So, in support of Bike Week 2017 (10th – 18th June), and because quite frankly I am a crazy bike lover, I thought I would put myself forward to write our next company blog!
You are probably wondering where the connection is between marketing and cycling? It is not a tenuous link, I promise…
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. This means repetition and motion is key, whether you’re marketing your business or riding your bike, you must keep pedaling, otherwise, you will stop. Simple.
It starts with planning. When I am getting ready for my next bike ride I check a few things, for example, the weather forecast to ensure I have the right clothing, I check my tyres are inflated, that I have lights if it turns dark, fuel if it’s a long journey and my helmet for protection.
In marketing, planning comes first. You need to know who your audience is, the message you want to tell, the best marketing channels to reach them and how you will exploit these channels and measure your impact. It is a pre-planned journey. That’s not to say you won’t be hit by obstacles on the way, things like weather change, pot-holes and the annoying punctures that can stop you momentarily (oh and in my experience skip lorries – they can cause a detour to the hospital!). The key is momentarily, there are usually several routes that can lead you to your destination, just keep trying until your reach your goal.
Feel the wind in your hair
You’re prepared and know your journey ahead, it’s time to get those wheels into motion and get out there. Bikes are designed to be used, not stored away for months on end, and marketing is the same, you need to be active and keep that motion going. Even when you are pedaling into a strong wind and feel like you are going backwards, or up a hill where you can’t see the top, you need to keep going.
Remember to look back on your journey…
You’ve finally made your destination. Your journey may have changed from your initial plans, but you got there. The key now is to reflect on that journey. After a ride, I always analyse my stats to understand my performance, like speed, distance and altitude climbed. I track every ride, so I can analyse my overall performance for the year, and set new goals for the following. I also review my bike and kit, is everything still in good condition for the next ride? Did it make for a comfortable journey or could improvements be made? i.e. new tyres to reduce punctures, warmer clothing for colder months.
Marketing is exactly the same. Measurement and analysis is essential. Your message is now in the market, and so what? What is the outcome? You need to know the effectiveness of your marketing effort, to know if the journey is worth repeating or if it needs tweaks. It may be that you need new systems to help with the execution of your campaign, or a process to collect metrics for analysis, or review your audience and their needs.
Marketing, and learning to ride a bike are both experimental. You can only succeed by staying with it and remaining flexible to different routes and ways. Whether you want to become a strong cyclist, or a solid marketer, you will need dedication, passion and energy to keep those wheels rolling.
If you need help with any of the stages listed above, please contact us. We can help businesses get their marketing programs moving in the right direction.
Senior Account Manager at CMe Media