August 11th, 2016
As I embark on my third triathlon of the summer this weekend, the approach to prepare and train for such an endurance event can be equally applied to marketing campaigns. Planning, discipline and continuous adjustments are key to acclimating yourself to the physical and emotional stress of swimming, biking and running across long distances in sweltering environments.
A successful triathlon can be defined in many ways ranging from winning hardware or successfully getting out of the water to achieving a personal record or simply finishing. It all starts with a plan and building in adequate time to train. I started training months in advance working on swimming, biking and running as well as strength training and boxing for conditioning.
Similarly, marketing campaigns require planning and lead time to adequately prepare for a launch. Developing the messaging, storylines, content, creative assets plus orchestrating the channels and other tools requires a multitude of resources and a detailed timeline.
Once a plan is defined, it must be executed with focus, effort and continuous action. Triathlon training can be monotonous – endless laps in the pool, hitting the pavement in the early morning, and evening sessions at the park or gym. Focusing on the outcome will fuel the discipline to stay engaged with the tasks.
Marketing campaigns also need discipline, especially when dealing with deadlines, budgets, personnel and external resources. Clearly communicating the timeline and scope of work will ensure everyone involved understands their respective role in supporting the overall launch.
Mike Tyson so eloquently said, “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” This is applicable to triathlons and marketing campaigns. Even with the proper preparation and training, participating in a triathlon will undoubtedly require adjustments based on a variety of race-day conditions, such as weather, competitors, equipment, etc.
Based on feedback, marketing campaigns require agility to make adjustments to the cadence of the launch, frequency of activities and even the messaging, storylines and channels.
So with the temperature and humidity expected to feel more than 100 degrees this weekend, I look forward to seeing how my planning and discipline prepared me for the stifling conditions.
I am sure there will be some adjustments along the way.