3 Lessons from Investing for Marketing Returns


Investment_iStock Deep down, we all know we get exactly what we pay for — including in attention and time.

Spend enough procrastinating, or discussing, when you should be implementing and tracking, and you've got little to show for it.

Fail to take a baseline, and you won't know what changed.

Make no effort to figure out what you're trying to get done, and you bet the barn you won't know why it's not working.

In a complex business world, success depends equal parts on the attitude, grit, and determination you put into probing, sensing, and responding to keep your promises, and the kind of marketing investments you make to connect the dots between investment and results.

Three lessons marketing can take from investing

(1.) keep it simple — your portfolio shouldn't be complex; so shouldn't your program, promotion, offer, landing page, you get the idea. Making people jump through hoops gets you people who have become experts and jumping.

(2.) don't invest all of your money — keep a rainy day fund; consider setting aside funds to test a couple of options or version of a program, or to be opportunistic toward a market development and not have to go back to the well.

(3.) be patient — stay in it for the long haul; don't get on the wrong end of recall — there's a difference between pulling a program, brand, or messaging because it's not working, or doing it because it hasn't had enough time in market to get nice legs. 

When it comes to investing, you have probably heard and learned the lesson that you need to diversify. Have you learned that in marketing? How about the other principle that historical data gives you no guarantees of future results?

Another thought on the parallels between investing and marketing.

Do you use the data you invested in collecting — CRM systems, software prospecting/content implementations, etc. — to help your buyers become new/better customers?

Further, are you developing ways to transform the one-to-one digital interactions into mechanisms and contexts that create social motivation for group behavior? That's where your returns compound.

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