Is your marketing as short-term as your new year diet?

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Short term marketing is all about immediate results – website traffic, sales, and online engagement. Some think it’s the more glamorous, more exciting part of marketing. In our experience, it’s the part that most businesses focus their efforts on because when it works, it reaps immediate reward which is gratifying and ego-boosting.

But we know that short term marketing efforts count for little if they’re not supported with long term Marketing strategies. It’s a common mistake made by many, focusing on the short term, hoping that the long term takes care of itself.

Long term marketing goals – or strategies –  stretch for several years into the future. They may not have a precise figure attached them:

  • Becoming the market leader in a specific niche or region
  • Diversifying the customer base to reduce risk
  • Focusing on new product development to expand into new markets

Your Long Term Marketing Goals

We work with our clients to develop goals to support their overall business plan. We focus on a marketing led business strategy and marketing leading sales, rather than the other way around. For example, if your business plan recognises that you need to shift the business into another market due to a decrease in profits of your current market – maybe because of higher prices due to Brexit… then your long term marketing goals might be to develop new higher end products that focus on a ‘UK Made’ message to market. This goal would help to justify higher prices and move into a completely different market, hopefully increasing profits and welcoming a whole new customer base.

You can then break these targets into a series of smaller objectives and processes. In the example above, you might start by creating a sub brand for the range of new products and possibly create a microsite to go alongside, supported by a new product launch campaign and event to introduce the product to your existing network.

Bigger picture

Another important aspect of long-term marketing is to consider how your short-term marketing plans fit into the bigger picture.

Short term marketing activities usually focus on a specific event, season, or campaign. When you’re still in the planning stage of these campaigns, always consider how they will contribute to furthering your longer-term plans – or if there’s any risk they could unravel previous progress you’ve made.

For example, if you’re trying to reposition your brand for the high-end market, holding sales events with 50% discounts contradicts what you’re trying to become. Sure, a one-off sale might not seem so damaging, but it may affect customers’ perception of your brand and leave you with more ground to regain.

If one of your short-term marketing tactics fails despite it being aligned to your long term goal, it’s vital that you look at what went wrong and try to fix it for the future. If your short term tactics keep failing, it may be a sign that your long term goal isn’t going to work out – and needs revisiting.


Short term vs. long term marketing is a bit like dieting. Your 30-day detox might help you drop a size, but if you don’t back it up with long term lifestyle changes you won’t make any long term progress towards your goals.

But long term planning isn’t all you need for a successful marketing strategy – your campaigns, events, and online presence are the nuts and bolts needed to hold your plans together.

Long term marketing is what we love. It drives us. To find out more email us or call on 01580 213481