What Running Taught Me About Marketing
Almost 10 years ago, my family and I were on vacation in Charleston, S.C., when we stumbled upon a pack of runners. Clad in wrapping paper and antlers, with dogs dressed as elves, these locals were taking part in a December tradition: The Reindeer Run. And they were obviously having a lot of fun.
My wife and I knew immediately — this needed to happen in our community. And now it does! We co-founded the Reindeer Fun Run, and for nine Decembers now, thousands of participants have gathered in our beautiful corner of North Carolina to run, jog, laugh, celebrate and support a good cause (all money is donated to our local Boys & Girls Clubs).
I've always been an entrepreneur and marketer, but I never considered the possibility of being a runner until that day in Charleston. After running regularly for nine years, it's changed my outlook on life. And to my surprise, it's taught me a few things about marketing, too.
Start With the Basics
When it comes to running, all you really need in order to begin is a good pair of shoes and the drive to go (actually, even the shoes are optional). Maybe a long-sleeved shirt, if it's cold. Watches, timers, gloves and vests, this stuff is nice, but not always necessary. That's because extraneous gear isn't going to be the determining factor in your success. Willpower, or mental strength, is what's going to push you toward your goal.
Good marketing is built upon the basics, and it requires that same core strength. Do you have strong data, analytics and content capabilities? Is your team cohesive? Is everyone working toward a common, understood goal? It pays to follow trends, but to be successful you must first have the basics in place.