What the Tortoise Knows About Marketing

Mar 04, 2015 Posted by Karl Bear in Marketing

When it comes to marketing, I bet that you would not hold The Tortoise on a pedestal as someone to emulate. Yet, as the fable of The Tortoise and The Hare has been retold through the ages, the end results have not changed: The Hare has never yet won the race, and most importantly the wisdom of the story has not eroded. As you well know, The Tortoise and The Hare set out on a race and, though The Hare pulls away rapidly at the start, it is the slow methodical march of The Tortoise that carries the shelled wonder over the finish line to claim victory and forever make it into Aesop’s record books. How does this fable show up in your business and why blog about the importance of a “tortoise mentality”?

Working with businesses over the years, I have received calls from folks seeking help from our marketing agency, and find that the conversations take one of two trajectories. One company may call and say, “We need help with our marketing,” but a resulting conversation uncovers that they are too busy to actually meet and get started, although they are frustrated with their inconsistency. Another company will call and say, “We need help from your advertising agency because sales are slow,” but a resulting conversation uncovers that because sales are slow, they don’t want to spend money and erode cash until they see sales turn around. Both businesses suffer from the lack of what I like to call “tortoise marketing.” Putting a plan in place and methodically rolling out the plan over a scheduled time frame can help to put everyone’s mind at ease; it’s the tortoise approach.

You may ask, “Isn’t it important to make a big impact and launch big campaigns that people can’t miss?” The answer to this is “yes”, those big initiatives are part of a foundational plan. Within that plan there might be ebbs and flows of business, there might be major marketing initiatives that are kicked off at different times of the year, or a product launch might be in the works. The underlying basis for the marketing schedule is methodical consistency that wins the race every time. If you own a business, run the marketing department or lead a marketing committee, I encourage you to do a little self evaluation: do your efforts look more like a hare or a tortoise? Kudos to you if you are on the trajectory of the tortoise. However if you feel a bit more like the hare, I encourage you to put your mind at ease, adopt the tortoise approach, and watch how quickly momentum can build with your marketing efforts. If you need a track coach to put the tortoise marketing plan in place, then contact us and start the conversation.


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