The “Silver Bullet” of Marketing

Written By: Kathleen Riessen

Instant gratification is not a millennial trend – it is a way of life that businesses have adapted to for years. Here are a few examples:

  1. Baking a cake. How did your Grandma bake a cake? She collected the ingredients and baked it at home in her oven. Today’s cost to bake a cake from scratch is about $2 and takes roughly two hours. Then came the invention of cake mixes. For $5, I can add oil and eggs to make cake mix, bake in the oven and cover with store-bought frosting. An hour later, I have myself a cake. Then came the designer cake. I can order the size, flavor, frosting and decorations of my cake and even have it delivered to my house! If I’m not super picky, I can even pick one that’s already made so I don’t have to wait. This will cost me $30+ but I can have my cake instantly.
  2. Package delivery. In 2005, Amazon brought us Prime. For $79, I could select an item and have it delivered within two days. A mere 11 years later, 40 million people or 12.5% of the U.S. population now pays $99 a year for Amazon Prime. But that’s not good enough. In 2015, Amazon came out with a new service called Prime Now, which provides two-hour delivery on more than 10,000 items in 24 U.S. markets. For an additional $8, select food purchases will be delivered within one hour in key markets.
  3. I recently toured American Popcorn Company, home of Jolly Time popcorn. This is a booming industry but has been around since the 19th century. The simplest (and healthiest) way to prepare popcorn is by popping the kernels over a heat source taking roughly five minutes to prepare. Then came microwave popcorn full of butter and salt and then flavored microwave popcorn was added. Microwave popcorn takes roughly three minutes to prepare. Then came pre-popped popcorn. This is a shelf stable popcorn with preservatives that can be enjoyed instantly and costs roughly 100% more per kernel than the popped seeds. When I toured Jolly Time, I learned that people think microwave popcorn takes too long to pop!

You can see from the above examples how instant gratification has affected our lives and how we go to business.

When it comes to marketing, we often see people wanting quick results – the instant gratification. They want the “silver bullet”. The truth is there is no silver bullet. There are short-term tactics that will garner short-term results. Short-term tactics often get confused or replaced with long-term tactics. Short-term tactics do not garner long-term results. A bunch of short-term tactics combined together do not give you long-term results.

From employee recruitment and retention to selling a widget or promoting a professional service, the reality is that short-term tactics are more expensive and garner less results than if you had a balanced marketing strategy that included both short and long-term tactics.

So we leave you with the following question: Are you using a variety of short and long-term tactics in your go-to-market strategy? If not, contact us and let us help you develop a comprehensive strategic marketing plan.

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