Are you expecting too much from your marketing?

19186685 Did you read the paper today?  Or watch TV?  Spend any time on Facebook or some other website?  Did you see an ad for something you wanted?  Or read an article about a service provider you’d been considering?

Did you leap up from your chair, rush to the car and go immediately to that store or business to make a purchase?

I doubt it.  That’s not the way advertising works.  It’s not instantaneous.  It is also not a one time shot.  If you’re thinking of running an ad (any ad) just once and expecting people to show up — guess again. 

If you’re not in it for the long haul, you probably shouldn’t do it at all.  Remember the analogy –you don’t plant a seed and dig it up when there’s no plant the next day.  Your marketing works the same way.

As a general rule, marketing takes time, repetition and patience.  Sure, there are exceptions, but they’re rare.

So how do you speed up the process? 

  • You recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint
  • You educate your potential consumer on how/why they need what you have to offer
  • You deliver those key messages in multiple ways, ideally through more than one media
  • You offer incentives to reward a quicker buying decision
  • You repeat

Sean D’Souza created a very funny but illuminating example of this marketing truth over at CopyBlogger.

What’s your best technique for creating urgency?

11 comments on “Are you expecting too much from your marketing?

  1. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    Sean does give an excellent example in his story (and I think we all know how urgent the problem he highlights can get ;-))

    One way of creating urgency is imho being creative in enticing prospects to start the conversation with you so you can educate them. Webforms to submit their name and email-address in that only ask: “Submit” don’t really do that. E.g. Yes please, ‘deconfuse’ me or Yes please ‘unmyth me’ ( work way better.

    And then don’t forget your own urgency to reply to any enquiry you do receive – a quick reaction time can make a huge difference on the bottom line! (I know that from own experiences: time IS money in this case too)

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  2. Karin,

    Great suggestions. It is often about taking an extra 15 seconds to think about how/what you’re saying and find a way to tweak it to your advantage.

    Just the effort of not saying like everyone else does can go a long way.


  3. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    And it is fun to come up with them too 😉

    Karin H

  4. Good point! Sometimes it’s that little thing that blows the opportunity and taking that small extra little bit of effort and time makes everything work properly!
    A key to marketing success is to make our message stand out!
    That’s what I blog about at

    Mike Saunders

  5. James says:

    An awareness ad takes time to have an impact. No doubt. A response ad should generate a result immediately. If it doesn’t them it’s probably an awareness ad with an 800# on it. They aren’t the same, awareness ads and response ads. The creative isn’t the same, the media isn’t the same. Just sayin’

  6. Som related thoughts on how advertising works, in a great (and long) article by Paul Feldwick:

    The importance of aesthetical value of advertisng is largely underrated in by marketeers. Besides designers, everyone is talking about the “big idea” with no regards to the long term relationship and brand building. And it’s not only a matter of frequency, but more more a “Attention x Interest” paradigm.

  7. Kim Taylor says:

    You make such good points. We find – especially as it relates to marketing/PR in the age of social media – that it takes time for everything to come together.

  8. Mike,

    Yes, you have to have a message that stands out. But I don’t care how great your message is — it also needs time to work.

    Business owners and marketers are impatient by nature. And today’s pace doesn’t help. But we need to let our marketing efforts mature and grow roots if we want them to truly bear fruit.


  9. James,

    I’m not sure I agree. First — I don’t think most companies can afford to run pure awareness advertising – unless they have a nikesque or cokesque budget.

    Second, even an ad that is aimed specifically at generating a response needs some help from its friends “frequency” and “repetition.”

    I think a response ad should work faster but I don’t believe they work with immediacy as a general rule.

    I’ll give you a great example. I have watched the infomercial for the Carol Burnett series several times. LIke most good infomercials — every five minutes or so, they give me both an 800 number and a URL to order from.

    I fully intend to buy it. I have the money right now to buy it. But I haven’t yet. Why not? I just haven’t made the time. And I am not losing out by not doing it today.

    I’ll do it eventually. But it sure didn’t happen the first time I gave them 30 minutes to sell me.


  10. Armando,

    Excellent article — thanks for sharing! Frequency alone is not enough. But it is certainly part of the equation.

    However…frequency without a story and heart is just irritating. You’re exactly right — relationship and brand building is all about taking the time to do it right.


  11. Kim,

    I think one of the greatest values of having a clear sense of why you exist is once you know that — you can weave it into everything you do/say/communicate so there is this over-arching core message that connects everything you do.

    You’re right — everything needs to connect.


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