Blog, Culture

Sustainable infrastructure: the sustainable marketing series


Author: Aby Sullivan, MD

Scaling is a goal. Scaling sustainably is a necessity. 

Too often as a marketer, I hear the age-old complaint “marketing doesn’t work”. Mostly from businesses who have invested sporadically in rapidly deployed, “spray and pray” techniques.

They often can’t provide audience insight, they have no knowledge of where to find and engage them. The campaigns themselves involve no pre-planning, no lead nurturing journey or assets, and no way to measure their impact. This marketing is reactive, untargeted activity that’s designed to make a splash – and while it might gain some short term attention, it isn’t sustainable and won’t drive any meaningful conversations or conversions.

So in a way they’re right. If you’re marketing in that way, it doesn’t work. The right now mentality feeds the view that marketing doesn’t work and isn’t worth investing in. As a result, the practice either gets abandoned altogether or is never approached with a considered strategy from then on.

In contrast, sustainable marketing is reliant on long-term infrastructures.

This kind of approach is what builds a solid brand and authentic engagement rather than creating a ‘burn bright and fast’ effect.

This all starts with realistic expectations. Your marketing activity must be based around achievable goals, and the understanding that you need to make a continuous, rolling effort. Because, in reality, campaigns and other marketing activities need to run iteratively over time before you’ll start to see lasting return.

Businesses also need to put in the work upfront to build a good foundation for their marketing, just as they would their business.

This is what will ultimately support your infrastructure to be scalable and last long-term. 

Front-loading your marketing strategies with the right data and defined personas, based on channel, competitor and market research, will lead you directly to your audience. Not only can you communicate with them better, but you then have all the information you need to create nurture, qualification, conversion and retention strategies before you launch any activity. 

Then, when you really understand what works and what doesn’t, and all your strategies are in place, you can automate all the fundamental elements. Your marketing not only becomes seamless in the short-term but establishes a more long-term solution to growth. 

Your focus becomes attracting the audience that have a need for your solution and leading your prospects on a journey to cost-effective conversion. One which doesn’t aggressively interrupt people’s lives, that isn’t about instant gratification, but one that gently nudges, encourages, and gradually builds a relationship that will last. This is all guided by the infrastructure you’ve created.  

It’s not sustainable or achievable without it.

Good businesses, those with a sustainable mindset, understand this. They are realistic about return on investment on marketing, because they’re realistic about the impact they’re trying to make. They have the right intentions and the commitment to their cause, which gives them the patience and the dedication to put in the work – reaping far greater rewards.  

Watch out for the next piece in the series on Sustainable Results, where we discuss how to get lasting return and success!

Or, if you missed it, the previous piece looked at what makes a ‘good’ business, and why this makes marketing more sustainable.