Building a successful and sustainable Kingdom business requires long-term, proactive thinking, not just knee-jerk reactions to news and fads happening in the marketplace. God, in His infinite wisdom, created a universal principle that works in nature as well as in business called “Seed, Time, and Harvest.” Let’s explore how this principle can apply to your business, specifically as it relates to building and marketing your brand.
Part 1 – “Slow and Steady Wins the Race!”
Strong brands that evoke enthusiastic customer loyalty are built over time not all at once. They are fashioned piece by piece like a puzzle. Each piece has a cumulative effect that adds positively to what’s already in place.
Enthusiastic customer loyalty is nurtured through repeated consistent, high-quality experiences from the products and services they invest in. Quality and consistency can’t be established with one idea or campaign. Companies with strong brands understand this.
Yes there are times when certain marketing activities have a big impact, however strong brands don’t get intoxicated by that and rest on their laurels. They keep working on incorporating the next pieces that will allow them to extend and sustain their impact, not just be a flash in the pan.
This approach reminds me of a scented candle. It doesn’t burn fast like a match, but eventually its aroma fills an entire room. You don’t want a “brand scent” that burns brightly for a short while, but then is quickly forgotten about. You want your brand to leave a pleasant aroma with your customers that lingers for a long time.
“Slow burn marketing may not always be fast or fancy, but it is effective.”
Here are 3 keys to consider with a “slow burn” marketing approach for your company:
- Strategic: Consider every new tip and tool within the confines of your current strategy and budget. As you add new things make sure they complement what you’re already doing. If you feel the need to do something “radical”, reconsider your entire strategy not just one piece of it.
- Significant: Every marketing effort should have either an immediate or cumulative measurable benefit.
- Sustainable: Make sure that whatever you do is not a one-shot deal, but something that you can do continually and consistently well.
I have to admit this methodical approach runs counter to our make-a-fast-buck culture. I also have to admit that I sometimes get frustrated when I see other companies that seem to be making a bigger “splash” than I am and creating more buzz. Nevertheless, I realize that I’m building for the long haul and what I do today may not produce immediate dividends. But I will reap the rewards in the long run.
Slow burn marketing feels kind of like the proverbial tortoise racing against the hare. Just remember the tortoise won.
Part 2 – “Sustain the Sizzle!”
“If you can’t sustain the sizzle you will eventually fizzle out!”
It seems like every day some “expert” comes up with the next-best-marketing-strategy-thing to make your growth explode. From technology to blogging to social media to email to SEO to whatever is next, there’s always seems to be new stuff that you have to do in order to be successful. This can make an entrepreneur feel like they are drowning in new stuff while still trying to figure out the old stuff – which might only be a few weeks or months old, but the “gurus of the new” make it seem like what was said previously is all of a sudden ancient history.
I’m not sure about you, but as an entrepreneur that’s how I feel sometimes, like I’m always playing catch up to something that I can’t catch. As soon as I implement one new thing here’s comes something else that I better do or else I’m out of the loop with my customers and I won’t be able to grow my business.
I have come to the realization that if you try to do everything that every expert tells you to do with your marketing, it will lead to frustration, futility and eventually failure. It got me to thinking there has to be a way to sort through the maze of advice to find the stuff that really works but at the same time is not overwhelming.
Many entrepreneurs go looking for the “big bang” approach to marketing. They try to create the hip viral video or snazzy social media campaign, hoping that if it catches on they won’t ever have to do anything clever or creative ever again to attract customers. They think this one thing will be able to carry them for years. *Cue game show sound*… WRONG!
Because our society has such a short attention span, even if they liked what you did today, they will have forgotten about you next week because of the viral video or social media campaign that the next company did. That’s how you become a short-lived novelty. That’s not how you build long-term brand loyalty.
Marketing is really about have a multi-pronged approach to establishing your brand in the minds and hearts of people (just because you get in their heads doesn’t automatically mean you have their hearts). It’s multiple pieces on multiple levels with multiple applications that you have to implement over time.
Patience is the key. Without it you may just be another flash in the pan that was here today and gone tomorrow.
Part 3 – “Seed it to See It!”
When you are considering using a seed-time-harvest marketing approach you have to think of yourself as a business farmer who plants lots of marketing seeds in one season with the expectation to reap the harvest in the next season. With this mindset, it’s important to recognize when it’s best to plant certain kinds of seeds versus others. This requires patience, timing, attention to detail, expert knowledge of the materials, and an understanding of the most beneficial planting conditions.
One of the great benefits of this strategy is that farmers get an exponential return on the seeds they plant. For every seed planted, there are many times more crops that are harvested. Here are some of the critical tools that I use to plant my marketing seeds…
- Social Networks, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ning
- Email Marketing
- Internet TV
- Motivational and Instructional Videos
- Workshops (Live, Teleseminar, and Webcasting)
- Personal Networking
The key is to use as many of these tools as possible, while getting them to work together. It’s like you’re building a digital tapestry that has many contact points draped across the Internet. This positions you to increase your visibility with current and potential customers, which of course enables you to find new opportunities to maximize your profitability.
If you are overwhelmed by all this, that’s very understandable. Remember that you have to choose the best tools that are going to work for you within a comprehensive strategy, system and process. Without these, you will become overwhelmed, frustrated and ineffective.
Kingdom entrepreneurs have an incredible competitive advantage when they use the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to guide their business endeavors. So don’t overlook or underestimate key principles found in the Bible that should be applied to your marketing game plan. These principles can result in great influence and prosperity.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a Marketplace Pastor and “Dream Catalyst” for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is an author, inspirational speaker, and business coach driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips people with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish in life, career, and entrepreneurship. Paul is the author of “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the visionary leading 3hrive Marketplace Ministry, which equips and empowers people to find and fulfill their calling in entrepreneurship or employment from a Kingdom perspective. Learn more about Paul at www.3hrive.com.