Oct 21 2008
Our society is addicted to the quick fix.
Immediacy. Instant gratification. Quick, single-use throwaways. One shot, one kill.
So it’s easy to think of running a business in those terms. It’s easy to put your marketing dollars into a series of TV ads (and change strategies when consumers see through you). Or to join every single social media site (and leave when they don’t affect your bottom-line right away). Or to throw an enormous fanfare for your business’ grand opening (and scratch your head when no one cares about you the next week).
The problem with all this is that it’s “one shot, one kill” marketing – putting in the minimal amount of effort and expecting maximum results. Having these unrealistic expectations leads to disappointment and boredom. Most marketers have ridiculously short attention spans – if something doesn’t work right away, they try something else.
That’s why online marketing is so hard. The internet is built for short attention spans. Things work very quickly and are very measurable. You can be friends with someone on Facebook in less than two minutes of sending the request. Same goes for getting a response to your email. Same goes for having people read your latest blog post.
But these things lack depth, at least initially. Just because you’re friends with someone on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you are a true friend. Just because someone responded to your email, it doesn’t mean they want to hear from you again. Just because you wrote a popular blog post, it doesn’t mean your readers will ever return.
And that’s what’s so frustrating – it still takes a long time to build relationships with people and earn their trust, even when you’re using the medium that gives you the quickest fix possible. When you think you’re a successful marketer in one fell swoop, that’s when you know you’ve been deceived. You can’t cheat.
As Gary Vaynerchuk recently said, “the internet is word-of-mouth on steroids.” But when it comes to building relationships and earning trust, the internet is steroid-free.
Putting in a ton of effort all at once, then saying “all finished!” might work for a college assignment, but it doesn’t build a business. To do anything worthwhile, you have to accept that there are no shortcuts. You have to value persistence over immediacy.