Let’s get this out of the way upfront:

Short-term advertising absolutely produces better short-term results.

If you’re only measuring results based on how many leads you create today, next week, or even next month, short-term sales activation is the way to go.

But you will reach a point where you can no longer grow based on short-term advertising alone.

The factors that short-term ads require for success work against healthy profit margins and sustainable campaigns.

What factors?

  1. An attention-grabbing deal, and
  2. Urgency

Now, if you’re selling a must-have service — like, say, heating & cooling or plumbing, etc.

Then the urgency is baked in.

But you still have to offer people a deal.

Because it’s almost impossible to win a last-minute sale based on preference.

If the customer had a preference, they’d have already picked you, rather than googling a generic keyword or receiving a direct mail offering from you.

So the key to long-term growth and healthy profit margins lies in creating that preference BEFORE the sale.

And that requires long-term branding, which is exactly what decades of the best data on the planet show, as you can see in the chart below:

This chart was created based off of over 30 years of data and thousands of case studies.

Now here’s the kicker — if you want to talk to an audience about a product or service that they don’t need yet, you have to gain their attention first.

And if your product or service is not inherently interesting — i.e., if it’s an unsexy or ugly-duckling business — then you’ll probably need to “push” your advertising in front of them.

That basically means using mass media combined with entertaining or interesting ads.

It also requires staying on the air long enough, and with enough frequency, for your branding to gain traction and bring in increased high-quality leads.

Can you bootstrap a business using guerrilla advertising and short-term offers?


Can you grow that business big and profitable without, at some point, switching to proper branding?

Maybe, but maybe not.

If no one in your market is branding themselves over the air, and if you are branding your company but not yet running a branding campaign, then you can get pretty big.

‘Cause in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man becomes king.

But it’ll be a lot harder and growth will be a lot slower and a lot less ensured than if you were running a proper branding campaign.

So if your company is currently suffering from “feed-the-beast-itus” — if you’re struggling to get enough leads to sustain growth or even stay busy — then the answer is certain:

You need to invest in a proper, long-term branding campaign featuring high-impact messaging.

And here’s the kicker to that — the better your long-term branding works, the more that will lift your short-term sales activation efforts as well.

So the previous chart should actually look a bit more like this:

So if long-term growth with increased efficacy of short-term ads sounds like a good deal, and you’d like to get started on that, I’d be happy to help.