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January 20, 2011 / jasonpinto

Is There Patience Behind Our Message?

Message in a Bottle

As a marketer, how long would you wait for people to understand the message that you are delivering? Would you wait 147 years?

This story on the BBC News caught my attention recently. During the Civil War, a note was dated on July 4,  1863 and placed inside a bottle. However, the actual contents of the note were not deciphered until late 2010.

While that time-frame is absolutely extreme, I do think that it can serve as a valuable reminder to marketers.

PURLs, Social Media, and QR Codes

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen companies become excited about things such as personalized URLs, social media, or QR Codes. They may make an investment into each channel and start promoting their use. However, if the initial response they receive is less than they anticipated, they give up. In some cases, I have seen businesses declare a channel useless after just a couple of weeks or months into a promotion.

Before we give up, we must keep this point in mind: just because we see the value in investing in a marketing channel right now, it does not mean that our target audience is ready to feel the same way. They may need to be educated about its benefits over a period of a few months… they may need to see other companies talking about it… or, perhaps they simply overlooked the advertisements, postcards, and emails that we sent to them among the pile of other marketing messages they’ve received!

Ease Up on the Cancel Button

Of course, a smart marketer will analyze each aspect of an effort and use that data to make a wise decision. A humble marketer will acknowledge that not everything he does will work.

However, benefits may arise if we grant a bit more patience to marketing efforts that introduce new products or services.


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