Why marketing matters: attention washing ashore

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One of the wonderful things about visiting the SHIFT Communications San Francisco office is that the mighty Pacific Ocean is only a short walk from the office. Nearly every morning, I am privileged to be able to see, hear, and smell the ocean before work, which makes me quite happy. This morning, I watched as waves rolled ashore and noticed that the water always receded back to the ocean. A wave would break, water would splash over the beach, and then flow back to the sea.

Watching this made me realize just how much some of our marketing behaves in the same way. We garner waves of attention with advertising, with public relations, with social media, with blogs, with all of the marketing tools that we know and love. That attention washes up to our businesses as surely as the waves wash ashore. And like the ocean, when curiosity has been satisfied, when interest wanes, the attention flows away again.

What if, however, we didn’t want to lose that attention? What if we didn’t want the waters to recede? Certainly, you can’t stop the oceans, but you can put a few pails in the sand and have some of the water left over after a wave to build a nice sand castle with. Likewise, you can do the same with marketing tools and technologies, can’t you? Capture some email addresses. Get a few followers. Have people subscribe to the blog. Yes, the bulk of the wave will recede back into the ocean. Yes, the bulk of attention will flow elsewhere. But you don’t have to let it all go, and if you’re clever in your placement of marketing tools and pails alike, you can have enough to make your business thrive and your castles grow.

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