Many writers and bloggers talk about growing your marketing channel. They say "grow your audience", "develop your marketing machine", "build your following", etc. There are many ways to put it. All of these people are right; they get the point. But let me distill it down for you.
I believe there are two types of growth marketing investments:
1. Investment into marketing assets
2. Investment into marketing liabilities
What are assets? These are the strategic marketing activities and properties that generate money for you when you are not there. They drive your cash without you spending money and time. Marketing assets are similar to the assets in financial markets, where they are investments into future benefits. For example, if you are an author and you have active following, these loyal people are always there for you, and they will buy anything you write.
What are marketing liabilities? These are marketing activities that take your cash and time and give very little in return. Simply put, they are the loans that you make. You commit to creating a resource and then you invest tonnes of money and time into it, just because you can't close it.
Let's look at some examples.
Is it a liability or an asset? Does it bring you cash without you regularly spending your time on posting, commenting, paying for ‘boosting’ your posts, paying for ads, paying for followers? No. Moreover, even if you have 10 000 followers, or even 100 000 followers, Facebook's algorithm decides how many of them see your marketing message. It can be as few as 100! It's a liability.
Is it a liability or an asset? Do you need to pay to get customer's email? Do you need to pay for emailing your customers regularly once you have acquired their email address? Does it cost you a lot of money or time to create the emails? If you answered “no” to the 3 questions above, it's an asset. It does the job of delivering your message and generating cash.
Is it a liability or an asset? Well, do you have the right domain name and keyword strategy? Do search engines favor your website? If yes, then your website drives a lot of new visitors and you needn’t do more than merely keep it up-to-date. No huge investments of money or time. It is an asset that you can rely on.
Is it a liability or an asset? The answer is quite obvious. You pay money for something you don't own. And spending this money in a smart way means putting a lot of time into monitoring and analysis. It is a liability.
To become successful in marketing growth, you or your business should invest wisely. Invest into assets and avoid spending money on liabilities. Of course, there are cases where spending money on ads is a good move. But building a company on liabilities means that you are committing to spending a huge portion of your money on chasing your tail.