12 Most Mundane Ways Marketing Is Like Working Out

12 Most Mundane Ways Marketing Is Like Working Out

So, yeah, we know the title needs to be more “catchy” with a word other than mundane to up the clicks, readership, stickiness on the 12 Most site, etc.  But, friends, the word mundane is deliberate… There are times in life and business where you’ve got to do the mundane to maintain the fundamentals. Oh sure, we could all get some fancy business tools, a sort of Business Botox, to keep us looking good on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside where the actual work sometimes has to take place.

Just think of the daily trip to the gym. Sometimes we look forward to it and, if you’re like Parissa, you sometimes go even if it’s the least enjoyable option presented to you. If you’re in this thing for the long haul (and you’ve a non cooperative metabolism), you go because you know that ultimately, it’s good for you. And, between us friends, you feel much better and you’re glad you went after it’s all over.

And with that, we’d like to present to you our list… drum roll please….

1. Yeah, it’s repetitive.

So, here’s the thing. Marketing doesn’t yield instant results and neither does one go at the elliptical. To get the long term benefit, you have to go every day, continue at the same pace and the same level of energy for someone else to notice and say, “Hey, looking good!”

2. And, oh yeah, it’s iterative.

Lest you think this is the same as #1, well…  okay, somewhat. Why do they tell you to do two sets of 20? The iterative process trains your muscles. Why does someone new to marketing manage more of the tactical and iterative pieces of a campaign? For the same reason – we need to train our marketing muscles.

3. It hurts sometimes.

Anytime you try a new exercise, there’s a chance you’ll “feel it” the next day because you’ve worked something that doesn’t normally get worked. After a while, though, it becomes something easier to do over time. And so with marketing, it does happen when we do the new and different, our heads get turned around. Looking back, we see how important those lessons were in forming who we are as marketers today.

4. Camaraderie.

Parissa works out with her sister on Saturday mornings. It’s a way for them to spend time together doing something good for themselves. They are each other’s motivators. This is something we should do more of within our marketing teams. We should be relying on each other for support and encouragement – and yes some “spotting” when some heavy lifting is involved.

5. We need trainers sometimes.

On these same Saturday mornings, Parissa and her sister are supervised by a trainer. He pushes them harder than perhaps they’d push themselves. And, he makes sure they learn the exercises the right way to prevent future injury. Senior marketers should embrace the role of guidance counselor and trainer. There is much to be taught to junior colleagues so that they don’t fall into a sandtrap with a healthy dose of the socratic method.

6. Use it or lose it.

If you’re not a dedicated gym fan, whatever good you do your body can melt away pretty quickly. To always want to invite people to your “gun show” (h/t Will Ferrell), you better make sure your bicep curls are on point. Similarly, you can’t “shut off” your marketing brain and think that these programs can take care of themselves. You always have to work for the results.

7. It’s not always fancy.

So, the good news in the gym is that you don’t need to spend thousands on equipment to build up muscle. You can accomplish quite a bit with some 12 pound weights, a chair, an exercise ball and a mat. Exercise your marketing muscle, sharpen your pencil, use your ears, ask good questions and focus on your customer. Every fancy tool is awesome but sometimes collects dust like your treadmill in your bedroom after the novelty is over.

8. It can make your heart race.

Like a good go of cardio on your favorite elliptical, a meaty marketing role can make your heart race in very good ways. Try to channel that awesome marketing cardio everyday. Not only will you keep learning – but your customers will reward your passion with continued loyalty.

9. Someone changes the channel.

When you’re at a large gym, you sometimes watch TV (Parissa, oddly, enjoys FoodTV – don’t judge). At times, someone will walk in and change the channel to Price is Right without asking. If you’re stuck on a machine, you take it in stride and turn the iPod up high and keep on going. And so in marketing, things will change in an instant. Take a deep breath, don’t let it distract you and keep your eyes on the marketing exercise prize.

10. You should let them see you sweat.

If you’re not sweating in the gym, you’re not doing anyone any favors. So too with marketing, it takes time, effort and energy. Related to #1, you’ve got to make the commitment and apply the same level of exertion to see sustainable results – something we all want.

11. Be comfortable.

They recommend proper exercise clothing and shoes when you go to the gym to minimize distraction/discomfort and maximize the time spent and energy exerted. In marketing, get familiar with your product, your value proposition and your customer — as well as the interplay between the three — so that you can better utilize the resources at hand and maximize your chances of success.

12. Celebrate!

Parissa lost 30 pounds to celebrate turning 30. It was a tough go but when she reached her goal, she allowed herself a new wardrobe to celebrate her success — and to stay motivated to keep the weight off. If we keep hitting our marketing goals without acknowledging the team that  delivered it, the accomplishment means less and the slacking begins.

We want to be clear that all of the great tools out there to drive acquisition, loyalty and engagement are blessings and preferred to the days of the abacus when Parissa learned about marketing. Our concern is that these flashy things can sometimes have nothing to do with the price of gold when it comes to the basics of marketing exercise.

What are other ways you find marketing similar to working out?

Featured image courtesy of  licensed by Abdullah AL-Naser via creative commons.

678 Partners


678 Partners helps senior executives find the revenue they didn’t know they had. Amir Rafizadeh, the Network Sommelier, creates customized strategic business development for his clients much like how one pairs a wine with a great meal. Over the past two decades, Amir has developed and mastered advanced rainmaker strategies that can create incremental revenue for his clients. Parissa Behnia, the Idea Chef, helps companies whip up meals in their marketing kitchens that delight customer appetites and make them come back for more. Her irrepressible imagination and strategic mindset are the salt and pepper of her business arsenal and are tools that can be applied to many industries.

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