In the whirlwind of quarterly reports and revenue projections, it’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting immediate results from our marketing endeavors. But what if I told you that the story isn’t as straightforward as we often assume?
As someone deeply entrenched in the world of channel marketing, I’ve come to realize that the path from marketing action to revenue recognition is far from instantaneous. This insight didn’t just come from a hunch or a gut feeling; it also came from the meticulous research conducted by DreamData, a leading authority in the realm of digital analytics.
Their findings shed light on what they term the “marketing time lag” – the delay between our marketing efforts and their tangible impact on revenue. Their analysis reveals a stark truth: the marketing strategies we implement in one quarter may not bear fruit until several quarters down the line, if at all.
This revelation forces us to confront the harsh reality of channel marketing: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Unlike the rapid-fire transactions characteristic of consumer marketing, B2B customer journeys unfold over an extended period, often spanning months or even years. This elongated timeline is compounded by the intricate web of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, leading to a labyrinthine buying cycle that defies linear progression.
So, what are the implications of this marketing time lag? For starters, it renders our quarterly projections and revenue targets somewhat obsolete. Expecting immediate returns from our marketing investments is akin to planting seeds and expecting a bountiful harvest the very next day. It’s simply not realistic.
Moreover, ignoring the time lag can have far-reaching consequences for our planning and forecasting efforts. Setting unattainable goals based on short-term metrics can breed frustration and disillusionment among stakeholders. It can also strain the delicate alignment between marketing and sales teams, leading to friction and inefficiency in our operations.
By understanding the nuances of the marketing time lag, we can recalibrate our expectations and strategies accordingly. We can adopt a more patient and measured approach to our marketing initiatives, recognizing that the seeds we sow today may not bear fruit until tomorrow – or even the day after.
Access to comprehensive customer journey data is crucial for quantifying the impact of our marketing efforts and making informed decisions about resource allocation and strategy refinement. Whether through in-house analytics or third-party solutions, investing in data-driven insights is essential for navigating the complexities of the channel landscape.
Success in channel marketing should not be measured in quarterly increments, but in the steady accumulation of trust and credibility with our target audience. By embracing the realities of the marketing time lag and leveraging data-driven insights, we can chart a course towards sustainable growth and long-term success.
Daren Bach (FCIM)
Chief Creative & Digital Officer
The Channel Agency: Purechannels
Helping Channel Marketing teams unleash indirect revenue through creativity, digital and storySelling.