Quick wins are great to boost morale but they can be a hindrance to your business growth - here’s how to tell when to strive for a quick win and when to play the long game instead.
You’ve probably heard the term “growth hacking” flooding the internet (a buzzword that stems from early-stage startups who need to show exponential growth in a short period of time). The idea behind growth hacking is to take a low budget and stretch it as far as humanly possible (using creative strategies such as blogging and social media). While this is an effective (and necessary) way for small to medium (SME) sized businesses to initiate growth, quick wins alone will not deliver the sustainable long-term growth you need to continue scaling up your operations.
Balancing short-term results with a sustainable, long-term brand strategy
Marketing can deliver those much needed quick wins, but even an exciting marketing campaign, like a new website or complete rebranding exercise, can take months to implement from concept to completion. It’s well known in the marketing world that sometimes efforts to promote your client’s business as a whole can take a back seat while planning these larger initiatives. That’s why sometimes you need to shoot for a quick win to keep the momentum going, while you focus most of your resources on the bigger picture.
TaskRay says, “With quick wins, you rapidly guide customers to value in your product, even when the product isn’t fully implemented.” They are more than right to say that having quick wins can instantly increase things such as brand awareness, potential customers searching for your company and the solutions you provide.
So, what is a quick win in the world of marketing?
As TaskRay says, “Rather than randomly picking an achievement, like navigating your product, listen to what’s important to customers. Find out the milestones and results they want and need in those first 10, 30, 60, and 90 days.” This is a great way to ensure that quick wins align with the overall business strategy. Quick wins don’t replace your marketing strategy, and although they are quick, they need to be seen as a part of the long-term plan for success.
The quickest win for any business is to use their website to capture leads
Marketing quick wins need to focus on gathering leads for the sales team. Effectively using your website is a great way to efficiently gather leads.
Forms on your website are your best friend. If you’re hosting an event, for example, a quick win would be to capture and track your leads using a landing page on your website for people to register for the event. This way, you’ve ensured that you can build excitement leading up to the event and keep in touch with attendees after the event is over. This is quite easy with software such as HubSpot - marketers can build and edit landing pages without needing a developer to help them.
Paid traffic using Google search ads or paid social is another great quick win. Digital paid media will help you retarget your successful content through custom ad-targeting segments. We recommend doing an audit of your website’s entry points and exit points and overall engagement opportunities, and then picking the top three to optimise. This is a quick win to increase time-on-site and click-through-rates. Implementing features such as CTAs (call-to-actions) above the fold and adding CTAs to your most visited pages are just some of the ways you can optimise for quick results.
Why your business may need quick marketing wins
If an action that’s a part of your marketing strategy takes too long to develop, to build, to write or to create, you're going to lose your drive, your motivation and maybe even your client’s interest in the campaign.
When your business doesn’t need quick wins
Sometimes quick wins can be disguised as a long-term strategy (such as a continuous run of competitions on your company’s social media platforms). Quick wins, however, won’t sustainably build up the numbers. Skyscanner Engineering says, “My philosophy is that quick wins will not build a great product and a long term sustainable business. In fact, if you looked at a product backlog and only did the quick wins, can you imagine what that product would look like? Quick wins don’t make you a market leader, just a follower.”
Growth hacks have been on the rise and have become the obsession of digital marketers with good reason. Quick wins should be tied to the long-term marketing strategy but it doesn’t always happen that way. Reactful says, “There’s a problem with the ‘tactic’ of growth hacking. At best the term is misleading, and worse, damaging to the future of your brand.”
If quick wins become the marketing strategy instead of aligning with it, you won’t see consistent growth and ROI. “Quick wins are the strategy equivalent of vanity metrics. They boost your ego in the short term because everything looks like it’s going the right way. But they offer diminishing returns,” says Reactful.
There is a place for quick wins. Partnering with a reputable marketing agency that understands the benefits of quick wins and the importance of having a solid marketing strategy for long-term growth is the best way forward, especially for an SME. Integrated marketing agencies have skilled individuals in different departments who will help you achieve your business’ marketing goals.
When you have an agency, your business is in the position to have both quick wins and a long-term sustainable strategy, without losing track of either. Depending on how you use quick wins, they can either make the job easier for you and be a good way to implement change or they will kill your business.
Take our free digital audit to find out where your brand is doing well and where there's room for you to improve your digital marketing ROI.