Why the Tortoise Always Wins

by May 4, 2017Strategy | Entrepreneurship, Blog, Marketing

We all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Competing in a race, everyone thought the hare would win, the tortoise had a surprising victory.

While he was clearly outclassed in speed, the tortoise focused on the finish line. Steady and plodding he made consistent motion forward, ultimately winning the race. In contrast, the speedy rabbit burst forward and then stopped. His mad dash at the end just wasn’t enough to win the day.

The lessons of this story can be applied to many things in life, but is especially true in marketing. We often see business owners approaching marketing like the rabbit. They get excited about a new marketing idea. They dive in with great energy and enthusiasm expecting immediate results. When the results don’t come, or they simply get distracted by the next great idea they lose interest or simply forget. Marketing just doesn’t work that way. Good results take time and consistency.

Wouldn’t it be great if the first time you ran an advertisement or sent out a newsletter, people came flocking to your door? Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. Every day people are presented with hundreds, maybe even thousands of advertising messages. As the human brain tries to make sense of this barrage of data, preference is subconsciously given to things which are familiar. Your information may not make an impression the first time someone sees your ad, but it eventually becomes familiar. Even after they begin noticing your information, it may take a few more times before a prospective customer takes action.

Want to win the race? Here are a few not so exciting consistent marketing ideas:

Commit to a Schedule – People like surprises, but not when it comes to your email communication. Your open rates and clicks will typically increase if you send your campaigns on the same day every week or month. Your regular readers will look forward to hearing from you. They may not respond every time you send it, but they will be more likely to notice your communication if it appears around the same time each month.

Plan ahead – Like the tortoise, you need to plod along, collecting information and story ideas all month long. Then, when you are ready to publish a newsletter, simply choose between the information you have collected rather than scrambling to find something to fill the space.

The second call – Lots of salespeople love nothing better than a fresh list of names. New people to call and talk to about a product or service. But sales are rarely made with the first call, so create a process for systematic follow up, maybe it is a single email, or a series of short notes to remind the prospect of your services. It takes a bit of time to set up a good auto-response campaign, but once it is in place, it makes staying in touch much easier. Now you can make many more first calls.

It doesn’t have to be new – If you are running a promotion, create an ad or graphic which you will use on multiple platforms. Don’t be afraid to run the same graphic more than once in your newsfeed or in print publications. Sure it is fun to have new collateral, and trust me we love designing a new ad, but that isn’t always the best choice. If an ad performed well, it is not boring to run it again. Just about the time you are absolutely sick and tired of a particular design, your customers are finally starting to notice it.

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