The other day, as we pondered our (heavy) work plan together for the upcoming six weeks, a startup mission-driven client asked if there were guidelines for deciding when to do what first for your marketing strategies. I quickly sketched out the axes and curves for the three horizons of growth.

Thinking of growth horizons was helpful in this instance as it has been many times before. So with due apologies to McKinsey, who originated the three horizons framework based on research into how companies sustain growth, I will dive into how to maximize your most effective marketing strategies today without cannibalizing your opportunities for tomorrow. My focus here is on the short-term versus long-term marketing trade-offs faced by nonprofits, professional services firms and triple bottom line companies interested in sustainability.