When a few guys from Church challenged me to participate in the Spartan Sprint a few weeks ago, I don’t think any of us really expected what we got, and how it would relate to Online Marketing. I know personally speaking I learned so many lessons during that sprint and I want to share a few of them with you. With all of the jumping, crawling, climbing, throwing, rolling, and using muscles that I didn’t know I had helped me clarify a few things that I believe will help you in your Online marketing efforts also when you put things into perspective.
Online Marketing way of life
In my ignorance about the Spartan Sprint, I didn’t train at all (not intentionally) but now that I’ve done it, I wish I had prepared properly for this race because I learned during the race that the 3+ miles that was advertised was more like 5+ which I was not expecting. Usually, you think “Oh another 2 miles is not that big of a deal”. Well after numerous obstacles, and frigid water, as you see in the mud picture, you just don’t expect it.
So how can we relate this to Marketing?
Entrepreneurs, Business owners and Corporate Exec’s that are unfamiliar with the process of creating online marketing campaigns really don’t expect the journey to be more than a few months. If I told them that this is now going to be a lifestyle, and you are going to have to incorporate all facets of Social, Digital and Mobile into your everyday marketing strategies they don’t want to hear that. Although most of the clients we go go see are now realizing that they are going to HAVE to do something in order to stay relevant and compete, AND its going to take multiple years of tracking, testing, and tweaking in order to see a true ROI.
There are going to be Obstacles
The obstacles that we faced were so tough, and they kept coming, and to be honest there was one particular obstacle where I was going to quit. The obstacle where we had to climb over the mud, into the water, in the mud again and into and under the water (mud) and back out almost killed me. I had no idea that if you have cramps and you jump into cold water it locks up your cramps and make them worse.
Your Marketing Obstacles
So how does this relate?Well, in your marketing efforts you are going to face obstacles. You are going to start your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts and nothing is going to happen. Then your website will start losing traffic, and some people will unfollow you and unsubscribe from your mailing list, but these obstacles should be expected and if your Marketing Agency does not inform you of this ahead of time, they are doing you a disservice. I just want you to be aware that Online / Digital marketing is strategy, but should be added as a way of marketing your business where you can track your ROI over a long period of time.
You can’t do it alone
To be totally honest with you, by this time in the sprint I had already known that finish line was really close, and we only had a few more obstacles to go and I kept repeating to myself that I HAVE to finish and its almost done. I will have to stay if I did not have Bobby, Keith, & David with me that day and pushing me to finish and complete the obstacles, I may have quit. The sheer determination to finish and your team cheering you on to the finish is critically important to your success in a race like this.
Why you can’t do it alone with your Online Marketing
The same premise goes into effect here with your Marketing efforts. Most Entrepreneurs and Business owners should continue to focus on what they do best and that is running your business and making sure that you are generating leads via Business development. If you don’t have an internal marketing team, or someone on staff that is an expert and is constantly learning the new trends, then you should hire a Marketing Agency that knows what they are doing.
But how can you tell if a Online Marketing Agency knows what they are doing? They should tell you ahead of time in their scope that Online Marketing is a journey, you will face obstacles, and you will have to pivot and try new things in order to find the correct mix of marketing for your Business. I hope you read this and understand that it’s a process and should be integrated into your everyday way of life Online.
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