7 Ways to Improve Profit Through Both Long- and Short-Term Strategies
Your marketing mix is the combination of promotions, products, places (distribution channels), and prices you choose for products, services, and the overall business. It is important to strike a balance between those four “Ps”. By including both short- and long-term marketing strategies of each, you can create an even more profitable marketing mix.
Long-Term Marketing Strategies
Long-term strategies build brand and company awareness, and give sales revenue a gradual, permanent boost. Some of the benefits are indirect and cannot always be directly associated with profit. For this reason, long-term strategies can be difficult to execute when the focus is short-term.
High profile activities and general-purpose advertising contribute to your company’s image by building familiarity and trust. This, in turn, can create customer loyalty. Successful branding can have a large impact on market share, but is a gradual process so cannot always be definitively measured.
Building healthy relationships with distributors and others involved in the industry puts you in a position to know about new opportunities and potential problems as they occur. Long term, this improves the flow of product from you to your customers and creates new distribution channels.
Donating money, services, and time can build a positive image with customers and employees. Over time, this increases a company’s trustworthiness. When they see you consistently giving something back to the community, they are more confident you will take the same care with them.
Research and development
A new product pipeline and research are short-term expenses, but represent future sales. Conduct research with customers (or potential target markets) and design products to meet their needs. This ensures future growth.
Short-Term Marketing Strategies
Short-term strategies create immediate revenue. Sales and accounting people often prefer these to long-term approaches because the results are direct and quantifiable. The disadvantage of relying strictly on short-term approaches is the effect is temporary. They tend to be limited-time techniques that do not work well over time. Some examples …
Reduced price sales.
Sales encourage customers to act. Holding a sale will give customers who have been “meaning to buy” an incentive to do so, resulting in a revenue boost. Frequent sales can erode profit over time as customers become “trained” to wait for a sale instead of buying at full price.
Group discounts and offers.
This is a good way to introduce your products or services to a new set of customers, or give important groups a permanent discount. Carefully evaluate long-term impact, however. Over time, the gain in sales may not offset the cost of continual price reductions.
Blended Marketing Strategies
Some marketing strategies have both long- and short- term benefits. Pay per click (PPC) advertising, for example, is a way to communicate temporary price reductions or highlight a promotion. PPC can also build long-term brand awareness, however, as you expose more people to a Website.
Together, long- and short-term marketing programs help achieve immediate sales goals while building business reputation and goodwill. Implement both and your business will prosper for years to come.