Marketing is a Marathon…Are You Training Hard Enough?

 In Content Planning, Content Strategy

Are you training for a marketing marathon?So it’s mid April…How are everyone’s New Year’s resolutions holding up? Still staying strong? If your goal was to lose weight and you’ve kept up with consistent workouts, you’re probably seeing some good results by now…just in time for bikini season!

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve failed, along with the majority of everyone else who made weight-loss resolutions. But why did I fail? Well, it’s pretty simple. I started strong. I was exercising daily and eating better. Me and a few friends were getting together to run or meet up at the gym. But then a few big projects came up. Stress set in. There weren’t (and still aren’t) enough hours in the day. Exercise was the first to go and I’d avoid the phone calls from my workout buddies. Finding time to prepare healthy meals got harder. The stress of work (and two young kids) led to an increase in alcohol consumption. You know the rest of the story. #bikinifail

What About Your 2012 Content Marketing Goals & Resolutions?

Does this situation sound familiar? –> You had a plan for 2012. You and your team started strong executing your content schedule with quality, fresh content. But a few big projects were thrown at you. Planning meetings had to get rescheduled, accountability started to slide and deadlines were missed. Your regular planning and production schedule was put on the backburner. You know the rest of the story. #contentfail

During his keynote at the 2nd Annual Content Marketing Retreat back in February, Rod Brooks, CMO of Pemco Insurance, talked about his New Year’s resolution of needing to exercise more. But his exercise was not just his personal, physical activity level. He also talked about how being successful in business is like successfully running a marathon. And the sales and marketing activities you do every day are like the daily training that is required to ramp up to that marathon distance. We, as marketers, need to make sure we are making time to train every day, consistently, to fuel our businesses and improve our strength, flexibility and speed.

Your “Workout Regiment”

  • Establish benchmarks – It’s hard to determine improvement if you don’t know where you started. Get baselines recorded for all the important metrics within your content marketing and social media programs.
  • Create some goals with deadlines – It’s amazing how much more consistent your workouts will become when you sign up to run a 10k next month. Create some real, attainable goals for your various activities (ex: boost subscriber #’s to X by June 1, increase conversions to X% by July 1). Put a date and a distance out there and force the issue.
  • Hold yourself and your team accountable – Communicate those goals to your superiors. Make a promise to hit them. Create incentives for achieving those goals. Understand or determine consequences for missed deadlines. Stay disciplined and remember everyday that success may have a big impact on your future.
  • Plan and prepare regularly – I don’t know about you, but when my wife and I plan meals for the week, buy all the necessary groceries and know what we need to prepare each night, dinner time is smooth sailing. Not only that, but we typically eat healthier, because we’re not stumped with what to eat and opting to head out to eat somewhere out of shear convenience. Think of your content as the food that fuels your marketing. When you properly plan great meals (content) and execute that plan every week, your marketing will be primed and ready for high performance.
  • “Workout” every day – Based on your goals and overall content marketing strategy, you should know what your daily workout regiment consists of. You may (should) have a workout schedule that is broken up per day (Monday – Back & Biceps, Tuesday- Chest & Triceps, etc.).
  • Rest & Recover – Can you take a day off every now and then? Sure. Those are called weekends. Ask yourself this…Are your competitors taking a day off?

Planning + Consistency + Accountability = Bikini

As I said above, when my wife and I make the time on Sundays to plan, dinnertime is a breeze all week. Make sure you’re making time to plan with your team regularly and then work the plan every day. Be consistent. Hold yourself and your team accountable. Your bikini awaits.

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