I run marathons, not sprints – the importance of consistency in marketing!
I’ve run 3 marathons, and even completed an off-road ultra-marathon. What I learned pounding the pavement also applied to effective marketing. Here’s how:
Strategy. I completed my ultra-marathon after my 3rd try. Why? I had no strategy going in the first time, was completely unprepared for the hardships of the run and had to bail out. My very sweet husband ended up carrying me home, patching my bruises and handing me tissues, as I cried out my utter disappointment. How does this relate to marketing? If you don’t have a clear understanding of your customer, how they buy and transform that into a clear and coherent brand and marketing strategy you will fail. If you don’t completely fail, you will end up making costly mistakes, in both time and money. Take away: Know your customer, know their needs and build a strategy that fits their course before jumping in.
Training. The second time around in my quest for ultra-marathon “glory”, I did not plan my training around one of the hardest parts of the course, the water section, where a lot of lateral movement was involved. Because of the challenges during this part of the course, my time of off and I was disqualified. Crushed again, my wonderful husband brought me back home. As with any great marketing strategy, an implementation plan will need to be tweaked; knowing your customer is not good enough, you need to be flexible and adapt your strategy in light of what your customer is telling you so that you can overcome your “rapids” and take your organization to your next level. Take away: Make sure your strategy is flexible and is built to adapt to your customer’s purchasing process
Consistency. Third time was the charm – I got my strategy right, adapted my training and was consistent in my training efforts. After 11h40 min., I ran through the finish line! I had achieved my objective and my fabulous husband lifted me onto the podium (I could not take one more step) for a photo op. Consistency in marketing is your brand’s greatest ally. If you want to take your brand to the next level, you will have to implement processes and train your staff in order to ensure that your marketing strategy and plan are implemented consistently. Take away: Strategy and flexibility is just not enough, if your brand is going to be a household name, you will have to be consistent in your marketing and communication efforts.
Note: If you are interested in learning more about the ultra-marathon that was mentioned in this blog post, contact me.