Preparation…

A common trap exists in dealing with ‘urgent’ priorities.   One of my favorite quotes is that of Abe Lincoln:  “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the ax”.

So it goes with execution of your promo-tising marketing plan.  What?  You don’t have “a marketing plan”…or just never bother to apply it to promo-tising expenditures?

Another great planning axiom is the definition of success:  when “opportunity meets preparation”.   How true; and challenging.  Who has time to prepare?!  There is certainly considerable validity in expected ROI on your marketing investment….but like most “investments” that opportunity for return may not be immediate but rather take patience, persistence and finally appear, not in a gradual trend, but as an opportunistic spike.  In many instances, the pendulum of analyzing “returns” has swung too far.  The need to demonstrate immediate ROI is short circuiting the prudent practice of “investing, preparing” to meet the next opportunity.

Case study:  Years ago, I attended a trade show in LasVegas.  The kind most attendees spend 3 times more time in the casino than the convention floor (familiar?).  Were I an exhibitor, it would have been difficult to put justifiable ROI for the time and expense involved.  The silver lining though is anyone bothering to actually work received some quality conversational, collaborative time.  2 years after the show, an opportunity arose for a project involving watches….and I reached out to an exhibitor from this poorly attended show that made the investment to be there…and actually create a relationship*   Bottom Line:  my client was thrilled with the result…and my vendor secured a $10,000 order.  In his words: “well it took awhile, but I finally paid for that Vegas show”.

Moral.  Maintain a sharp ax….and keep swingin’.   You never can predict when, how, where the promo-tising investment is going to ‘pay-off’…but if done with strategy and purpose that little tangible message will help make a pay day happen.  Trust it, Believe.

* (another future blog topic; don’t greet booth guests by sitting indifferently on a chair in the corner waiting for 5pm to arrive.  Sadly this was the norm of about 90% exhibitors–why bother?).

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