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Marketing’s ADD: Quick wins and cumulative value

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Image: Chasing a quick win?

It sometimes seems as if marketing has attention deficit disorder (ADD). Too easily distracted, too fidgety to focus on something that takes time – more than, say, a quarter…

So very often, what marketers want from social media is a quick win: an attention spike, a traffic surge. Whether its Likes, viral videos or websites falling over with demand, the obsession is too often with the big, instant win, the now when the deepest value and the most opportunities are to be found in the near and far.

At Brilliant Noise we talk about cumulative value a lot, the investment in content and social media systems and networks that can build community, loyalty, advocacy and sustainable, repeatable success.

Adam Tinworth notes that when he live-blogged a Facebook conference for Liberate Media he categorised all of the case studies as either “stunts” or “relationship building”. Citing another lovely piece by David Armano, which argues for a behaviour-not-platforms focus in marketing, he says:

Stunts work well in the early stages of a new technology’s life, but once the noise and engagement levels go up, it gets harder and harder to get attention with that sort of behaviour.

People who rely on stunts will always be rushing to the Next Big Thing, and abandoning other things as the become more challenging. But the people who reap most benefit from the evolving digital space will be those who use long-term investment in building relationships and value on current platforms to springboard success in the emerging ones.

You have to have both types of activity in a social media programme, but the bias should always be to the longer term, to stuff that is going to have legacy, lasting value.

Perhaps the stunts or quick wins are often there to distract the ADD-afflicted marketers while we build for he longer term…