You have to play the long game.

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, marketing is a long game.

There is no magic bullet, or overnight success.

Take a look at the top performers in your industry and ask them what they did to get there. They won’t tell you it was SEO, or blogging, or email marketing. They won’t say it was their hilarious Instagram account or their suite of automation tools. They won’t acknowledge that tradeshow booth that cost them a fortune or mention the YouTube video ads they took a chance on last year. They may mention their good work and referrals, but they’ll tell you in the same breath that it’s much more than that, always.

In truth, it’s a little bit of everything. Knowing where to spend your time and money can be challenging when every client or customer interacts with our brand in so many different ways before making that decision. So how do you know what’s working?

Answer: it’s all working. Everything you’re doing is building your business, hopefully in the right direction.

Multi-touch attribution is one of the greatest challenges of modern marketing systems. It’s nearly impossible to do accurately, and only part of a much larger picture that includes customer experience, brand reputation, and intangible emotional reactions.

Of course, we want to be good stewards of our investments (and yours), but for that to happen, you’ve got to be patient.

The marketing you do today is going to grow your business tomorrow, or next year, or in five years. It’s a blog post that finally ranks or an email sent to a contact that you met at that tradeshow four years ago. It’s a good word from a former client and a convincing website.

Success in the marketplace isn’t any one thing, and assigning value to any one thing is misguided and short-sighted.

What, after all, is the value of tenacity and integrity? How much did patience cost?

Keep creating. Keep working. Keep your customer and clients happy.