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5 Big Problems With Short-Term Marketing Less Than 6 Months

October 26th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Kim Kovelle

A hand stops dominos from falling midstream, symbolizing the effect of stopping marketing too soon.

Have you ever felt nervous about marketing for more than a few months? Maybe the results aren’t what you hoped. Or, perhaps more realistically, a monetary crunch is to blame. After all, 2 in 3 marketers said their budgets were snipped at least 5%-10% in the second half of 2023.

Whatever the worry, long-term marketing can feel intimidating. At Zoe Marketing & Communications, we understand. We have 40+ years of experience helping businesses grow in metro Detroit and Chicagoland. And we’ve helped many companies understand the perils of “flash-in-the-pan” campaigns that are only a few months long.

Here, we’ll detail five of the most significant issues that can build up, including:

  1. Reduced brand visibility
  2. Erosion of credibility and trust
  3. Poor data insights
  4. Customer loss
  5. Revenue plateau or decline

You’ll see why quick marketing campaigns that “start” and “stop” can cost you more than you think. And you’ll be well-equipped to decide where to take your marketing next.

Problem 1: reduce Brand Visibility1. Reduced brand visibility

In the digital world, if people don’t see you, you don’t exist. Consider: It can take people at least seven times of seeing you to remember you. And attention spans hover at less than 8 seconds.

When you stop marketing, especially digital marketing, you turn off the lights. There’s nothing to remind people, and they focus elsewhere. There’s a chain reaction of:

  • Lagging customer engagement
  • Dropping website traffic
  • Waning sales

It truly is out of sight and out of mind. And while word of mouth can help, it has its limits. Ultimately, if you’re not digitally visible, your competitors are much more likely to fill that void.

Repetition is essential — as is a sustained marketing strategy — to keep your brand “top of mind.” When your company’s name appears frequently, it sticks in people’s minds. And it prevents you from fading into the background.

Problem 2: Eroosion of Credibility and Trust2. Erosion of credibility and trust

Consider another often-cited “marketing rule”: Someone needs to see your message 27 times to build trust in your brand. And 81% of consumers say they must trust a brand to buy from them, according to Edelman's Trust Barometer.

It’s tough to build up that kind of credibility and trust in only a few months.

Consistent marketing not only keeps your brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds. It also establishes you as an authority in your industry.

When you disappear, you risk being forgotten or, worse, being seen as unreliable. Once you lose that trust, it takes a long time to rebuild it. It also may result in a loss of customer loyalty. Author M.J. Aldridge nails it when he says trust is “hard to earn, easy to lose.”

Plus, it can be even harder to re-engage with people in the future.

Problem 3: Poor Data Insights3. Poor data insights

By design, digital marketing is cumulative. The more you do it, the better the data you get. With it, you can make better decisions to reach even more prospective customers. 

But when you pull the plug too soon, you lose out on valuable data insights. And 77% of people are likelier to buy from brands that harness data to offer more personalized experiences.

Gathering data on your customers’ behavior, preferences and trends is one thing. Another? Optimization takes time.

Certain tactics, such as search engine marketing, improve with more time and data. It learns what your prospects respond to and even the times of day they’re searching most. From there, it improves how it spends your budget, leading to more consistent clicks and conversions.

When you pause or stop too soon, you lose your data momentum. And it’s costlier to restart.

Problem 4: Customer Loss4. Customer loss

The previous three problems feed into a cold bottom line: Halting your marketing within six months or less can lead to lost customers. And at least one theory says that increasing customer retention by 5% can lift profits as much as 95%.

Even if it’s a fraction of that, it’s clear that repeat customers matter — along with new ones. Digital marketing can help you get both of these critical types of customers.

When the “spigot” flips off, though, you’re cutting off the communication channels with your customer base. This, again, makes it easier for them to switch to a competitor.

Problem 5: Revenue Plateau or Decline5. Revenue plateau or decline

The rest is simple economics: No marketing often leads to stagnant or dropping growth.

The severity of the impact can vary depending on the company. However, research has shown that sales fall an average of 16% after not marketing for an entire year and 25% after two years.

Notably, this applies during economic downturns, too. During a recession, companies that cut their marketing spend can risk losing 15% of their revenue. 

Stopping marketing too soon (or cold turkey) can mean losing new and existing customers. And the costs of acquiring new customers often outweigh the costs of retaining existing ones.

Next steps to increase your marketing’s effectiveness

Digital marketing is an investment — and it can feel daunting to get started or keep going during a budget pinch. Still, limiting your efforts to less than six months can cause more pain long-term.

These problems can negatively affect your brand visibility, credibility and trust, crucial data, customer pool and, in the end, revenue.

Ready to learn more? Talk to us. Zoe offers a variety of long-term plans to bolster your growth (and yes, each one is a minimum of six months!).

Still learning about marketing budget and duration? These articles are your best next steps:

Kim Kovelle

As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.