There is an interesting case study about the strategies that Microsoft and Apple used to gain market share in the OS market. The most significant lesson we can learn from these companies has to do with the importance of consistency.
While Microsoft focused on “mainstream” users in order to dominate the industry, Apple targeted a relatively wealthier niche audience for their Mac OS.
You will find similar case studies across different industries. To put this in few words, there is no “unique” strategy for succeeding in business. There is more than one way to achieve your goals.
It is not that marketers do not realize this fact. The problem arises when businesses are attracted to different strategies and want to try them all at once.
For instance, a business with ten grand to spend on marketing might want to try out PPC advertising for one month while switching to outdoor ads the next month.
Trying out too many strategies too frequently can pose a serious challenge to business growth. That is why, whatever strategies they choose, businesses must prioritize consistency. Here are a few ways consistency can help your company succeed.
Building a business does not happen overnight. It is a continuous process in which growth is compounded over time.
If each one of your customers referred your business to one new customer, then this word of mouth marketing alone could eventually bring in hundreds or even thousands of customers.
The biggest challenge in any marketing process is getting your initial traction. Switching between multiple strategies could mean an absence of traction from any one channel.
Consequently, your overall success is likely to be much lower than what it would have been had you stuck to one specific marketing plan.
Consistency is especially important for SEO strategies, which require you to focus on building the authority of your website bit by bit for months, if not years.
Spreading It Thin
Let us go back to the example of a business having ten thousand dollars to spend on marketing each month. It is never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.
And it does make sense to split this budget across multiple channels such as SEO, SEM, or social media. We should note, however, that the resources available for any one channel are reduced each time you add an additional channel into your marketing mix.
It is a good practice to pick three to four channels and stick to them for at least six months to a year before you try other strategies.
Thin resources prevent you from building momentum. A lack of resources can also result in an insufficient budget for effectively completing your campaigns.
Many people believe that a business must “wow’” its customers with exemplary service in order to retain them. That is not always true. Think of the mom and pop store you stop by every other day.
These stores have none of the “wow factors” that will draw you in. So why do customers like yourself visit these stores again and again?
The simple answer is that these stores are open to customers all the time. They are around any time of the day (or even night) you need something.
As a customer, you are loyal to such stores simply because they are consistent in what they offer as businesses and there are no surprises.
Efficient Resource Management
A consistent strategy helps companies establish systems and processes that employees can master. When your employees work on similar tasks over a long period of time, they tend to get more efficient at them. This efficiency helps with your resource management.
A business that frequently changes its strategies fails to create processes that employees can follow. Then the employees do not get better at their jobs. The result is essentially a waste of resources, especially if you are a bootstrapped small business.
Revenue rises and falls all the time. As a business owner, it is important to know not only why revenue falls when it does but also what is causing an uptick.
The absence of consistent processes allows for too many system variables that can contribute to a rise or fall in revenue. These variables make it difficult to evaluate the success of any business strategy.
Consistent processes enable business owners to identify the exact parameters contributing to changes in revenue. Businesses with efficient processes are better at identifying profitable resources.
Evaluate Your Company for Consistency
Consistency is one of the most important factors in any company. How consistent are you as a business? Share your thoughts in the comments.