Marketing efforts can essentially be grouped into two segments, reusable activities (or evergreen marketing) and disposable activities (or one-hit marketing). Growth-oriented companies deliberately prioritize reusable activities and fend off unnecessary investments in disposable activities.
Disposable activities do not necessarily mean the efforts were weak or the strategy was not there—the long-term end goal just may have been out of sight. Disposable marketing typically consists of band-aid solutions or one-off attempts to meet a short-term goal without a long-term strategy in mind.
Marketing budgets are best spent in a way that can be built upon time and time again to prioritize growth and development. This does not mean that you should be reusing the same tired strategy time and time again, but take a proven approach and build on it by testing (e.g. different copy, mediums, targeting). While A/B testing is important to establishing marketing growth, it is imperative that tests are conducted meticulously to optimize the marketing budget and return on investment.
A good marketing strategy should have the stability to be able to be reused or repurposed. Reusable marketing strategies can be used to nurture an audience or customer base and drive them through the marketing funnel.
How to identify if an activity is disposable
Marketing efforts should be selected with long-term goals in mind. To identify if a strategy is disposable, marketers should ask themselves the following questions:
- What is the end goal of this strategy?
- Does this strategy add value to existing goals?
- Will this strategy add value to future goals?
- Does this strategy require additional single-use resources?
- Can this strategy be built on?
How to avoid disposable marketing
To avoid the pitfalls of disposable marketing, consider the following steps:
- First and foremost, organizations need to prioritize marketing foundations.
- Then, prioritize evergreen operations, campaigns, and media. While strategies do need to be tweaked seasonally to accommodate current social and economic conditions, the base of the strategy should be tried and true—built upon proven successes.
- Then, organizations must secure top talent. Top talent is your #1 asset. When someone leaves, much of the marketing they were involved in often goes with them.
- Lastly, expand seasonal and flighting marketing efforts, guided by the marketing foundations—and reuse what you can along the way.
Engaging in disposable marketing efforts does not necessarily mean you will burn your marketing budget. Disposable marketing efforts do have a time and place, as there are certain use cases that should be assessed on a unique basis. That said, when looking at the bigger picture, it is important to remember that strategies developed with a long-term goal in mind offer a greater opportunity to successfully scale a marketing system.