Thinking long and short when it comes to marketing

Graham McGregor is a marketing adviser. You can get his free marketing guide The Plan B Sales Solution at

OPINION: The more I look at marketing, the more I realise the importance of think long and act short.Let me explain what this means.

Thinking long means you take the long-term view in marketing

You consider that everything you do in your marketing has a purpose of building a terrific relationship with every client and every potential client.

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In other words, you want to build up a warm audience of people who know, like and actively recommend your business to other people they know. So you are not just trying to make one sale right now.

Instead, you are trying to build a community of people who will happily buy from you over and over again for a long time.

This takes time to do.

Here’s an example:

I write a weekly marketing column for Stuff.

I wrote my first Stuff marketing column in May 2020 on how to handle big changes.

Since then, I have written over 100 marketing columns for Stuff.

I’ve picked up some great new clients by doing this. And built a nice relationship with a good number of Stuff readers.However, it has taken two years to do this.

One marketing column is useful, but 100 marketing columns is much more effective at building a great relationship.

My key point on thinking long is that it takes time to build a loyal following for any business.

And if you just focus on trying to only make quick sales, you will miss the opportunity to build long term relationships that can produce regular sales for you over and over again. Which is why you need to think long.

Graham McGregor is a marketing adviser.


Graham McGregor is a marketing adviser.

Act short means you take action and do something with your marketing now

For many years I was looking for the ‘best’ marketing strategies that I could use in my own business and recommend to many of my clients.

The problem was that often while I was looking for the ‘best’ marketing strategies to use, I was not doing any marketing at all.

Since then, I’ve learned that taking daily action with your marketing is the key.

Doing anything at all is far better than looking for the ‘perfect’ marketing strategy.

Here’s an example of taking daily action:

I send out a daily email message to all the subscribers on my email list.

In each message I share a helpful idea, story or strategy that people can use to get better marketing results in some way.

I don’t worry about making each email message my ‘best’ marketing message ever.

Instead, I focus on sending out something useful and positive every day of the week.

This means that over a year my subscribers will hear from me over 300 times in a way that adds value to their lives.

Which builds up a terrific relationship with them.

This leads to a truckload of repeat and referral sales as well.

So with acting short, you do something now with your marketing.

Here’s one way you can act short with your marketing.

Use the OPRN strategy

OPRN stands for One Person Right Now.

This just means you pick one person and do something right now that will make this person love your business and remember it positively.

Here’s an example:

I have a lot of clients that I have done marketing work for in the past.

I picked one of these clients today and sent them a ‘Graham McGregor Thank You For Being a Client Package’.

This package includes a useful hard cover business book by one of my favourite authors, and one of my favourite quotes that is nicely framed.

Plus a shorthand written note that thanks them for their business and for being a client.

I have a dozen parcels like this all made up and ready to send out.

They just need addressing and me to then write a shorthand written card to go with each package.

The key idea behind ‘One Person Right Now’ is that you take action and do something positive right now for one person.

If you use this simple OPRN strategy five days a week that is 250 people a year who now love your business and love what you do for them.

Some of these people will buy more products and services from you.

And some of these people will give you great referral business as well.

In other words you are making your business famous one person at a time.


My recommendation is you use the ‘Think Long and Act Short’ strategy with your own marketing.

It will take time and effort to do.

However, the results are well worth it.

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