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When measuring any kind of success in marketing we tend to focus on the immediate results. For example, how much was spent on a particular campaign? What was the total revenue made or leads captured? Did we make a good financial or social ROI?

While measuring these results to improve your online marketing strategy is fine, too many businesses fail to look at the bigger picture and get blinded by short-term results.

This will lead to problems.

The narrow minded marketer

This type of marketer commonly measures the success of their marketing campaign by using the simple formula above. They measure the total amount spent against the total revenue to decide whether the campaign was a success or failure.

Most of their campaigns will focus on pushing the sale or capturing the lead. Emphasis is put towards the call-to-actions, copy and a killer images. Everything is about getting the intended action, even if that means using aggressive, deceptive or bullish tactics.

To them the results justify the means.

They will typically create a campaign that will reach 50,000 people, get around 2,000 clicks to their website and about 10-20 sales. They are playing the numbers games and eventually they are going to find a winning combination.

They will find success in this approach but it’s often short lived as they don’t create long-term relationships and fail to take advantage of customer lifetime value (CLV).

Playing this game does bring immediate profit but businesses miss out on the long-term value which is insanely higher.

The smart marketer

For the sake of this article let’s call the smart marketer James.

James doesn’t focus on the immediate, instead he aims to create a give and take relationship between himself and his audience. James’ adverts vary and aren’t all focused around convincing his audience to opt-in or act immediately.

James thinks about the long-term.

He understands that there is an extremely large audience who is interested in his business but they are not ready to buy or take action just yet. Maybe they don’t trust his brand, know the true benefit of his services or are just confused, whatever the reason James knows that going for the cold hard sell is not going to work.

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Being the smart and humble marketer that he is, James opts to go for the long-term approach to build a solid relationship with his audience. This can be done in a number of ways, but generally looks a lot like this:

  1. Always provide quality content in the form of blog posts, images, infographics and videos. This content has one goal: to serve the audience with value.
  2. By applying this technique James slowly becomes a trusted voice in his industry and even an authority. People trust what he has to say and when they want answers they often go to him first.
  1. At this point James has realized that his prospects are now ready to hand over their details (lead generation). This can be done by offering something of value (eBooks, guides, case studies).
  1. The sell. After weeks or months of nurturing and dispensing high-grade content, what were before confused prospects are now ready to buy customers who will bring in repeat business as they trust James because he has created a meaningful relationship.
Should you be going long or short?

The short-game is a flawed method and often used by marketing departments who have little experience in how online marketing works, or have a limited budget. It can be effective for one off promotions or limited time offers that your business won’t ever implement again, but if you have a core set of products or services, you will be better off going long.

The long approach to marketing takes time and money. You need to be prepared to give something away and expect nothing in return, this is only a short-term sacrifice (if you do everything right) to build trust and show your authority.

I like to use an adjusted form of the 80/20 rule. Which means that only 20% of content should be marketing related while the other 80% is created to serve the prospect. This is what naturally happens when you implement the long-term strategy.

Which marketing plan is your business using?

Online marketing is changing every day, Facebook’s marketing side of things is constantly bringing out new Facebook advertising features, new analytic tools are helping us increase conversions and generate more revenue. This can sometimes become information overload for marketers who become too fixated on the immediate results failing to look beyond that.

What type of marketer is running your business? Are they working the short game or are they like James, thinking about the long-term and maximizing the CLV of each and every customer?

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Founder of CrushCampaigns

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