Tuesday, July 16, 2013

6 Rules of Biking Applied to Marketing

Mountain biking is a big passion of mine. This weekend while I was riding, I thought of a few rules of biking/bike racing and was struck by how well those relate back to marketing. I was also thinking about Le Tour De France, and realized that makes this post that much more timely. Here are 6 rules I follow in Biking/Racing that can be carried into our B2B Marketing worlds.

#1 - Ride with people better than you.
If you want to grow and become better at something you need to learn from people that are better than you. When biking, I try to always push myself to the next level by riding with people that are better at specific disciplines. A few years back I bought a new bike, and wanted to hit bigger jumps, faster than I had ever done before. It was scary at first, but I rode with a friend that previously raced downhill competitively, and he encouraged me to push myself and go bigger every time.

Bring it to MarketingMarketing is a HUGE world – No one can be an expert in everything, so find people that have skills in areas you want to grow and share you expertise with them in exchange for their knowledge. Also having people that are going to push you and encourage you to be your best will always help!

(Yes this above picture is me) 

#2 - Don't go around, what you can go over!
When riding mountain bikes part of the fun is obstacles. Sometimes they can appear big and daunting, yet if you stay focused they can be overcome. One thing my downhill racing friend mentioned above says is “don’t go around what you can go over”.  The fastest line is straight down, trying to dodge obstacles will eat time on the clock, and make you lose focus.
Bringing it to marketing – We will come against barriers every day, however we need to understand which ones we can plow through, and which we should go around.

#3 Eat Right!
If you want to perform at your best, you need to eat healthy, and be lean. When you are not riding you need to maintain a general healthy diet, then perhaps most important when riding/racing, continue to consume carbs to keep from bonking (bonking in the bike world is when you reach pure exhaustion)
Bringing it to marketing – Much like carb loading and sustaining energy in biking, we need to feed our marketing funnels. It’s important to use good measurement techniques to stay lean and healthy. It’s always important to keep feeding the funnel, even during the craziness of racing or maybe the marketers version of a race is the end of quarter madness we often see.

#4 - Look where you want to go, not at what you are trying to avoid.
When you get into a very technical section biking it’s easy to look at all the big rocks or trees you don’t want to hit, rather than at the narrow path you want to take. The best way to avoid this is to look way out at your “line” (the path). A common rookie mistake is looking directly in front of your tire, with this you will avoid the short term hazards, but you will lack the line needed to stay on the upright on the bike for the long haul.
Bringing it to marketing - Focus on the goals – have the long term vision in mind and keep your eyes set on it. Don’t be distracted from the bigger goal with all the day to day challenges.

#5 Support teams make a difference
Although many think of biking as an individual sport, in much of racing there are big support teams dedicated to helping. From mechanics, to trainers, coaches, doctors, etc. To win big races support teams are critical. A mechanical issue can put a 1st place rider into DNF (did not finish) faster than anything else.
Bringing it to marketing – utilize and understand who you have for a support team. Do you work with publishers and other partners? Make sure you put them to work for you and maximize the impact they can have on your goals.

#6 Have fun 
If you get to the point that biking isn't fun and is just pure competition you have forgotten the point of it all. Biking is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, don’t train so hard that you don’t look forward to it anymore.
            Bringing it to marketing- Remember work is serious, but it can still be fun. If you don’t like or enjoy you job, then what’s the point?  Let’s have some fun with marketing!

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