Stop Chasing Your Tail!

As I sit here watching my dog chase his tail outside my window, I’m reminded of the many times each week I see this same behavior in humans.  A common theme in Advertising, Marketing and PR seems to be to “don’t just sit there, do anything!”  And just like a dog chasing his tail, we jump up and start running around in circles so that we appear to be doing something. This is especially true in social media.  Because it is new and sexy we don’t hold it to the same standard as other business investments.

In any economy, it only makes sense to have a clear vision of what your ROI is going to be (or what you want it to be) before you invest any time or money in a project.  And let me be clear, the money is the small part of the equation–your time is much more valuable and wasting it is far more expensive.

So a couple of questions to ask yourself before deciding to embark on yet another advertising, marketing or PR  journey:

1) How will I know it’s working?  Be really specific.  Just saying “more customers” isn’t going to cut it.

2) How will I know it’s time to stop?  It is just as important to know when to pull the plug.

3) What other opportunities will I be giving up to pursue this one?  You’ve heard of opportunity costs, well this is where they live.  If you are weighing several options or there are some possibilities on the horizon, be sure to take this into account.

Spending a little objective contemplation time on the front end of a project, can prevent tail chasing and financial disappointment on the back end (pun intended).

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