Is your marketing strategy a tree or a house?

Treehouse Underpin Marketing Strategy

There are many ways to build marketing strategy. When thinking about what you want from your marketing strategy, a key aspect is time. To me, there are two types of marketing strategies.

Quick marketing strategy

The first is the strategy you build brick by brick, using very detailed plans and materials you have bought. It’s just like building a house. This method is great for several reasons. Buying in items such as pay-per-click advertising, traditional advertising and paid media is a quick and targeted way to get your marketing off the ground. And if you researched everything, then it can provide real returns on your investment..

Organic marketing strategies

The other kind of marketing strategy is one you organically grow and nurture. It’s a strategy that grows naturally – like a tree. By relying on networking, social media, public relations and other kinds of “earned media” marketing you create a more long-term strategy and you might not see instant results. It does takes more time, but it’s also more adaptable. This strategy relies on a lot of things that might not work and you might end up with something that looks nothing like you expected it to. There are no plans when it comes to trees.

A blueprint approach

One of the negatives of the more expensive “house approach” is if you build a marketing strategy rather than grow one, you have to adhere to the blueprints you decided on before you started out. A strategy with a fixed and immovable plan can become inflexible and changes are costly, Sometimes, it is impossible to fix these issues once you’ve laid the foundations and you are left with unusable marketing.

If you grow a business like a tree, it nurtures and grows all by itself. If the sun (or your customer) is coming from one direction, a tree, and therefore your strategy, will bend and grow in a way that maximises your potential. It’s adaptable, and part of the landscape. And all you need to do is make sure it gets the correct input.

Different marketing philosophies

There is a fundamental, philosophical difference between the two marketing strategy approaches. Building a strategy like a house is forcing the growth, and this isn’t a bad thing in itself. You are buying things like advertising, pay-per-click, and email lists so you expect a return and if you research you will get it. This strategy is perfect for companies looking to grow quickly and make an instant impact in their marketing.

Building a strategy like a tree is a test of knowing that laying down roots takes time but long-term customer and partner relationships will reap fruit in time. It is less of a financial risk and more of a time risk. But unlike if you build a house, every time you want to expand, you don’t need to build an extension or start again. A tree keeps growing and growing, and will adapt to your situation, if you give it time.

What kind of marketing strategy is right for you? Find out at The Five Step Marketing Bootcamp, coming to London in May.

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