Patience really is a virtue: why it matters in marketing

Alfie Dawson, founder of Bordeaux & Burgundy, argues for a more Zen approach
Alfie Dawson
A graphic showing a businessman ticking off tasks on his list

Both an art and a science, crafting a marketing campaign requires skill and creativity. Making that campaign work for your organisation requires patience, time, and consistency, which no doubt comes with a number of barriers that marketers must consider when combating common hurdles.

Set behind the backdrop of the cost of living rising, and with consumer confidence being at an all time low, building a brand that consistently delivers the same standard is more important than ever when gaining customer trust and loyalty.

CMOs constantly moving on

An initial problem organisations face is that the way in which a Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) performance is often measured means that they have a notoriously short lifespan at a single company. For example, Starbucks once replaced their marketing chief five times in seven years.

Often, a CMO joins a team and decides to revamp the whole process, sometimes including a companywide rebrand, which can lead to a dip in sales. Others will implement changes such as hiring an entire new marketing team who take time to acclimatise to their new working environment. Because of this, CMO’s typically have the shortest life span of anyone in the C-suite.

The problem lies in the fact there is no consistency. A CMO will usually implement change to prove their worth, however, this approach goes against how marketing intrinsically works, especially in a long sales cycle. In the business-to-business (B2B) world, sales cycles range from six to 18 months, from when the lead comes in to actually selling to that lead. Consistency crashes with the average tenure of a CMO sitting at about three months in a tech company and six months everywhere else. Stuck in a cycle of start-stop-start, efficiency is not improved.

Organisations should look to remove the human element and include good old-fashioned documentation, with only 10 per cent of brands maintaining a high level of brand consistency across their company. Creating an internal brand guide that describes how the brand sounds, looks, and feels and a process that supports the implementation of it. This can become an integral part of an organisation’s brand to support consistency, sustainability, and efficiency.

This means anyone coming into a company can consistently use this guide to represent the brand, with 60 per cent of millennial consumers prioritising brand consistency across different platforms, and over time, this crucial resource will build brand value – no matter how many designers, CMOs or writers are employed.

Patience and perspective, grasshopper

Organisations often look into the results of a campaign at a granular level while not having enough data points.

Many factors influence how well a marketing campaign works. Selling to a B2B audience may limit potential customer base to a few million (at most), whereas a business-to-customer (B2C) base expands to a few billion. Is the customer in a good mood that day? Do they need the product or service this month? Will the ad be a distant memory next week when their decision maker returns from an overseas trip?

Sometimes, all organisations need to get the desired leads is for all the pixies in the forest to be standing on one leg, singing at the exact right pitch, at the precise moment that all the stars and planets align, as the wind picks up just enough.

Businesses must give marketing campaigns enough time to work and understand it is not an overnight magic trick. 37 per cent of markers are citing return on investment as a top metric for CEOs and CFOs, however often, making minor adjustments instead of axing it entirely is the correct course of action.

Additionally, instead of deep diving into one campaign’s results, do this over a series of ten campaigns. Let the impact of the many inform your strategy. Research shows that 31 per cent of marketing analysis is carried out on a ‘when needed’ basis, rather than through regular tracking. Ten campaigns will give you a more accurate average; one campaign only shows you the performance of a campaign that may or may not be hitting at that exact time.

Your most important data points are acquired leads and cost per lead and should be measured quarterly/annually to gauge improvement or stagnation.

You Need to Wait for Technologies to Become Accessible 

Not everything is accessible, and not every marketing tool out there is affordable. It’s taken years before AI has become accessible to the average person (and business). So sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting. Honestly, it’s not even just AI. Sometimes, when it comes to the more basic marketing and advertising tools, such as digital signage, billboards, TVs, and even traditional signage, you need to be patient with those too (such as processing time, installation time, approval, etc.). In general, when it comes to marketing, you can’t expect to get what you want immediately, whether it's results from your campaign, the displays, or even the tools you’re wanting to create campaigns.


There are often two different belief systems when it comes to marketing, “brand marketing” vs. “demand generation”. Brand markets want to spend money enhancing how the brand looks with the hope sales are positively affected in the long run. Demand generators go after the sales and want to be measured on leads and conversions over a shorter span of time.

These two camps are intertwined. Organisations should set themselves up for a successful marketing career by spending money on looking good and being in the right place, but focus on driving the target audience to action – a demo, a download, a newsletter.

Done well, it should naturally increase credibility and make demand generation efforts go further. Good branding, very simply, is confidently doing something repeatedly without contradiction. Done over time and the impact should unfold.

A successful marketing campaign will see consistency from start to end, over a long period of time. Organisations cannot expect to see results in an instant, but instead lay the stepping stones to build the momentum that will see campaign success time and time again.

Trust is a top deciding factor for consumers and building a brand that showcases consistency will enable a long-term customer base to be built.

Written by
Alfie Dawson
Written by
February 23, 2023