I still remember my first WOD. Squats, sit ups, press ups and running. It changed my life. For the last four years, I have been getting up at 5am four mornings a week to head to CrossFit Taurus, and this weekend I’m competing in the inaugural CrossFit Taurus New Zealand National Finals out at Mystery Creek.
But what has CrossFit got to do with marketing you might ask? More than you might expect.
Here are the top five things CrossFit has taught me about the marketing industry.
1. If at first you don’t succeed…
Don’t ask me how many times I tried to do a rope climb before I managed to get to the top. My hands hurt, despite layers of chalk, I got rope burn down my legs and my jaw hurt from clenching my teeth so much, but I was determined to reach that red line. What did that experience teach me? If at first you don’t succeed, get up and try again. The same can be said when it comes to a marketing campaign. Not all will work, but that’s ok. As long as you learn from the experience. Not every campaign is going to be as successful as the last – or the next – but being able to measure the success and understand why something did and didn’t work is going to help you improve your technique so you can achieve the end goal.
2. Build up to things
CrossFit relies on core strength. Each exercise is humanly possible, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. I remember the first time I tried to deadlift 50kg – I thought my body was ready for the challenge, but it hurt my back. My core strength wasn’t as strong as I needed it to be, the foundations weren’t there…yet. Fast forward to now and I’ve deadlifted 110kg. It’s taken time, it’s taken patience and it’s taken a focus on building up my body’s foundations – everything that’s needed to establishing a marketing strategy. Here at HGB, when it comes to implementing a marketing strategy for each of our clients, the foundations are where we start. We look at the core of the organisation – their purpose, their goals and, most importantly, their values. Without these building blocks, from which small steps can be taken, the result you want will remain out of reach.
3. Gain a different perspective
Walking 4m across the floor on your hands certainly sends a rush of blood to the head, but then it’s always good to look at things from a different perspective, right? This is particularly important when it comes to marketing. Always step back and look at things from a different angle. Sometimes we need to try a different approach, put on our buyer personas hat and remember there is life outside of our own business. Taking a moment to view it a little differently could make the difference to ensuring your marketing campaign gets those extra results.
4. Assess your competition
I love CrossFit for the simple reason that it makes me challenge myself. Every single WOD I undertake is an opportunity for me to push myself that little bit harder, drive myself closer to my PB. It’s a personal challenge, and no-one else’s but mine. However, when it comes to a competition, then that’s a different story. I want to know who I’m up against, what their strengths and weaknesses are. Here in the office, I want to know the same about each of my clients’ competitors. When we’re working with a client on their marketing strategy, who are they up against? What’s their point of difference? This weekend, I have two days of competition ahead of me, I’ve got to strategise. When I’m back in the office on Tuesday (rest day needed!) my focus will be on my clients again and their strategies. A little competition is healthy after all!
5. No pain, no gain
Four years of CrossFit – oh there’s been pain. Like the time I didn’t have a spot on a back squat and dropped the bar down my back but, it’s true what they say, no pain, no gain. Or, how I prefer to describe it, no investment, no return. If there’s one thing CrossFit has taught me over the years, it’s that you get out what you put in. And that’s what I tell our clients. Marketing is an investment, but at HGB we make sure our clients’ investment is the right investment. That’s why we go through the process of a marketing strategy with them, that’s why we sit down to understand their mission and vision, their values, what makes them tick, their BHAG. It’s all about information gathering. With this resource in hand, we can develop a strategy that will work and target the customers they want to target to get the results they want to get. This ensures our clients will get a return on their investment – and that’s rewarding, for us and for them.