In marketing we talk about setting short-term goals and long-term goals, the basic concept of a step-by-step approach to achieving your objectives. While a great concept on paper, when human nature takes over we often end up celebrating after the success of a short-term goal and letting the long-term goals slip.
This is something I call the ‘High Five Syndrome’. You often see it displayed at industry trade shows where the marketing department work night and day to prepare for the show, with branding, collateral, social media plans, and lead generation plans. The trade show team drives lots of traffic to their booth and builds lots of interest. In the end, they consider the show a success, celebrating with the notorious high-five. Unfortunately, the marketing team walk away feeling good about achieving this one short-term success but fail to realize that this is where the work starts, not ends.
With crowdfunding, we often see the same characteristics of the high five syndrome being displayed. Once the money is raised, the entrepreneur team breath a sigh of relief and feel that the hardest part is over. In reality, the hardest part has only just begun.
In an earlier blog I wrote how many of these start-ups have “A” products and “B” teams, a challenging mix. To avoid the high five syndrome and overcome the challenges associated with this AB mix, the newly funded venture needs to realize that the hardest part of the funding journey has just begun. Charlatans will emerge with great suggestions on how best to spend that money; conflicting views amongst team members will arise on which nuances in direction need to be addressed; different viewpoints on how best to spend the marketing dollar will emerge. In the end, the long-term goal suffers.
To avoid the high-five syndrome, it is important that in the pre-campaign phase proper attention is given to how to maximize the return on the funding investment. Clear and articulated next-steps need to be put down on paper. Agreement on what village of support will be employed to make the ultimate goal a success needs to be addressed. Contingency planning in the event that a pivot point needs to be executed in mid-strategy needs to be taken seriously and planned appropriately.
In the end, campaigners need to fight human nature and move beyond executing solely on short-term goals. With less high-fiving and more planning, we will see more successful companies emerge and build a stronger crowdfunding community along the way.