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One way to think about marketing - Dam it

December 22, 2009

One of my favorite sayings is “what are you doing today to make tomorrow different than yesterday” or at this time of the year, what are you going to do today to make next year different than this one. For many small businesses, the answer is marketing. Either “we are going to do some” or “we are going to do it better.”

And like most New Year’s resolutions, the businesses make the attempt, but when the results don’t dramatically improve after the first effort, the will to continue evaporates like fog on a summer morning. I’d like to offer you a different way to consider what you are doing with your marketing efforts. Think about a stream and then building a dam across that stream.

The stream keeps running, usually at a level that rises and falls with the season. But if you build a dam across that stream, the water will stop flowing for a while, until it reaches the top (or spillway). Now, because the volume of water is greater, there is a) more pressure from the water behind the dam and b) a more consistent flow regardless of the season.

Building your marketing system and the right supporting programs is like building that dam. And it will take time for the water (leads) to build up behind it. But once it does, you will see a consistent flow with only slight inconsistencies. Of course, there are a couple of problems here.

First, if you don’t get the right marketing system & program in place, there is nothing that is going to fill up that dam. (that’s my commercial message for how Leading Results can help). Second, it really is impractical to not get any leads into your sales pipeline while the dam is filling.

Solving the second problem is pretty easy. Just like when they build a dam, you need to divert some of the water (marketing & leads) to relieve the pressure and not starve the downstream needs. So while I am not a fan of interrupt marketing (eg teleprospecting for leads), it does have its place as short-term measure while larger infrastructure projects are being undertaken.

As your marketing dam fills, you can block off your diversion stream (and the money being spent) and then you can invest even more in getting that dam filled to the brim.

Below you can see the practical application in the 3 Gorges Dam in China (right side of the upper image)... The lower image is the Yangtze River in 1987, the upper image is the river and reservoir created with the Dam by 2006.


Written by leadingresults

Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improves their business development results by putting POWER in their marketing. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability. You get strategy, tactics and execution. We work with both individual businesses and businesses as part of a larger ecosystem. Be more profitable.

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