Can your marketing pass the Marshmallow Test?

The “Marshmallow Test” was developed during the 1960’s by Walter Mischel, a psychology professor at Stanford University.

To briefly summarize, researchers gave children a marshmallow and promised to give them a second if they resisted eating the first one for an unsupervised period of time.

A fun experiment to test the levels of willpower wielded by children, it’s become synonymous with one’s ability to exercise self-control at any age. In marketing, this same concept holds true: Do you have the discipline to let a long-term marketing strategy work—or do you always need instant results?

Many businesses these days would flunk the seemingly simple Marshmallow Test because they shoot from the hip with their Print & Digital marketing strategies. They often launch new and varied plans based on the short-term results of what appears to be working in the moment.

To achieve marketing success, you need discipline and vision.

Allowing enough time for a marketing campaign to work its magic is key here. It’s imperative that you set long-term goals and thoroughly analyze your results at set intervals, taking certain variables such as content, audience and seasonality into account.

What was the total cost of your campaign (materials, manpower, services, etc.) vs. its total sales amount? Calculating your actual ROI instead of roughly rounding the numbers will aid in the decision-making process when you’re weighing which marketing to cut or keep.

Whether you handle all of your marketing in-house or you partner with experts, remember that patience and self-control are key components to the long game of any successful Print & Digital marketing campaign.

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