How long will it take to get marketing results?

24718948 We get asked this question all the time. Prospects and clients alike want to know when they can expect to see results from their marketing efforts. Ah, if only it were that cut and dried.
There are many factors that influence reaction time to a marketing tactic.  Let’s take a look at a few of them and you’ll begin to see that this is not an exact science but there are things you can do to impact your effectiveness.
How often do people need/want it? If you run a restaurant or sell ice cream – you’re in luck. Mail a coupon on Tuesday and you might see the family, coupon in hand, by Saturday. But on average, someone buys a car every 3-5 years.  Own a car dealership and you might wait 18+ months after your first ad or tweet to see that person in your door.
Who the heck are you? Does the consumer recognize your brand?  Do they know what you are all about?  Do they know what makes you different from your competitors?  
Who else is talking? Just like at a party, if you are the only voice talking, it’s a lot easier to be heard.  But, if you are one of many and others are talking louder and faster – you can easily get lost in the din.
Where are you talking? What would happen if you stood up right in the middle of a church service and started talking?  You’d get noticed, wouldn’t you?  That’s because you are doing something unexpected in an unexpected place.
What are you saying? The most important factor of all. Are you talking about what the consumer cares about or are you talking about you?  
How are you poised to influence any or all of these factors?

(If you want to read a really smart book on the topic of consumers and their own sense of timing, check out Stopwatch Marketing by John Rosen.)

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