Every relationship needs an audit.

I recently got out my old bike.  It’s a Schwinn, cruiser type, with an old basket and a cute bell.

 

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I expected it to perform like it had every other time I got it out of the garage.  Without giving much thought to it, I assumed the tires were full of air, that the brakes would be functional and that the old bell on the handlebars would announce me as I cruised down the trail.

You know how this is going to end. 

Without all the details:  Tires . . . flat.  Valve stem. . .cracked and leaking.  Brakes . . . very little.  Bell . . . well that was the only bright spot.  These discovered defects were over two bike rides on two hot days — of course all my husband’s fault, so now he’s in trouble too.

Was it naïve of me to think that a bike I bought in 2000 for $99 would still be a trusted and reliable friend in 2017? I’ve never had it looked at by a professional.  I have added some air to the tires . . . because heck, I don’t ride more than a few times a summer, what could go wrong?

These series of events got me thinking about how not only personal relationships need attention, tune-ups, some love and understanding, but also companies and businesses that use marketing tactics to drive business through the door, to educate, and to create top-of-mind awareness.

Like my bike, you can’t just buy it and let it sit.  You can’t put up a website and wipe your hands and say it’s done.  Social media and branding need constant attention.  Decisions about marketing campaigns, updating the look of your company and even reinventing what it is you do and how you do it — happens over time as a result of constant listening, research and time spent contemplating “what if.”

I’ve been married 35 years.  I still have to be reminded to make that extra effort, to be thoughtful, or to suggest a new restaurant.

It would be easier to (buy a bike, create a logo, sign the wedding license) once and be done.  But like my bike – a painless audit at the beginning of my bike riding season would save a lot of back and forth to the bike shop, money and blame.  I’m not a marriage counselor, but if you need a marketing audit, I can help you there — as long as I can fly or drive to visit with you about it.


The Magic of Good Summer Vacations and Great Vacation Marketing Campaigns

With warmer days upon us, my mind wanders to thoughts of summer vacation—the magic of warm evenings, the sense of freedom, and the adventures it promises to bring.

I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a lesser known beach town in Rhode Island. The author ruminated on his decision to write the article, knowing that his words would attract people to his hidden gem. He wanted to hold that place close, preserve it, and have it be everything he always experienced each time he traveled there. In the end, he figured a few extra tourists wouldn’t spoil the spot he held so sacred. The way he described the feeling of the place, the food, the sunsets, the water, the outdoor showers (who doesn’t love a good outdoor shower after a sunny, sandy day at the beach!), the slow pace, and the sense of family, took me back to my summers as a child. We traveled to the northeast every summer to visit my grandparents who lived in Cape Cod, MA. Those summers fostered some of the best memories of my life.  But what is it about those vacations? Is it the place? The experiences? The time with family? The pace? The innocence? Maybe it’s a combination of those things. A good vacation marketing campaign captures all of it.

Travel and vacation destinations are big business. When a marketing campaign does an amazing job at grasping and relaying the sense of time and place, it can stop you in your tracks. One really great campaign that stands out to me is Pure Michigan. The commercials are narrated by Tim Allen and are done in such a way that even the pace of the commercial relays the pace of the place, all in 30 seconds. It doesn’t feel rushed, and the imagery and narrative make you take notice.

Every time a travel commercial comes on the television I find myself stopping to watch, and longing for a vacation, maybe to Michigan! Pure Michigan is by no means a new campaign. It was launched in 2008, but it was so successful they also revamped their logo and website to match the theme, and it has had the legs to stay relevant into the present. It wasn’t simply a one-off summer campaign that was done once the leaves started to change colors!

A more recent campaign that really grabbed me, mostly for its humor, is the Las Vegas “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign. In one of the commercials a woman comes home from Vegas and tells her husband how much fun she had, pulling out her sketchbook to show him her “sketches” instead of photos of all that happened while there. It’s impactful because it’s so appropriate for what we think of Vegas. They never show a single image of Las Vegas. It was the feeling and reputation they captured. Maybe this campaign won’t quite have the staying power of Pure Michigan, but the wit and relevance sure do make it memorable.

 

 

Another campaign with a clever twist, is the new Sweden Airbnb campaign.  In Sweden there is a national concept of “freedom to roam” meaning anyone has the right to access, walk, cycle, or camp on any land (with exceptions of private residences, and a few other restrictions). According to the site sweden.withairbnb.com.  .  . “it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely. To make this home available for everyone, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb.” It’s a revolutionary idea for a country, and it’s causing quite a stir.

