Marketing is a lot like dieting

Want to know the biggest single misconception about advertising and marketing? It has a lot to do with our obsession with weight loss.

Every few months, a new diet appears. Suddenly, people are binging on grapefruits, drinking 24 glasses of water a day, living solely on turnips, or eating yellow foods today and red ones tomorrow.

When it doesn’t work, they look to their doctors, nutritionists, and other medical professionals for new magic. And, once again, they hear what they knew all along.

Eat less. Exercise more. Choose healthier foods. Reduce your portion sizes. Walk a half hour each day. Stay away from processed foods packed full of fat and sodium. Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables instead of breads and sweets. Say no to seconds.

I’ve watched countless clients fall head over heels for the latest fads in marketing and advertising. They throw all their hard-earned knowledge out the window to embrace something that’s new, cool, and that promises incredible results, often led down that path by a charming salesperson armed with dubious research.

It’s like reaching for the newest $19.99 as-seen-on-TV miracle exercise device.

The simple fact is that marketing and advertising are just like weight loss strategies: they’re most successful when you take a consistent, long-term approach that involves multiple aspects.

If you keep looking for the magic answer to building your business, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. And, just as dieters who jump from fad to fad often wind up in worse shape, those inconsistent activities may actually hurt your standing and market share.

Go for a mix of good-old-fashioned, proven strategies. Don’t hesitate to weave new ideas into your approach, but don’t expect them to replace everything else that you’re doing. Most of all, start with a long-term plan and follow it religiously. The incremental gains you’ll see may seem as exciting, but your business will feel a whole lot healthier.