Why Great Marketing Is Like Going to the Gym


We are often asked, what makes great marketing? It would probably be good for our job security if marketing was somehow like brain surgery, or some other deep mysterious calling that only a few can do. Instead, to market smarter, it actually takes a little bit of practical experience and a lot of common sense.

Many of us have heard the adage that marketing is a lot like going to the gym. With the advent of basketball’s March Madness, we thought that a workout-based blog post would make sense. As luck would have it, we have a number of athletes on the TribalVision team, so we asked them about what it takes to perform on the field. Here’s what they think:

  • Do the little things well: In general, consistency beats grand plays at the final buzzer. Staying true to the fundamentals like a regular email nurturing plan or personally following up with every qualified lead, are keys to staying on top.
  • Have a short memory: The best athletes keep their eyes forward and easily let go what happened yesterday. They learn from both successes and failures, but they don’t dwell on them. Similarly, you need to treat every sales call or campaign as a new opportunity to get in front of your audience. One problem call or disappointing send should never sway you from your overall campaign goals. Like watching game tape, look at your metrics, and assess what you can do better next time – and then move on.
  • Make a plan: Great sports legacies don’t happen by accident. They start with a dedicated coach, a comprehensive training regimen and a game plan. Similarly, well-run companies rarely have ad hoc policies, but rather strategic plans to improve their businesses. For the same reason, we start every marketing engagement with a strategic plan, to look at businesses inside and out, and determine the best plan of attack.

Great college athletes don’t just sit around and wonder whether Michigan can really build a legacy or not. Instead, they spend hours strength training in the gym, and watching tape to see what tweaks will improve their shooting percentages. To quote Any Given Sunday, “(sports are) a game of inches.” So is marketing.

This month, ask yourself what incremental business improvements you can make to improve your customer experiences? Is there one thing you can do to better touch your customers? What is the one thing you can do, consistently, that will truly to change the game for your business?

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