Patience is a virtue

for successful marketing


Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

When it comes to marketing, some businesses are impatient; desperate to see that their investment has yielded incredible results in record time.

This can put undue pressures on everyone involved and, in some cases, mean that marketing campaigns are stopped early and marketers sacked for failing to deliver what the customer wrongly expected. Many businesses are also guilty of being lazy. Gone is the effort and long lead-in times that used to go into marketing campaigns of old. Now, you can email your database, or broadcast to your social media audience, in literally minutes.

Over the years I have also discovered that the effects of any dedicated marketing activity can happen between 6 and 12 months after the campaign has ended.

Good things come to those that wait

I like to think that I’m different. I definitely align myself with the “good things come to those that wait” gang. In this scenario, planning and preparation, together with consistent and regular communication over time, are the bedrocks of continued success. Over the years I have also discovered that the effects of any dedicated marketing activity can happen between 6 and 12 months after the campaign has ended.

Opt for long, rather than short, term thinking

Of course we all like easy wins, the low hanging fruit if you like, but to rely on it, isn't helpful, or sustainable. It’s worth remembering that both branding and marketing are about building up memory structures, which clients then later connect to when they want to make a purchasing decision.

None of us see an advert, flyer or brochure, which we then immediately buy from. We tend to keep the information, mull it over, look at the alternatives and maybe make a decision when the time is right. And that decision is not always about buying, it may be that additional information or reassurance from others in the form of a testimonial or referral is required. To illustrate this point, I would like to share an example of something that happened recently.

Northamptonshire Sport

Northamptonshire Sport, a leading charity supporting physical activity, health and wellbeing, are a client of Pixooma’s. We have produced their annual Impact Reports for a number of years. But it was when I realised that they were part of a larger national organisation, namely Active Partnerships, that I started to rethink my marketing efforts. There are 43 Active Partnerships across England. I made a list of the ones closest to me geographically and started to contact them. From what I understood, they all produced an annual Impact Report, so what better excuse did I have than to put in a research call to find out more about how they produced theirs, throwing into the conversation my hands-on experience with Northamptonshire Sport.

Like many targeted marketing campaigns it was slow going. Calls and emails occasionally went unanswered, but I didn’t let that deter me. Eventually I did speak to BeActive Beds and Active Lincolnshire and when I mentioned their annual Impact Reports, they both said they were produced internally and represented a lot of arduous work. When I mentioned that Pixooma could help them, they were potentially interested, but it was early days and I didn’t want to push it too soon.

Consistency of contact

Over the next 9 plus months I kept in touch, and despite some staff changes, I was able to continue to maintain some level of contact. Eventually it paid off. Both BeActive Beds and Active Lincolnshire are now clients and we've already started work on designing their Impact Reports in tandem with our trusted partners. I am also hopeful that they might have additional projects that Pixooma can assist with. Plus, there are still another 40 Active Partnerships for me to continue to communicate with. Because after all, it’s a legal responsibility for them to produce annual Impact Reports, so if I can demonstrate our specialism here and they can see the results of the ones we've already produced, it makes sense that if they have sufficient funds, they will want offload the responsibility to a company with a proven track record.

Don’t give up

In the words of Peter Gabriel, ‘don’t give up’ when you hit a wall, or face a few setbacks. Stick at it, take your time to try out new things, or do some research to see what will resonate best with your audience. Be consistent about your efforts and try to build focus and momentum. Because, when it comes to marketing, we’ve found that slow and steady can often help you to win the race.

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