, plan on a long-term investment in your marketing.