Here is the thing about marketing:
There are two sides the marketing. As Aaron Webber would say, "It's Fireworks v.s Constellations."
On one side of marketing, there is the POP, the short term, the burst of energy, the viral ad, the brilliant Super Bowl spot, the commercial that everyone imitates and talks about for months, even years.
On the other side, you have the vision, the long term goal and where you see your brand in five, ten, twenty years. This should be what you are ultimately working towards.
Where so many businesses, brands, even celebrities with their own personal brands go wrong is they forget about the long term. They all—from the IBMs of the world to the Pop stars to the local restauranteur who just opened shop down the street— they all want (and often need) immediate results. They need sales NOW. They need traffic NOW. And so, as a result, they look for the big PR company with a few home runs under their belt, hoping for the same POP in attention that will catapult them up through the noise of everyone else.
The problem, however, is that these short-term decisions fail to keep one eye on the end goal. At BGO (Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious) we call this having "Double Barrel Vision." You need to have one eye on the reality of your current position—maybe you really do need sales right now and you need some creative solutions in order to make something happen fast. But at the same time, in the same stride, you also need to be aware that whatever you choose to do now will also have an impact on where you end up later.
Every move you make, every campaign, every partnership or sponsorship is a chapter in your brand's story.
You might find a great short term solution that ends up creating a huge issue down the road. Or, you might struggle to find any short term solutions because you are too focused on a "future vision" that doesn't have any legs yet.
The key to being a better marketer is to be aware of both. Balance.
Know what can get you a little added buzz for the time being without sacrificing the long idea.
Also know what short term ideas will end up making your long idea that much harder to manifest, and choose accordingly.
Also found on Quora