Not everything lasts, and while our culture and media reward popularity, marketers need the certainty that an investment in growing the company will return a predictable, profitable and repeatable return.
Most of the CEOs we talk to are under pressure to perform TODAY. In their haste to track down something to “kill” and drag home to celebrate, they’re neglecting the long-term opportunities that provide the lasting benefit.
t’s true that many of the great salesman have been outstanding “hunters”. But there’s a reason why the agricultural revolution changed us from hunter gatherers always on the move to agricultural specialists who put down roots; it’s easier, safer and more conducive to the growth of civilization.
What is good for humanity is good for a business, which after all, is merely an organization comprised of humans and (hopefully) serving humans. Bringing in revenue today is important, but true brand value and long term success will be achieved when an agricultural-style marketing plan is implemented.
Such a plan will focus not on the “catch” today, but the measurable input of a certain amount of resources and patience to watch as that input is slowly offset by an increasing amount of production. It won’t come with the adrenaline fueled excitement of old-style sales meetings and celebration, but with the far more permanent satisfaction that comes with realizing you’ve grown something which is sustainable, scalable and lasting.
A farmer can employ technology that allows him to scale his operation infinitely, so long as he has the basics down. That ‘formula’ that he is using is tested and proven. Technology are just tools of leverage. The hunter lacks these tools. Sure, he can carry a force multiplier in the form of an automatic weapon, but he can only ‘kill’ and ‘carry home’ so much. And if he did, it would likely be wasted because his success is not tied to the need of the community, which is gradual, predictable and over a period of time. Plus, the local population of sales has been greatly diminished-maybe permanently.
The analogy can only be carried so far, but inasmuch as we are human participating in an endeavor, the parallels are powerful. Building effective marketing systems will create a system, a process that is powerful and valuable. It can be replicated at will. It scales to your need. It creates a system that is not dependent on anyone person, whether that’s a superstar salesman, a charismatic CEO, or a product visionary. This improves the company’s valuation as well. Finally, a proven marketing plan will work in good times and bad and provide a sort of insulation from difficult times. When the market collapses, even the best salesmen will struggle. The herd has moved on, and the salesmen will follow them away from your organization. The farmer stays in place, perhaps working a little harder, but still cultivating his product. In short, this agricultural marketing process creates true value, which makes for a rewarding endeavor.