The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

~Chinese Proverb

So, what does planting trees have to do with marketing?!

Everything!  I saw this proverb and it is so true!  My husband and I moved into our home 14 years ago, and he has since been planting trees.  Some have been ravaged by deer, some that have been washed away in floods, and others just didn't make it.  But every year, he talks about planting a new tree...where should it go, what kind of tree, how will we care for it until it can stand on its own?

When I talk to companies about marketing, I always want to know what they've tried, what has worked and what hasn't, and what their plans and goals are.  No matter how they answer those questions, the strategy we develop doesn't matter unless it's implemented.  Once we put it into place, we need to nurture it and tend to it, and, like the tree, we may not see the "fruits" of our labor for a while.  We can sometimes predict the time period in which we expect to see results...but sometimes we can't.  Outside factors can impact our marketing.  Those factors may require us to make adjustments, and sometimes it feels like we are starting over, but they can't be controlled.  They have to be accommodated and worked in to our plan.

But if we don't implement -- if we do nothing -- nothing happens.  We have to take the step to plant the tree, sow the seeds.  We have to commit to our plan and continue to nurture them until we see results.

And we have to remember that the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago; today that tree would be mature and hardy and producing leaves and fruit and shade. But if you didn't plant your tree 30 years ago, or 30 days ago, the next best time to plant your tree is today.