The Uncomfortable Similarity Between the Diet Industry and Marketing
You know what would be great? Being a little bit fitter. A little thinner.
You know what else would be great? Some cool new marketing tactic that produces a 200 percent increase in leads in four short weeks.
You know what’s not great—people claiming they can magically change your life with this one simple trick.
Cuz, ya know, they can’t.
We all want that quick fix. When it comes to your diet, it’s 8-Minute Abs, or the Whole 30, or a diet of acai berries, kale and hemp seeds. When it comes to your marketing, video promises to get you on the first page of Google, Facebook Messenger purports create raving fans, and marketing automation will supposedly fill up the sales department’s call sheets with new leads.
Not so fast. Marketing automation is just the gym membership. You still have to go.
There’s a great quote in a New York Times health column recently from LA-based fitness specialist Angelica Divinagracia:
“The diet and nutrition business is a billion dollar industry because it’s designed for failure. When the diet ends, which ultimately it will, you go right back to where you were. Then you start another.”
When I saw that, I realized I needed to get my food act together. But I also realized that too many of us marketing folks, in our justifiable quest to Do Something Awesome, are chasing the business equivalent of juice cleanses. We want jaw-dropping results, so we think extreme measures are the way to go.
It’s a less-than-virtuous cycle that leaves us scrambling way too often, and typically doesn’t produce the results we want in the timeframe we want.
Of course, the allure of the quick fix is tough to ignore. Moderation—especially in marketing—is no fun. But, the slow and steady race typically wins.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Eve Guth said that to lose weight and keep it off involves having “a clear understanding that dietary change is a slow process that requires ongoing vigilance.”
She goes on to point out the obvious—the idea of incremental improvement is not popular in a world accustomed to immediate results.
That Hubspot cleanse won’t transform you overnight.
Bulking up on SEO keywords won’t add muscle to your top line revenue.
Thinking that a media relations blitz will change your company’s profile forever is simply wrongheaded; launching an aggressive three month PR initiative won’t have a lasting effect on your business. You’ll make a splash, get noticed—the equivalent of an unsustainable diet leading to 20 pound weight loss—only for it to slowly return to where you were before.
Even hiring Scribewise won’t magically make your business grow (but give us time and we’ll make an impact and have some fun doing it). After all, a good trainer or nutritionist (agency) can help you get things done and stay on the right path.
You need to get healthy, which means you need to create healthy habits. You need to have discipline and stick to a plan. And get up every morning and stay committed to those difference-making habits.