The art of thinking may be getting lost in space. Actually let me rephrase that. The art of thinking about why we are doing things is getting lost due to lack of time. We are so busy working quickly that we forget why we are even doing “stuff” in the first place. Speedy text responses, the frantic pace of business in general, increased expectations and demands on all fronts have all translated into little time to do the most important thing: namely to ask ourselves if what we are doing makes the most sense and is indeed the right thing to be doing. Hours slip by amongst a flurry of digital exchanges that have lost their meaning and are task, not strategy, driven.
In the agency and marketing world this has never been more true. Hit a button. Presto, get an ad. Want a logo? Simple. Just shop for it online from a distant stranger. Want a social campaign? Easy! Build a video on your smart phone and have it be a viral sensation overnight. Right? Wrong. Sure, you can get ideas quickly. And you can have unexpected wins without ever knowing why (and, as a result, they are impossible to repeat). But, like winning the lottery, these wins are extremely rare. Instead, you usually get what you paid for; which is not what you expected and certainly not the success and fame you were hoping for. And, it will have definitely cost you time and money along the way.
Marketing is the heart and soul of a business.
Marketing is the heart and soul of a business. It pumps blood to the logical processes and to sales and operations. Its beat keeps the team going with passion and a singular purpose - to keep your business strong and vital. And, just like your heart, marketing’s muscle needs to be exercised regularly in order for your business to stay healthy and strong. This means taking time to ensure that it is functioning at its optimum. Time to gather information, time to analyze and time to simply feel, in order to know what the market wants. Marketing tactics may have changed with the times but the basic principles of having a clearly defined strategy, with stated goals and objectives, has not.
As an entrepreneur you and nobody else should own the final decisions about the marketing of your brand. Nobody will ever care for it like you do. And nobody but you will ever be able to truly take the pulse of how your brand and business are doing. When you hire a firm to assist you with your marketing efforts, find someone who cares about the business and who insists on taking time to understand it before they start spending your hard-earned money. No matter how much you feel you have to hurry please trust me that what you actually need to do at the beginning is slow down. Take the time to get what is in your heart and head about your brand and put it down into a form that is tangible and actionable. Because it does takes time. And serious expertise.
Marketing is the business. It’s not a department. It’s not something to relegate while you do sales. It’s not your logo or your tagline. It’s the essence of the organization. It is in fact the way you build your brand. And your brand is simply your business as seen through the eyes of everyone else. Strategic marketing done well helps you build a brand that will stand the test of time. And that test of time takes, you got it, time. There are no overnight successes. There are only people who stop and are thoughtful about what they are building, and then drive relentlessly forward to make sure everything they do delivers on that vision.
Yes. You can do it fast. For sure you can always do it on the cheap.
But if you want to do it well, then there are no quick and inexpensive avenues. You must take and give the one thing you feel you don’t have. Time.