Is a direct path the quickest way to achieve marketing results?
Not usually, and rarely is it the most effective.
If you roll a ball down a straight path, it will cover the least distance. Roll that same ball down a path that curves, taking the ball from more down to more across, it will cover more distance, but get to the same point quicker.
Similarly, if you want quicker results in your advertising or marketing communications campaign, invest more of your budget early, and trail it off gradually.
This is because it takes more energy to overcome inertia than it does to maintain it. In the world of advertising, the “launch” is employed as a way of overcoming inertia. The launch is a flurry of (hopefully) well-placed advertising and/or well-directed promotions designed to create a tidal wave of awareness and/or response. Once the flurry is created, far fewer reminders are necessary to maintain momentum.
Is a launch the most effective way to roll out a campaign?
Assuming you have a compelling campaign, can afford to, and time it right, a launch is often the best way to get results. There are, however, many possible reasons why you may not want to launch a campaign. Here are a few reasons why you may want to begin more slowly:
You may want to tease or intrigue your audience. Once they are ‘tuned in,’ your main campaign messaging will be more readily absorbed.
If you are unsure of what your market will respond to, you may prefer a more gradual approach. This way you have time to test and adjust it accordingly.
If you do not have enough time or enough budget for marketing studies, you may not want to commit too many dollars upfront.
Regardless of your approach, just understanding that the most direct path is not usually the best opens your thinking to alternative strategies and potentially greater results.