When a rocket launches it uses roughly 80% of its fuel just to take off (or so I’ve heard). Then, once it breaks free of the Earth’s gravitational field, it can cruise along just fine with minimal fuel consumption.
There are two concepts at work here and, surprisingly enough, they apply to marketing as well as rocket ships.
The first is inertia. Inertia says something that is not moving will tend to remain stationary until sufficient force is applied to move it.
The second is momentum. Momentum says something that is already moving will tend to keep moving unless sufficent force is applied to stop or change its motion.
I’ve found it helpful to remember these concepts when I plan and implement any new marketing. Because starting a new marketing project is much like launching a rocket.
Any new marketing campaign needs more resources at the start than later on after it’s been running for awhile. The “gravity” you’re fighting is the lack of awareness of whatever you’re promoting. As the awareness of your product or service grows it reaches a certain a critical mass where it spreads much faster with less effort than before.
At that point your marketing has broken through the inertia and has developed its own momentum. Enough people have been exposed to your message often enough that they either remember or recognize it (or both). And, the awareness often keeps growing on its own through word of mouth.
When you reach this point you don’t need to spend as much time or money pushing your message to your market. It’s almost taken on a life of its own.
But, when you begin, you need to invest much more in building your critical mass of awareness. It takes a lot to get people to stop and pay attention to your message when they are bombarded daily with thousands of other messages. And, you need to expose them to your message multiple times before they begin to remember it.
When you start promoting something and you don’t see results right away, it’s easy to consider changing direction or stopping altogether. What you don’t always see is that you’re fighting intertia so your return will not be as great or as obvious right away.
But, before long (if you stick with it) you’ll break through the inertia and start reaping the reward of your marketing investment. Your awareness will reach critical mass and will have plenty of momentum to keep it moving with less effort (and cost).
So, as you plan and implement your marketing, remember the rocket ship analogy. Plan to invest more at the start so you break through inertia. And, stick with your plans until you reach momentum. Then you can enjoy much greater returns from your marketing investment.