Does Short-Term Thinking Cause Long-Term Damage to Brands?

Do you plan short-term, or long-term? I’m not talking about your anniversary — I’m talking about your business goals. As Gary Coleman knew, some things are better short. But some things… some things are just better long. Like bridges. And Ken Burns documentaries. As marketers, our long-term goals — like building a brand that customers don’t publicly shame all over social media — are just as important as short-term, revenue-raising goals. So how do we balance the two? Today on Marketing Is Broken, we welcome Adam Proehl, co-founder of digital marketing firm NordicClick, to help us find the mix that works.

Welcome to Marketing Is Broken, the weekly marketing talk show that I like to pretend our alien neighbors will watch, some day far in the future.

If you’ve been feeling more pressure to get results from your marketing efforts in less time, you’re not alone. “Short-termism” is the new and disappointingly literal name for this disease, which overwhelmingly affects CMOs and senior marketers. Fingers crossed that it spreads to the White House in 2020.

“Short-termism” was recently identified by Dentsu Aegis Network, an agency whose name I had to get a Ph.D to pronounce, in its annual CMO survey. The results aren’t exactly encouraging:

  • Across 1000 CMOs and senior-level marketers working in 10 different markets, 64% said they expect to feel further pressure to turn out concrete results in the short term.
  • Most of the pressure is financial, as marketers fight to grow bottom lines (and keep their own salaries). Cue the inevitable “Well, what do marketers actually DO, anyway?” discussion.
  • We KNOW there’s a gap between what we’re doing and what we need to be doing — Dentsu Aegis reports that across the board, marketers rate indicators of future marketing success like data collection and analysis as extremely important — yet many don’t feel they’re delivering well in those areas today.

YIKES. Just reading those facts made me more anxious than a Chihuahua giving a keynote speech. So how can a goal-oriented marketer get her nose off the grindstone — before it turns int o a headstone?

How Can Marketers Think Past The Short Term?

I pulled in digital marketing strategist and founder of NordicClick Interactive, Adam Proehl, to tell us how he balances short-term, revenue-driving marketing goals with strategic goals that span years. My short-term goal is to get him to answer my questions; my long-term goal is to steal his hair for myself.

Watch the episode to hear Adam answer these questions:

  • The ratio of lifetime value to the cost of customer acquisition, or LTV:CAC, is a popular way to judge the efficiency of marketing acquisition campaigns. Why is this model flawed?
  • Social media, organic website traffic, and a strong brand all provide annuities over time that don't necessarily show up in the short term. How can marketers justify investing in these kinds of assets for the company?
  • What advice do you have for marketers who are trying to lobby for longer-term thinking with their clients or employer?

That’s it for us today here at Marketing Is Broken! I hope spending a short term watching this episode helps you out in the long run. Ew, long runs. No thanks.

Author: Josh Braaten

CEO - Brandish Insights

Get Free Brand Measurement Resources

Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get these freebies.