It’s the start of another year, and like many of you, the thought of losing a few pounds has crossed my mind. But the older we get, it certainly seems more and more difficult because our body’s metabolism appears to slow with age. Every five to ten years or so, the scale in my bathroom reminds me that things are changing. It’s time once again to evaluate my eating habits and re-think my exercise program. I’m just a couple of weeks into my latest physical fitness effort and several ideas struck me as a perfect analogy to our business and marketing goals:
It’s tough to change
Whether we’re talking about our diet or our marketing strategy, admitting that things are not working and moving the program in a new direction is incredibly difficult. Yet, it is inevitable that the things that kept our weight in check, and kept our customers or members happy in the past, may no longer be effective. As Dr. Spencer Johnson wrote in his great book a few years ago, our “cheese” is always “moving”. (Yum, did somebody mention cheese? There goes my diet!)
Getting started can be the hardest part
Once we’ve decided that adjustments are needed, we find that implementing the new plans can be quite a hurdle. The daily routine is deeply embedded with our eating habits as well as our business protocols. Changing how things are done with your marketing communications requires more thought and planning than doing it the way it has always been done. The risks are higher also. Investing in new creative concepts or testing new marketing channels is like buying a meal plan from Weight Watchers or another diet program. What if this doesn’t work and we end up pouring money down the drain? The fear of failure often leads to procrastination, but it can also serve as motivation, as I’ve discussed in an earlier post.
Results come slowly
After my first week of serious calorie deprivation and a dramatic increase in my activity level, I stepped on the scale excited to find out how many pounds had dropped off. Surprise! Nothing had changed. Not a single pound. It takes time, I am told, for our bodies to begin to show the effects of these lifestyle changes. Similarly, your new marketing strategies will not show magical results overnight. You’ll need to be patient and not abandon a new campaign too soon.
Consistency is the key
It is clear to me that a long term view and consistent execution of this new fitness plan will be required for success. An effective integrated marketing strategy will only work if you are committed to investing upfront and resolved to staying patient and focused over time. Stick with it! Soon, you will begin to reap the rewards of both your fitness program and that new marketing campaign.
Mike Petrusky is an Account Executive for Kayrell Solutions. He has been offering marketing products, services and solutions to clients for over twenty years. He’ll be the first to admit that none of this is easy, whether talking about exercise or marketing. But, it helps to have a friend by your side in both cases. You can follow him @MikePetrusky on Twitter.