In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day I thought I would address something that I hear a lot about here in San Diego, CA in regards to online marketing strategies. That is the idea of luck vs. actual results and making sure SMB’s know which is which. My Dad used to always say, “I’d rather be lucky than good”, and although I understand the logic, I feel that it doesn’t relate to online marketing practices. Though I do believe there are a lot of SMB’s that have experienced luck when it comes to marketing their business online, as with any gamble, if you keep going your bound to lose. This is why the odds are always in the favor of the house, I know this to be true because I am very good at losing money when I gambleJ.
So what exactly do I mean by “luck”? I mean that many SMB’s try a new strategy or product, receive some short term gains and then stop paying attention or keep doing the same thing. This is BAD news. Remember that marketing is all about data and long term results.
There are countless factors in determining how long a strategy might take to be effective, including type of online marketing (SEO, SMM, ORM, ect), competitiveness of industry, goals of the program, budget, and so on and so on. This being known, to think that a short term boost in revenues after starting a new marketing initiative means it is working, is probably short sided. I cannot stress enough that there is no “magic bullet”, contrary to what people may have told you.
So what’s the point in all this talk about luck vs long term results? I have said it until I am blue in the face, to always make sure that there is a roadmap to success. I am a very detail oriented individual, so this comes second nature to me. I do however understand that business owners and people making decisions about programs are very busy people. That being known, there should be goals and expectations set for both sides from the word go. If there are not it will be hard to decipher down the road whether your initial gains were simply luck or whether you were actually doing something right. With a roadmap in place you can return to what was working and try it again. No matter what anyone tells you it is not a perfect science, but rather a series of experiments. Some of these work and some of them don’t, but it’s important to know one from the other!