Three Athletics Tips for Successful Marketing Directors

If you were to ask who is drinking a coffee one meter away from you, what a marketing director has in common with the discipline of athletics, there could be two plausible reactions. The first, he would scrutinize you with curiosity thinking he did not understand the question; the second, he would think that you are a madman and / or a time waster.

Yet there is a common thread that finds its starting point in athletics to be summarized in the figure of a triumphant marketing director. In particular, there are three lessons that a marketing manager should treasure, coming from three different disciplines of athletics: the relay , the high jump and the marathon. 

The relay : synonymous with team enhancement

The relay represents the only competition in athletics that can be defined as a team. It is part of the fast running disciplines and consists in passing, in the shortest possible time, a “baton” between the four participating athletes. To achieve a good result, athletes must be motivated and coordinated to achieve a common goal, victory. Relay is the sport where the need for excellent coordination and motivation by all team members is most evident, as if one of the riders slows down or is not motivated enough, the whole team will not reach the finish line. Likewise, if in a marketing consultation with a client a member of the expert team is not sufficiently prepared or motivated, there could be a risk that the meeting will not go through. In a team, as in a team, if the responsibilities are not equally distributed, if there is not the right motivational charge and if you do not give value to the group but to the single person, you risk failure. The marketing director must therefore think of being the coach of a team ready to run a relay, motivating it day by day, creating positive synergies and enhancing the peculiar characteristics of each member, so as to create a strong and cooperative team capable of facing any difficulty to achieve a common goal.

The leap high : dare to innovate 

The leap high

American Dick Fosbury, universally recognized for having won the 1968 Olympics in high jump, for several years before the victory, was tempted to give up athletics as he could not jump higher than other opponents. The athletes of the time used the “scissor” technique which consisted of approaching the horizontal bar and throwing over it, first one leg and then the other, with a movement that resembles scissors blades. Demotivated, frustrated and unable to get good results with the “scissor”, he had the intuition of a reverse jump. He sensed that by varying the “scissor” jump, his back would flatten on the bar so as to go even higher. He was initially considered a fool by the technicians of the time as the jump was performed backwards. Nowadays, instead, the artists jump on their backs with what is still called the “Fosbury jump”. Dick Fosbury saw the future by experimenting with new techniques and going against common dogmas, thus revolutionizing the discipline of high jump. Equally, the marketing director should transform what is considered the norm into fertile ground for experimenting and daring new visions and strategies that could become the models of the future. The winning marketer, in fact, is the one who with perseverance, determination and courage, explores new opportunities by emerging from the stale present and looking at the future from new perspectives. thus revolutionizing the discipline of high jump. Equally, the marketing director should transform what is considered the norm into fertile ground for experimenting and daring new visions and strategies that could become the models of the future. The winning marketer, in fact, is the one who with perseverance, determination and courage, explores new opportunities by emerging from the stale present and looking at the future from new perspectives. thus revolutionizing the discipline of high jump. Equally, the marketing director should transform what is considered the norm into fertile ground to experiment and dare new visions and strategies that could become the models of the future. The winning marketer, in fact, is the one who with perseverance, determination and courage, explores new opportunities by emerging from the stale present and looking at the future from new perspectives.

The marathon : training as a strategy for a long-term victory

The marathon

The marathon is a foot race run over the distance of 42.195 km. The marathon runner, like the marketing director, must evaluate two fundamental factors to reach the finish line: time and strategy. To prepare for a marathon, the athlete must consider the necessary training time, and above all define a training program aimed at being able to cover about 42 km. Similarly, the marketing director should optimize the time available, so that his team is able to have the energy necessary to create and propose winning strategies, as well as increasing the skills of each member through specific training courses. In marathons, as in marketing, the results of preparatory training are measured in the medium and long term,

Conclusion

  To find a correlation between the ancient discipline of athletics and a marketing director, it is enough to look at the disciplines of the relay, the high jump and the marathon from a different perspective. The latter can provide important lessons for marketing directors who are not interested in “participating”, but are interested in reaching the finish line with a team of motivated, courageous and professionally grown people. After all, the guy who might have considered you crazy for the question asked over a coffee was not completely wrong: a pinch of madness is necessary to look at reality from a different point of view.

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