August 15, 2016

Spending vs investing time

With all the high profile sport going on at the moment, my Saturday involved attending something less high-calibre.

Fylde CC

Fylde Cricket Club versus Vernon Carus in the Moore & Smalley Palace Premier Division. I can tell you there was nothing ‘premier’ about it, although Vernon Carus did at least look like they had seen a cricket ball before.

I went with Linzi’s Grandad, Alan, who goes to the cricket at Fylde most Saturdays.

Even though the cricket was terrible it reminded me of a distinction I heard Perry Marshall make a few years ago between spending your time and investing your time.

Going to the cricket with Alan was an investment in family relations. My other alternative for Saturday; watching the Olympics, would simply have been spending my time.

When I meet up with friends I don’t see regularly to watch a Tranmere Rovers match (football), that is an investment in my friendship with them. When I subsequently drink seventeen pints of beer with them after the game, well that’s spending time. At best.

Most people spend an inordinate amount of time on social media. It is possible to invest a small amount of time in maintaining friendships you would otherwise lose, but that isn’t what most people are doing.

When you write marketing communications for the sake of communicating, rather than to deliver an important message, you are spending rather than investing time. When you ‘hammer’ your beleaguered email list with one more self-serving promotion, that’s spending your time because you add no long-term value to your list.

Looking at things the other way, most marketers actually expect their customers to spend time consuming their marketing, when in fact consuming your marketing should be an investment for interested people.

When you send out marketing messages – in any format – are you asking people to spend time or invest time? Do you leave them better off at the end?

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.