The Momentum of Marketing

First published May 23, 2013 in Mediapost’s Search Insider

After becoming a parent, I discovered that there are no shortcuts to being a Dad. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as “quality time” with kids… there’s just time. You have to be there, as much as you can be, because you never know when those moments will occur that will cement your relationship with your children. You keep trying, you keep putting in the time, you keep doing the things you have to do to be a parent. Think of it as relationship “momentum.”

The same is true, I believe, in all worthwhile endeavors. Activity breeds success. And that includes marketing. If you take your foot off the gas, you lose momentum.

I’ve found that myself in the last few years. The marketing strategy of our company was all about activity. We conducted research, we published whitepapers, we blogged, we spoke at conferences, we held webinars — we never missed an opportunity to generate awareness. It was a lot of activity, aimed at maintaining our marketing momentum. And it worked. We had a profile in the industry that was probably out of proportion to our actual share of business. When it came to maintaining a profile, I think we punched above our weight.

I was the producer of much of this activity, so as our company profile rose, so did my own personal one. I was constantly fielding requests to speak, comment, participate or write.

But for various reasons, I’ve taken my foot off the gas recently. I’m not nearly as active in the industry as I was previously. My assumption was that the momentum would carry me for some period of time. I was wrong. The minute the activity decreased, so did the opportunities.

Now, this was partly by design. I knew that my previous industry profile would start to slip and so I didn’t panic. But still, I was surprised at how quickly it happened. And because of that, I suspect there’s a cautionary tale here for marketers. If you produce content or generate thought leadership, a hiatus can be costly. That lost momentum can take several months to build again. In fact, you might never get it back.

For myself, I’m now entering a new phase of my career, so my activity will change over the coming months. I still intend to be active — perhaps more so than ever — but it will be aimed in a new direction. I do have the advantage of past experience. I know it can work, because it has worked in the past.

So I leave you with these words of advice — be active in your marketing efforts. Always be producing new content, generating awareness, and raising your profile. I believe busy parents are generally good parents — and the same is true, I suspect, for marketers.

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