Every weekend I take my son to the local pool for swimming lessons. During these sessions I sit by the bleachers to watch him as well as people watch while drinking my morning coffee. During the last session I was watching several different kids getting ready to go swimming. Some of them confidently just leaped into the pool like nobody’s business. While other more timid swimmers would slowly walk up to the edge and dip their toe, feeling the chill of the morning pool water. Some of those more timid swimmers took a long while to actually get in. While others outright walked the other direction trying to avoid getting into the pool.
This reminded me of several interactions I’ve had over the years with companies getting into digital marketing. Some companies were more decisive and confidently leap into digital marketing with a workable budget with reasonable expectations. These companies over the mid to long term were much more successful because they committed to the practice and grew to know that digital marketing was a journey and not a short-term shot to the arm.
While other, more timid companies, would just “test the waters” of digital marketing by either under-funding it or only using one tactic accompanied with overzealous expectations.
In my experience just trying out digital marketing rarely works. Just like any form of marketing it requires consistent investment and effort to see notable gains. You can’t win with a half-implemented SEO gameplan. You can’t create true engagement by just engaging in Facebook when it’s convenient for you and not your users. You won’t see gains in Google AdWords if you don’t fully invest in testing and iterative improvements.
The next time you think about dipping your toe in, just remember that your competitors are leaping in confidently.