When Will I See Results on My Marketing?

When Will I See Results on My Marketing?

Marketing takes time, but how much time? How long will you need marketing to run before your company sees results?

People have likely always been impatient—and they’ve grown even more anxious for immediate results in the always-on digital era.

Yet it’s a fact known for time-immemorial that everyone in every epoch has wanted results as quickly as possible for every investment possible. Including investments made in marketing efforts.

Defining the Marketing Starting Point

What comes to mind when you think of starting marketing?

Do you think of “starting marketing” as the moment when advertisements start to run, social media gets underway, and beyond? Or does “starting marketing” define the moment when you begin to plan your marketing, including developing messaging and determining what you’re going to do for your marketing and how to measure it?

This is an important distinction.

Typically, companies define “starting marketing” in the first manner. However, marketing cannot turn on without the infrastructure and the creative required.

To get marketing running, you must first take the time to create a marketing plan, which includes analyzing the target market and developing marketing messages, outlining a suite of marketing activities, building all the creative materials needed to execute your marketing plan, and setting measures to track progress and guide adjustments.

Only after you’ve put the planning work in place can you launch your marketing effort in the sense most companies consider the beginning of the marketing efforts: The sense that marketing activity is running and that your target audience is seeing it and responding to it.

This marketing activity then needs to run for a set amount of time after it launches before you can see results on it.

To break this question into two, therefore:

  • The first question is to ask how long the planning process takes before marketing activity can launch.
  • The second question is to determine how long you need marketing activity to run before you can expect to see results.

Here are your answers:

How Long Does Marketing Planning Take?

The effort required to plan for marketing depends on whether you need to develop a marketing campaign for launching a product or service or for entering a new market or whether you need to plan for your ongoing marketing efforts.

For a marketing campaign that will launch a new product or service or that will enter a new market, a company needs to undertake a full strategy and planning process. This process involves in-depth primary and secondary market research and analysis, strategy development, messaging development, tactical-mix building, budget development, implementation timelines, and setting custom metrics and goals.

In this case, FrogDog recommends that companies budget three to four months for full strategy and plan development and one to two months (at least) of creative development, After these pieces are in place, the campaign can begin.

The other route involves creating plans for ongoing marketing efforts on behalf of a company—the type of work FrogDog undertakes for its clients as part of its marketing packages. In these cases, marketing efforts can launch into the marketplace much more quickly than they can for a custom marketing campaign designed to launch offerings.

In this case, we recommend four to six weeks of planning and creative development before you will see everything running at top speed, although certain elements will go live and run nearly immediately, if you’re working with the right marketing team.

If you’re not sure which marketing route makes the most sense for your business, use FrogDog’s proprietary marketing decision tool to find out.

Once Marketing Activity Begins, How Long Before We Get Results?

The timeline for marketing results depends heavily on the type of marketing underway and the way you’ve planned to implement it.

However, as an overarching principle spanning all possible marketing scenarios, marketing has a cumulative effect: It snowballs.

Certain marketing activity should start to elicit engagement and interaction with the target audience within three to six months. However, response from the target audience in this case doesn’t mean return on investment in terms of new revenue generation. After only a few months of undertaking marketing, you should see that your target audience has received the message and has shown some level of interest in it via engagement with your marketing activity; you likely will not see sales at a level to pay off at par with or much beyond the investment required for the marketing effort at this short-term stage.

Expect that your marketing effort will achieve exponentially higher returns when you’ve run the marketing effort continually; you’ll see the first real traction at around the six- to-nine-month mark. At this stage, you should have all marketing tactics in play and starting to show engagement.

After twelve months of starting your marketing efforts, you’ll see incredible momentum build from your efforts—momentum that you need to sustain via continued, ongoing marketing activity to maximally return on investment.

Letting your marketing run continually and according to a well-designed, measurable plan, with frequent adjustments to messaging and activity based on marketplace changes and market engagement, will gain you traction toward achieving your business goals that you cannot achieve effectively in any other way. Marketing is incredibly effective when done well.

I Want Faster Marketing Results

To some extent, marketing results are constrained by the laws of physics: You can only create so much marketing activity and invest so much money in any time period to elicit a certain level of response.

However, having too many resources is rarely the problem companies face when it comes to achieving marketing results.

More often, companies do not have enough resources for marketing—and this constrains their timeframe for results achievement. The more time and money your company can invest, the faster your company will see results from its marketing activity. If you have an unlimited budget, you can go further faster.

If you have adequate budget, you will still get solid results—it will just take a little longer. And for most companies, adequate budget is more realistic than too much budget.

(This statement begs the question about how much you should budget for marketing—and we’ve got you covered. Read our article and take advantage of our budget calculator to find out how much to budget for your company’s marketing activity.)

Getting Marketing Results Requires Achieving Marketing Critical Mass

There’s a bare minimum for everything, including when it comes to marketing activities and marketing budgets.

You must have covered at least the marketing bases and have invested a minimum amount of budget to achieve results. The minimum will achieve results, albeit more slowly than a more concerted investment of time and funds. More than the minimum will speed up your results. And below the minimum? You might as well save the money rather than even get started, as it will get you zero return.

People frequently invest below the minimum and hope it will generate results. However, if you’ve paid only to boost an occasional social-media post, have only created the infrequent new article for your website, or have sent out an e-mail maybe once, results will prove next to impossible to achieve.

You need a certain critical mass of investment to achieve results of any kind.

To achieve any level of results from marketing efforts across any time span requires marketing efforts executed on a planned, ongoing basis—all while measuring regularly and adjusting activity in response to engagement.

Most companies cannot achieve measurable marketing results with internal teams alone. Building marketing strategies and plans, performing the needed market research and analysis, executing quality creative on an ongoing basis, and delivering the marketing to target audiences on schedule—all while adjusting as you go—takes more talent resources than it makes sense for most companies to maintain internally.

For this reason, to get marketing results, most companies team up with a marketing firm like FrogDog. Would you like to learn more about how we can help you achieve marketing results? Contact us today.

Image credit: JESHOOTS

Posted: Feb 22, 2016
Updated: Sep 17, 2020
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