How Marketing Is Like Watch Making


Watches are common. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors—and definitely different prices. While there are some major differences among watches, they all serve the same purpose—well they should—to tell time. But a watch’s functionality is fading, and it is slowly becoming merely an accessory. Ask someone wearing a watch for the time. He or she probably won't just glance at their wrist—he or she will pull their phone out. 

What a shame that watches are falling by the wayside! While a watch’s outside may seem simple, its inside includes an intricate system with the capability to keep time! It is baffling when you take the time to think about it: What was once a technological marvel is now a simple accessory.

In case you are wondering why I am on a soapbox about appreciating watches, let me make my point: Marketing is like watch making. There are two major components to watch making: function and design. A great watch has both these components seamlessly integrated. And the same goes for marketing!

There are two definitive sides to marketing: science and art. Too many times people will mistake advertising as marketing, but that is wrong! Advertising is simply the housing of the mechanism that is marketing—it is the art aspect. You need to have both components to create marketing that works, just like a watch. 

Let’s look at some simple solutions to help you build a beautiful, working watch (marketing strategy). 

1. Institute a plan

As the saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Because every company has limited resources, a plan is important. If your resources run out after you make a great housing or mechanism, you are left with a half-finished watch! While every plan will contain different elements, make sure to include:

  • Budget

  • Target Market

  • Advertising Channels

  • Reporting 

  • Goals

While these elements may seem obvious, they are often overlooked. Also in your plan, identify both sides of marketing. You want everything to be packaged well, but the primary purpose of marketing—return on investment (ROI)—should never be lost in pretty advertisements. 

As a side note, it is easy to get caught up in having elaborate advertising campaigns aired on television and having your story published in a high profile magazine, but it is important to keep ROI at the forefront of your marketing. In your marketing, don't do things that make you feel good, but do things that work. Effective marketing isn't always pretty, but it doesn't have to be; it just has to work, which means it makes you money.

2. Identify your brand

Thousands of brands are doing really cool things, but you have to pick only one path in order to get where you want to be. Defining your brand is crucial to your success. As we mentioned, your resources will only take you a certain distance. Don't waste time and resources trying to be something you are not. You won't find Rolex making a $25 watch to gain more market share. They know who they are and are committed to producing a product that reflects their brand. Choose a path, get moving, and start seeing progress. 

3. Implement a process

In order to avoid the pitfall of feel-good marketing, implement a process. You have a plan and a brand identity, now it’s time to make things happen. A process will help generate more results using less of your resources and should be part of your plan. You know where you want to go; the process is how you get there. 


A good process will keep your branding uniform. Uniformity is especially important when it comes to your advertising and promotions. Everything you are putting out in the marketplace should be saying the same thing and making your brand more effective.  

If a watchmaker didn't have a specific process on how each watch was to be made, you could be certain that the product would not be uniform. The chances of having each watch working would be slim to none. Having a process is vital to your marketing and business success.

4. Improve

If you don't have a standardized plan or process it will be impossible to improve. And in order to improve, you have to know how you are performing. Every marketing effort should be measured. Take the information you have gathered and apply it to your plan and process. If something isn't working, fix it or stop doing it.

Marketing dollars are supposed to come back, and they are supposed to multiply. Making something pretty may be fun, but it also needs to be functional. Always measure your efforts to make them more efficient—like a recent post we wrote on getting the most out of your Pay-Per-Click campaign.

Similarly, your first watch will probably not be your best watch. Keep track of how you do things, and you’ll be able to make a better product at a lower cost. Constantly improve and see your efforts pay off.

5. Invest

You may be tempted to skimp on marketing. But marketing isn't just another cost it's an investment. It is important to have both aspects of marketing covered in your plan. If your marketing only contains the art aspect it will be another overhead cost. Invest in a functional marketing plan that will make you money.

Investing requires thinking long term. While it can affect today's bottom line negatively, if it is done correctly it can positively affect the future. 


If you want to keep buying cheap, half-finished watches, be my guest. But if you are serious about your business and want something that not only works but is also something you can be proud of, it will take an investment of resources. Do it right the first time and stop wasting time and money.

These are some simple solutions that, if followed, can make a huge difference in your business. Marketing is important to any business, and it requires both science and art to come together that makes a working, lead producing, money-making machine. When making your “watch,” always consider both aspects.

About the Author

Luke Fortin

I'm Luke Fortin, CEO of Farmore Marketing. Originally from Turner, Maine,  I achieved my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Clearwater Christian College in 2013. I love the combination of business and art that marketing provides--I believe it's what makes a business unique and successful. 

You can connect with me here:

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