Swipe, swipe, swipe… a first date, another first date, oh boy not again…

Tinder changed the way we think about choosing our partners in life. We’re addicted to the tiny moments of instant gratification. “Ooh damn, I’m so wanted!” It’s painful to close all those possible dating doors. “Maybe someone better is about to match me.”

Modern culture seems to believe that these little wins are worth more than the potential hurt of going all-in. I see it with my friends (no shade, I just got paired up in a pre-Tinder world) and now I’m starting to see it in my work. Not the weird dating stuff, but the mentality from it is getting in the heads of marketers.

“We’ll get coffee on our first date”

Great marketing, like a great first date, is creatively and strategically taxing. You have to put in the effort.

But you don’t even know if you like the person yet. Why waste the energy? I understand that it sucks to go try-hard on a new project, only to have it snubbed by management when it isn’t getting “enough traction”.

If you’re not putting your very best foot forward though, don’t be shocked when you get ghosted. If you’re really into someone an idea, you have to fight for it. That means pushing past what’s expected to something that is exciting. Posting more regularly on organic social media is like taking your first date to the movies and then being disappointed that you didn’t get to know each other. You can’t learn anything that way, what did you expect?! Impress people with your ambitious, fresh ideas.

If I were on a first date with your company, I’d be bringing you on some sophisticated lead nurturing and a nightcap of digital channels you probably would never think of using. I’d also want to talk about a famous marketing story about that time when sales for instant cake mix went up when Betty Crocker added more steps to the process. You’d be like “whoa I’ve heard that a million times, thanks” or “that doesn’t make any sense” and then I’d have you either bored or hooked. But at least I risked it, right?

“It wasn’t the perfect first date”

Great marketing, like the start of a great new relationship, requires time for exploration and discovery. You have to give it time.

I understand that a lot of orgs want to see results before diving into something. You want to have that fluttery heart feeling before going on a second date. It’s good sense.

But it’ll come back to bite you if you keep making judgements after just the first date. Sure, there are the total dumpster fire first dates but most of them are probably just “meh”. You only just met the person, what did you expect?! Same goes for marketing. One month of dabbling in digital marketing is like saying you’re only giving your date one shot. And it means you’re probably missing out on some really great people tactics, strategies, and creative ideas by confining your test to such a small scale.

Yes we love testing, but testing is a part of a longer-term plan for improvement:

So if I were trying to get a second date with your org, I’d be whipping out another famous marketing story about how placing fewer types of jam on the sales table resulted in selling more jam. I’d lean in and explain that there are a lot of marketing tactics in the sea, but if you really want to catch a winner you can’t be changing spots every two seconds. I’d lose you in this fish analogy, but the key is to give each new thing you’re doing the proper time to truly evaluate if it’s the one for you. Maybe I’d get another date.

It has become apparent that this article is a shining example of why I’m lucky I’m not single. But I’ve been going all-in on my relationship with marketing for a long time now. So trust that it’s worth the time and effort. Swipe right if you’re into it.