The dangers of short-termism

In our fast-moving environment, marketers – not just those in the investment industry – are being pulled in all directions. They are required to be acting fast for the here and now, and simultaneously, to be focused on the future – and not just reacting on the immediate.

The latter is especially important for the investment marketing industry, but how do you balance this?

It may feel like businesses want to have their marketing cake and eat it! While sales teams need marketers to support them in reaching their quarterly targets or defensive efforts, company leadership often appreciate a focus on the future. They want to see more strategic initiatives that tie in with longer-term company objectives.

So, which is more important?

This may sound easier said than done, but a focus on the short term that doesn’t also fit in with a long-term strategy is unlikely to do your career any favours (at least if you’re interested in long-term growth and development).

Marketers are, arguably, in one of the more interesting positions in investment management firms. Unlike many other functions, we get to see a tangible result of our efforts much faster than other areas. It is highly satisfying to see your new brand brochure, presentation deck design or advertisement.

In contrast, the impact of a new analysis model on a portfolio, for example, is often much more see, and may not result in a tangible difference for a while.

However, due to the very nature of our jobs – and our position to support sales and distribution teams – there is often the danger of marketing teams being consumed by various teams’ short-term demands. How often do these fit in with the company’s long-term strategy?

The Harvard Business Review published this interesting article towards the end of last year, with ways in which marketers can overcome short-termism.

Regardless of where you are in your career, it pays to always think about how your work fits in with the long term. Once you adopt this lens, it puts many of our efforts into focus – including the items we focus on producing, the way in which we work and the priorities and goals we set for our departments.

It is also a helpful reminder of the importance of patience – a virtue sorely needed in an industry often reluctant to change or move quickly. A long-term view can help marketers keep their eye on the greater goal – even if it takes years to achieve.

Ends.

In our fast-moving environment, marketers – not just those in the investment industry – are being pulled in all directions. They are required to be acting fast for the here and now, and simultaneously, to be focused on the future. But how do you balance this?

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