Find Success in 2020 by Thinking Long-Term

As a follow-up to our last blog, Consumer Relationship Trends for the New Year, Marketing Works is bringing you an in-depth look at another trend: kick the bad habit of banking on short-term tactics and start putting more focus on long-term strategies.

Don’t Get Hung Up on the Short-Term

B2B marketers have a tendency to become fixated on short-term tactics that provide fast results. Research has shown that these tactics usually aren’t as effective as long-term strategies, yet less than a quarter of B2B marketers conduct campaigns for longer than 6 months according to Marketing Week. These short-term tactics are usually preferred because of the need to meet quarterly goals and provide evidence of a return on investment. Measuring ROI in the short-term can drive marketers to quicker strategies and tactics, but improving your brand’s recognition and level of preference requires a long-term commitment. The sales cycle in B2B markets is typically longer than B2C environments. Therefore, B2B marketers need to apply more long-term strategies to see real results for their efforts, even if it means waiting longer to assess its effectiveness.

Commit to Long-Term Planning

Research conducted by Marketing Week and The Marketing Practice in the UK showed that the top performing B2B marketers are more likely to incorporate long-term planning. By a considerable margin, these top marketers commit over 60% of their budget to long-term marketing and assess effectiveness after running campaigns for longer than 6 months. But as mentioned earlier, less than a quarter of B2B marketers practice this type of long-term planning.

Outstanding B2B marketers that utilize long-term strategies cite their own unrealistic targeting and poorly defined briefs as the key reasons why campaigns fail, rather than blaming others in their business for not committing to the strategy. These marketers are committed to the long game, preferring to adjust their plans and allowing them to play out instead of dropping the plan entirely.

Find the Balance

While it is true that long-term strategies are proven to be more effective, it is important to strike the right balance between short-term and long-term strategies. Using short-term feedback loops to report on the success of your long-term strategy is an effective way to strike that balance. Rather than shortsightedly relying on quick strategies for fast results or giving up and finding somewhere to place blame, put these quicker tactics to work within the frame of a long-term plan that can accomplish your goals. This comprehensive approach can bring you success in 2020 if you invest in long-term strategy rather than counting on short-term initiatives.


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