Twenty sixteen has been a year seemingly filled with bad news and negativity. Considering the upheavals and uncertainty of the economy it’s easy for the cynic to become even more cynical and want to write 2016 off as a bad job. And sometimes that cynicism can extend to marketing your business and thinking what’s the point, what difference does it make really?

Well, executed poorly or intermittently, your marketing efforts will be all to waste. As with anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about things. Social media attracts a lot of cynicism, or at least it used to, perhaps the tide is now turning and people can see the benefits of having a live, fast moving platform to speak directly to their customers, and that’s not just for teenagers to chat to their mates on. But what it does need is consistency. Dipping in and out and posting the odd update, or something that’s not relevant, is a big waste of time. It’s also not about posting once or twice and expecting to gain a huge following. You need to put the hours in first and build your presence before people see any point in following you.

This consistency theory is not exclusive to social media.

Have you ever run an ad and had no response from it? One standalone ad will have little to no effect. People need to see an ad over seven times in order to take action. If you do decide an ad campaign is the way to go, keep it consistent and make sure it’s placed in the publications and channels that your customers use or view.

If you’ve delved into PR and put your good news out into the local paper, and you’ve sat waiting by the phone expecting it to be red hot but were met by radio silence, keep it up. Make it a habit to PR your news, and don’t just send it to the local paper. Think – is it local, wider local, national, and/or industry news? Extend your reach and make it regular, or at least part of a wider marketing campaign. One press release will not fill your order book.

The key with successful marketing is allocating a set budget, and to spend it consistently throughout the year. For context, approximately 20% of a company’s revenue is not unusual to allocate to marketing.

Marketing is not the crash diet/cabbage soup diet equivalent in business – there is no easy, quick fix. Just remember to keep it consistent, relevant, and regular, and the cynic in you will be proven wrong.