How Marathon Monday is Like a Marketing Strategy

Running a marathon is like a marketing strategy.

If you are a runner, you are probably aware that completing a marathon is one of the greatest challenges a runner can face, but also well worth the reward of crossing the finish line at the end. As it takes a full 26.2 miles to complete a marathon, runners realize this is no easy task. Training can take people years to get their bodies physically and mentally fit. Marathon Monday is like a marketing strategy. Not everyone runs in Marathon Monday (every Patriot’s Day in Boston) and likewise, not all companies engage in marketing tactics for their businesses. Marketing strategies may be that uphill battle (Commonwealth Ave. for the Boston Marathon, anyone?), but when said and done, completing a successful marketing initiative for a business is that feeling of euphoria that runners experience after crossing the finish line. And here’s why:

1. Training and mental preparation

Just like a runner preparing to train their body to run 26.2 miles up hills and over varying terrain, a company who wants to promote their brand must take appropriate measures before executing their plan. By surveying the space around them, and seeing what has or hasn’t already been done, brands can get a feel for what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past. What’s original versus what’s old and stale? Companies brainstorming original and fresh marketing perspectives will be the ones to hit the jackpot at the end.

2. Need an H20 break along the way? Take some time and reboot the engine

On Marathon Monday, most runners are not in-it-to-win-it, but for the sheer experience of running a marathon and being cheered on by thousands of fellow Bostonians handing out water, Gatorade and orange slices for energy. Sometimes runners need to take a break and re-assess their strategy. Have they started off fast in the beginning and are feeling tired only a few miles into the race? Similar to marketing strategies, sometimes it’s best to take a break and learn to pace yourself. For marketers, the same applies. Whether it’s a campaign, project or promotion, brands simply cannot execute their strategies in one sitting. These efforts take time and will not be successful overnight. Ample planning, meeting, research and execution time should be spaced out over the course of a significant period of time to show appropriate results.

3. Don’t give up yet: the finish line is in sight!

Whether you’re a marketer or a runner or something else, many of us have experienced that “YOU’RE SO CLOSE” moment through races, initiatives, or even a simple workout on the elliptical when you just really want to get off at minute 27 instead of pushing through to minute 30. Everyone wants to give up at the end; after all, they put in ample effort at this point and have become over exhausted, overheated, and simply, over it. But it’s at this point where you must find it within yourself to cross the finish line. No, it’s not easy, but don’t forget to listen to those cheers of encouragement coming from the sidelines. The uphill battle is almost over as you can see the Prudential tower in sight. Marketing strategies feel the same way! Maybe brands have failed in the past, or they cannot get a hold on their targeted demographics. Whatever the reason may be, by pushing yourself and your brand to the limit, you will be able to finish proud and accomplished.

Do you have a story of a marketing campaign that felt like you were running an uphill battle? Let us know below!