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Why Patience is Crucial in Digital Marketing

In our fast-paced, digitally-driven, I-want-it-now world, where we're accustomed to the immediacy of delivery services like Amazon Prime and instant access to information on the internet, the demand for instant gratification extends beyond regular consumers to marketers and brands alike. Gone are the days when examining business performance over a period of a quarter or year was sufficient to gauge the impact of marketing campaigns. The rapid evolution of marketing technology and digital advertising platforms over the past few decades has instilled a thirst for instant results in the minds of marketers. While we, too, relish the instant gratification that comes with digital marketing campaigns, we understand the importance of not losing sight of the bigger picture. We also acknowledge that traditional media, despite advancements in tracking and attribution, continue to play a vital role in building brand awareness over time. Today, we delve into the significance of maintaining patience in your advertising campaigns. Join us as we explore why patience remains an invaluable virtue in the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.

The Importance of Long-Term Trends

While it's undoubtedly exhilarating to watch a real-time dashboard light up with evolving metrics and witness the thrill of conversions flooding into an ad platform within hours of them occurring, it's imperative not to give in to the seductive allure of instant gratification. The quick dopamine rush that can accompany these instant victories can swiftly become addictive. However, it's crucial not to let the euphoria of tracking campaign performance in real-time cloud your strategic vision. All too often, this obsessive focus on micro-trends leads marketers astray from the overarching campaign goals. It's a slippery slope that can drive marketers to hit the panic button at the slightest dip in daily performance. It's time to take a step back and trust the process. By fixating on the minutiae of daily performance, you risk losing sight of the grand narrative.

For any marketing campaign to thrive and for performance optimization to truly take root, long-term trends must be taken into account. Achieving a robust sample size is the key to discerning these enduring patterns. And what's the primary ingredient needed to amass a substantial sample size? Time. Moreover, the reality of advertising campaigns is that they are subject to the ebb and flow of real-world factors, including seasonality and economic conditions. It's important to not become ensnared by the performance of a single day, week, or month, but instead allow these external variables to play out. In other words, while instantaneous results may tantalize, it remains imperative to commit to the long game, as it's only by doing so that we can conduct the kind of comprehensive year-over-year (YOY) and month-over-month (MOM) analyses that pave the way for the best marketing campaigns. It may not be enjoyable to witness a week or two of lower metrics on your dashboard, but it's all par for the course, and it's essential not to let transient micro-trends lead to impulsive decisions that you'll later regret.

Technology Rewards Patience

In addition to the importance of not neglecting the fundamental marketing principles of steering clear of short-term obsessions, it's crucial to recognize that the inner workings of today's leading digital ad platforms, like Google Ads, Meta Ads and programmatic DSPs, heavily rely on automation, AI, and machine learning to empower campaigns. While machine learning happens at great speed, it still takes some time, and it is continually learning and improving along the way. Thus, excessive intervention in these platforms can upset the delicate balance.

Making frequent daily or weekly adjustments to even minor campaign elements can disrupt the learning process and the overall momentum of a campaign. These algorithms require space and time to function optimally, often undergoing an initial learning phase that might lead to a temporary dip in marketing performance. Premature or frequent alterations can do more harm than good. While it may be tempting to regularly fine-tune your target CPA or target ROAS or to tweak audience targeting, it's wiser to exercise patience and let the machine-driven processes unfold naturally. Only act on well-considered adjustments in small increments after allowing sufficient time for the algorithms to work their magic. Remember, the art of successful digital advertising often involves striking a balance between control and giving the machine room to optimize your campaign's performance.

Traditional Requires Patience

In the realm of marketing, there's a fundamental truth that making short-term changes based on immediate results is a flawed strategy when it comes to traditional media. In the majority of cases, the primary role of traditional media channels such as TV, radio, out-of-home (OOH), and print isn't to deliver instant, tangible returns. While we certainly hope and expect these campaigns to yield short-term business benefits, their primary function lies in cultivating and nurturing a brand identity over an extended period of time.

Traditional media strategies are designed to instill brand awareness, the fruits of which might not be fully evident until some indefinite future date. Despite advancements in some traditional media channels that have improved their capacity to measure and attribute short-term performance and conversions, this doesn't alter the fundamental essence of these platforms.

It’s not uncommon for brands to attempt to apply a digital mindset to traditional media, seeking rapid attributable results and mid-flight optimizations. However, this approach is ill-advised. It's essential to trust these traditional media channels to fulfill their intended roles within the broader media mix. Avoid the impulse to analyze them in the same manner as digital platforms and don’t fall prey to the notion that if it can’t be measured in real time it must not be working. Embrace the enduring nature of traditional media and recognize that their true impact often unfolds gradually and contributes significantly to your brand's long-term success. Keep in mind, there’s a good reason that Google and Meta, the behemoths of the digital world, advertise on traditional TV.

Protect Your Mental Health

Finally, and certainly not insignificantly, impatience within the realm of marketing can have adverse personal consequences, including burnout, analysis paralysis, and detrimental effects on your mental well-being. The habit of perpetually monitoring an ad platform or dashboard throughout the day can become a distracting obsession, preventing you from assessing your campaign's overall success from a strategic vantage point and diverting your attention away from other important business matters. Instead of contributing value, it often introduces undue stress into your daily life without commensurate benefits.

Embracing patience, on the other hand, can be a liberating and calming practice for your mind. It enables you to release unnecessary worries and reclaim your time for more critical tasks. By allowing the advertising processes to unfold at their own pace, you can alleviate the pressure that constant scrutiny imposes, preserving your mental health and ensuring your energy is directed towards endeavors that add value. In the end, the patience you exercise can be a powerful asset, not only for your media campaigns but for your personal well-being.

Trust the Process

The media buying and planning process is truly that – a process. While the world we live in has trained us to expect immediate gratification in just about every aspect of life, the reality of media is that it can and will take time for your investment to pay off. By harnessing the power of patience in your media approach, you can set yourself up for the best success. Want to talk more? Contact The Ward Group today!

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