May 25, 2016
John Mulder

The Impatient Gardener

Of course you want to see results. I want to see them, too. We all do. But seeing results takes time.

Consider the process of planting a garden. What use is it to plant some seeds and then a few days later dig them up to see if they started growing? As in a garden, in all aspects of life, we must respect the laws of seedtime and harvest. It’s our job to carefully prepare, and closely tend to all things. But we also have to allow things to develop on their own timeline.

At a park near my house, the township did some construction recently that let patches of bare earth behind. For about two weeks, it looked as if it was going to be a gross, muddy mess forever. But then, slowly, grass seedlings began to emerge. The impatient gardener in me wanted grass to be there NOW! But it doesn’t happen that way.

Is that what you expect from your marketing? To get results immediately? When you don’t get immediateness from an ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not working. If carefully crafted and executed, your marketing will take several months to really take root.

Early in my career, I had a client that was going to call it quits after 7 months of letting the seeds grow. The strategy was solid and was running exactly the way we had suggested. The creative was precisely what we recommended. I trusted and believed that we had done what he needed to succeed, so I urged him to let it go one more month.

Boy, was he ever glad he listened to me one more time. In that 8th month of the marketing plan, results began to emerge. Like a fertilized plant, his business flourished. His sales doubled. And by the end of the year, quadrupled. It was a huge success.

One of the most important parts of understanding seedtime and harvest as it applies to your business, is understanding your sales cycle. The longer your typical sales cycle, the longer it will take for your marketing to germinate. Once it does, good marketing will then begin to shorten that cycle. So give it some time. Respect the process. Good things will emerge if you sow good.

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