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How to balance long and short-term marketing strategies

While many organisations tend to focus primarily on how they can increase their successes now, it’s equally important to keep an eye firmly on the future.
Rachel Oliver

Rachel Oliver

4 minute read
December 2, 2022
While many organisations tend to focus primarily on how they can increase their successes now, it’s equally important to keep an eye firmly on the future.
How to balance long and short-term marketing strategies Image

Sometimes planning a marketing campaign can feel a bit like plate spinning. Managing lots of different channels and tactics can feel a bit overwhelming if you’re not confident which ones are right for what you’re hoping to achieve.

Here is where two problems can happen. You can either get swept up in what you’re looking to achieve right now that you forget to take a step back to consider the bigger picture. Or you can become so focused on your long-term vision that you end up missing opportunities for quick wins.

Our goal as a marketing agency is to help our clients wind up somewhere in the middle – securing great short-term wins while also setting themselves on the path for long-term success towards their overarching goals.


Building towards long-term growth

While a lot of organisations tend to focus primarily on how they can increase their successes now, it’s equally important to keep an eye firmly on the future. Why? Because long-term strategies are the solid foundation on which your short-term activities are built. Only focusing on the short-term is dangerous, as without that firm foundation you may find that your bid to ‘quick wins’ falls flat.

Here are a few of the most effective long-term marketing endeavours:

  • Brand building: We’ve said this before (and we’ll say it again) but never underestimate the power of a strong brand identity. Your brand represents your organisation, giving you an identity and personality that your audience can relate to. While it’s difficult to measure the ROI on brand building, it pays its weight in gold over time by making every single other piece of marketing you do significantly more effective.

  • Launching a new website: A poorly optimised website will have the same effect on your marketing campaign as a hole in a boat. You’ll end up spending a heck of a lot of money to bring people to your site, only for them to bounce straight off because your website doesn’t clearly articulate what you do and why you stand out from your competition. Your website is like your shop window – it must give your visitors a truly great experience that leaves them wanting more.

  • Content marketing: Writing really great content for your audience – whether it’s for a blog, social post or downloadable eBook – starts with identifying one of your audience’s pain points. The secret to success in content marketing is quite simply to regularly publish high-quality content that’s relevant to your audience. Just make sure your content is well-written, engaging and builds your reputation as a thought-leader. And if this isn’t something you’re able to manage internally, work with someone who can (like us!).

  • SEO: Search engine optimisation is a rapidly moving target. With Google’s algorithms constantly changing, it can be tricky to keep up to speed with exactly what determines your rankings. Many things play a part in SEO performance, such as headings and alt tags, but providing valuable content that your audience enjoys engaging with remains a constantly proven tactic that helps boost your ranking.

Securing the quick wins

Now you’ve got your long-term activity in place to establish a consistent stream of leads, it’s time to balance this with a healthy dose of short-term activity to bolster your lead volume.

These are some of the most effective marketing tactics for securing ‘quick wins’:

  • Paid social ads: Social media channels aren’t just great for brand building. They’re superior advertising platforms that can generate leads at impressive speed. However, two things need special attention here – your audience targeting and the quality of your ad creative. Audience targeting is very important to get right to make sure your ads are shown to the right people, so it’s important to take the time to understand the platforms you’re working with to make sure this is done correctly. Producing high quality ad creative will likely require the help of a graphic designer, so if you’ve not got any internal resource to manage this then it’s worth partnering with an agency that can support you.

  • Google ads: If you’re finding it a long slog to get yourself visible on Google through SEO efforts, Google Ads are a very effective way to rocket you to the top spot of a relevant search. Just pay very close attention to your bid strategy when placing ads so you don’t run the risk of spending beyond your budget. The trick is to start small, with a carefully curated selection of keywords with a few different ad sets to test performance.

  • Retargeting campaigns: It’s often been said that your audience needs to interact with your brand at least seven times before they convert. And one of the most efficient, and proven, ways to engage a warm audience is to run a retargeting campaign. There are a myriad of ways to retarget your audience, but the most traditional methods include pixel-based retargeting or list-based retargeting.

  • Email marketing: Many organisations neglect email marketing in their short-term approach. But it can be a really effective way of reaching your target audience on a direct and personal level. While just sending mass mail to large lists of people is spamming, sending carefully-crafted marketing messages to segmented lists of your target audience is smart email marketing. And when done right, it can generate more leads at a lower cost per lead than any other channel!


So much of marketing success is down to timing. So having a diverse, multi-channel marketing strategy that employs a healthy balance between quick wins and a long-term approach is a very smart move.

If you’re unsure which social channels are the best fit for your strategy, then why not check out this blog which will help you work it out.