In How marketing is like pushing a car, I argued that building a successful marketing effort requires a little patience.
I’ve had a number of side conversations on the topic since then, most saying 18 to 24 months should be enough.
Since the Chief Marketing Officer’s tenure averages 26 months and all-too-often marketing firms are hired by the campaign—not as a long-term marketing partner—that’s no small surprise.
If a company is happy with it’s strategic direction, about two years is probably a fair amount of time.
But a change usually happens when management feels results aren’t coming fast enough, and they lose their patience with the CMO, Marketing Director or marketing firm.
The truth is, strategic marketing takes time:
- To understand the customer, category, competition and company
- To position yourself in a powerfully different way
- To develop creative that breaks through
- To build meaningful conversations, and ultimately, relationships with customers
- To allow great ideas to gain traction
- To measure what works and what doesn’t and make adjustments
Ramp-up, research, strategy, plan development, budgeting, and the subsequent execution and deployment of the creative work will take a bare-bones minimum of six months, more realistically a year or longer.
This leaves a CMO, Marketing Director or marketing firm with 14 to 20 months of campaign experience before they are given the boot—barely enough time to apply lessons learned and optimize a marketing campaign. Two full campaign cycles should be adequate.
Don’t get me wrong, being casting responsible means having the perfect-fit mix of people doing the work internally and externally.
But sometimes the right people are the ones you already have—they just need a little more time.
Food for thought if you are considering a change.
So, what has your experience been?
Comment below to weigh in.