Is Short-Termism the Biggest Risk to Marketing Results?

“We need results yesterday”
Image credit: https://charliegunningham.com/2015/07/12/why-short-term-thinking-is-destructive/

Have you ever heard this before? Of course…

One of the challenges every marketer faces is the balance between doing what works short-term vs what is right long-term.

If you look at the sports teams that succeed, the factors are quite common:

  • Stability
  • Shared vision
  • Culture following core values
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Focus on continually improving performance

It’s the same with any team — even the short-term safe bets are no guarantee of success...

The fear of failure can hold you back, probably a lot more than you realize.

The key is setting expectations and aligning goals.

If your client/boss wants short-term results, you’re unlikely to win if you only focus on the long-term gains.

It’s probably not the fault of your boss/clients either — if you get deeper into the problem, it’s how companies are typically run:

If shareholders are focusing on short-term value, that gets spread down into performance targets, team bonuses, quarterly meeting reports, etc…

However, quick fix after quick fix rarely solves much in the long-term — you’ll end up going around in circles, rather than really building upon something.

The best results I’ve ever seen have come from small gradual increases, month-on-month-(on-month)…

The big exciting spike doesn’t hold as much value when you’re analyzing results over years, rather than months.

There’s no problem in building a short-term plan, but for real success it needs to be linked to a medium and longer-term objective.

Next time you’re asked about short-term results, my advice is to acknowledge this, but look to change the conversation into short-term wins, that can build into longer-term success.

About The Author

Kevin Gibbons is Managing Director of BlueGlass. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.