When I was toeing the start line of the 45th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a lot of things were going through my head. One of the odder thoughts was how my love for running has been an asset in helping me serve my clients.
I’ve been marathoning for over 15 years, and I believe advertisers should consider including an endurance athlete in their digital marketing team. We have transferable skills and traits that can be taken from the track or road to your campaigns.
1. Goal Setting
Before you plan campaigns, set one or two specific goals. Having at least one goal as a guide is motivating and meaningful. One mistake some runners (including me when I was new to the sport) make is to set too many goals. This could lead to disappointment when not all goals are achieved.
Advertisers and their teams can run the risk of prioritizing too many goals as well. Try focusing on measurable goals such as return on ad spend (ROAS), cost per acquisition (CPA), revenue, or volume of purchases. Be clear about your goals when partnering with your digital marketing team. Have an honest conversation with your team about what you want to achieve so there aren’t any surprises.
2. Data and Math
During training runs, I’m constantly calculating math in my head. Even though I use a GPS watch to track distance and pace, I use math to estimate how long it will take to complete a workout.
Your digital marketing team doesn’t need to be made up of math savants, but they should be comfortable with numbers. They can track trends and make simple calculations using the data in the ads interface. Just as in running, estimates and forecasting are incredibly important skills.
Runners will experiment with various shoes, nutrition, or race strategies when training for a goal race. Practicing with new gear or a different gel allows me to test and tweak in a simulated environment.
Advertisers and their digital marketing team can experiment with different creatives, objectives, or budgets. At JumpFly, we encourage our clients to be open to testing because great nuggets can be uncovered when you experiment.
Adaptability is so underappreciated! During marathon training, I will plan my week, and then something out of the blue, such as bad weather, illness, an increased workload, or unexpected travel, might derail my perfect schedule. It can be frustrating, but some modifications can be made with training.
You can plan every detail of a campaign, but you should also anticipate obstacles and disruptions. In addition to having a contingency plan, you can leverage your advertising partners. A skilled digital marketing team is adaptable and may be able to brainstorm ideas if things don’t go according to plan.
5. Staying Competitive
Runners tend to be competitive as they race against themselves, the clock, or fellow competitors. Over the years, I have not lost my competitive nature, and this fuels my motivation. I like to engage in some friendly rivalry with friends and fellow runners. It keeps things interesting!
It is not uncommon for digital marketers to look over the fence and see what their clients’ competitors are running. One of my most used tactics to stay competitive is to check the Meta Ad Library or TikTok Top Ads. These are excellent tools for exploring paid social ads and sparking creativity.
6. Staying Informed
Lastly, marathoners will read articles, watch videos, and listen to podcasts about running to absorb information that is relevant to our training. Information is a resource that is abundant and widely available. Sifting through all the information can practically be a full-time job!
At JumpFly, your account team stays informed with industry best practices, the latest trends, and the newest updates. Much of the knowledge gained is shared on the JumpFly blog, so make sure you check it regularly.