Marketing is a Marathon, Not a Race

One of the most prominent services TAG offers is called content marketing. This service centers around providing value to audiences and continually producing content that is more than just “fluff.” The purpose is to delight them so much that they end up coming back for more – whether it’s a blog, video, newsletter, etc. It’s a new(ish) way of marketing that’s intended to cut through the noise of peoples’ day-to-day by giving them content geared more towards value.

TAG does this for most of our clients and but, over time, I’ve noticed something: Content marketing, when done incorrectly, can get repetitive. What I mean by this is that it’s easy to put quantity before quality because content marketing puts you in a position to, well, produce a lot of content. And this highlights an underlying issue in some of today’s marketing: quality vs quantity. But why? Why does this have to happen? Content marketing is not to blame. The industry is not to blame. The culprit in this problem falls on, you guessed it, communication.

I enjoy using examples, so buckle up while I put you through one: As a marketing agency, a client comes to us with help on marketing. The people who work at TAG went to school for advertising, design, developing, production. We have hobbies, but we don’t understand the details of, say, chemical engineering. So, when a chemical engineering firm comes to TAG for help with their marketing, we have to start building a relationship of mutual understanding:

We are not chemical engineers. They are not marketers.

There’s a sort of ebb and flow that needs to occur for us to do quality work efficiently, and that all revolves around communication. Two-way communication. See, as an agency, TAG has the option to be given information, lie down, and just reiterate it back to the client with our coat of paint on it. We CAN do this (we don’t), but we can. There are marketing agencies out there that do this – acting as “yes” men and women. Why? Because it’s easy.

There is no debating – no challenge to push one another creatively. But there is also no fulfillment. The chemical engineering firm is coming to us for OUR TAKE on what they do. If they wanted to see their own words on some design or video, they’d just do it themselves. However, they know that we know marketing, so that’s what they’ll pay us for.

And so we fail as an agency is we refuse to push back on things. When the client says “it’s good,” we need to say “but it can be better.” When we don’t have enough facts, we need get more and, when the client has a great idea, they should lean on us to make it a great one. Unfortunately, these things don’t always happen.

When TAG works with a client, we view it as a relationship: we’re not perfect. They’re not perfect. The situation isn’t perfect. However, we can work together – through communication – to make one another better and achieve whatever we put our minds to. Will one person feel like they’re putting in more effort sometimes? Yes. Will there be disagreements? Of course. Will it be easy? Nothing worth doing ever is. It’s idealistically romanticizing the marketing industry, but you understand what I mean.

When we think of creativity and marketing as a more in-depth process, we can start to alter our actions. Make an impact. Inspire people. Make someone feel something. Yes, time will always work against us. Yes, we will get lost in the day-to-day. However, we need to continually remind ourselves that these things take time and a lot of dedication. That creating great ideas is more of a marathon and less of a race.