 

 

Vacation marketing must convey the magic of a place, and answer the question, “Why go there?” at a deep level for viewers.  Marketing can’t create unique vacation experiences, but it sure can help you find the place to make those memories happen.

Maybe it’s the fast times we live in, always rushing from one demand to the next, always tuned in to technology, that makes us long for a slower time, where we can actually take a few breaths and feel the sun on our face and the sand beneath our feet. Vacations provide just that, a respite. So with summer just around the corner, remember to take a moment, or several moments, to pause and recharge. Better yet, take a vacation! Don’t let the days slip by. Grab your family and head to that special summer spot that lets you feel reconnected, and don’t forget to find an outside shower to rinse off your sandy toes.

ER headshot Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing

Erin is currently researching her next vacation destination and would love to hear all about your favorite spot!


Five reasons your brand isn’t working any more – and what to do about it.

Like everything in life, business is about relationships, and branding does a lot of the talking for you to your customers. Your brand communicates your values to your customers – are you trying to sell fun, quality, reliability, familiarity, innovation, or something else? Does your brand say that? If your branding isn’t communicating what you want it to, it’s time to think about rebranding. A rebrand isn’t a decision to take lightly – but it can make all the difference for a company, and take it to new levels.

Some reasons an organization might need to rebrand are:

A bad reputation – less than stellar customer service relationships may have tarnished your image. You’re ready to start over – with a new identity that’s more focused on your customers.

Name change, or a merger/acquisition – New blood in the family or a new direction prompts a conversation.  Who are we? What do we do differently? How can we explain how the new organization is for the customer’s benefit?

Your brand no longer describes what you do – Along the way, your organization may have found a way to specialize or found new avenues of business. A rebrand helps solidify your place of relevance in today’s market.

Confusing – what is it you do again? If the customer has to ask this, they’ll probably use your competition instead.

You look like a competitor – You gotta stand out from the crowd.

Take rebranding as an opportunity to solidify colors, taglines, logos, and your look and feel to create a professional package that can be maintained across mediums. A brand isn’t just about the logos – it needs to be about your brand’s promise to customers too. A solid brand is a launch pad to fulfilling your customer’s expectations of you.

Branding & Strat_3

A few of our clients have had different reasons for rebranding. For Campbell County Health, located in Gillette, Wyoming, they needed to figure out a name that showed that they were a health system, not just a hospital. With clinics, a hospital, and a variety of specialties and facilities, they needed a name and brand that encompassed the whole organization. By rebranding to Campbell County Health, they were able to designate themselves as a health system, not only a hospital. For their patients, Campbell County Health is now a more comprehensive health system that can provide excellent care for a variety of needs.

 

Another client, Prowers Medical Center, had had the same logo for almost 20 years. They had an outdated logo that didn’t speak to their real expertise. As one of the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the nation, Prowers Medical Center needed to look like it and present a united front.  With a new brand, Prowers Medical Center extends the promise to their patients that they are contemporary and patient-centered. Branding & Strat_1

So – what kind of message are you trying to communicate to your customers, and is your brand doing that? If not – reach out to us. We’re great at helping you define your brand message. And from logos to materials, we’ll get you there.

Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Among friends, family, and at the office, Kirsten is known as the cat lady – she’s starting to think it’s time for a personal rebrand! 

😹

 


The “always” in customer satisfaction

Being from Northern Colorado, I love the Human Bean coffee shop. Here’s why:

  • Their coffee drinks are consistently good
  • The staff is always friendly
  • They have drive-up service
  • I get a chocolate covered espresso bean on top, every time
  • They back up this goodness by donating generously to community causes

My Human Bean visits are a consistently positive experience. As marketers, we know that brand consistency builds brand loyalty. I’d add that brand sincerity does, too.

What do I mean by brand sincerity? They walk their talk. They don’t promise one thing and do another. They don’t fake a smile when they hand you your coffee to hide the stress they feel when cars are piling up behind you. They don’t give to various local causes simply to boost their marketing efforts. They don’t forget to make you feel special by placing that bonus bean on top.

Brand sincerity is a tricky thing, because you have to leave a positive impression every time you touch a customer, from the front door to the final transaction. The 17586583_1659281251047525_2502153972765163520_noutcome—that great cup of coffee—is most important, but customers decide who you are every step of the way. If you hit the mark each time, they’re yours to keep.

If you are in healthcare like many of our clients at Jet Marketing, you know consistency can be hard to achieve when a patient experiences 10 to 20 interactions in just one visit. Consider how many chances you have to be less than perfect: A patient sets an appointment, walks through the door, is greeted, sees a nurse or medical technician, sees a doctor, gets lab tests or imaging scans, gets a treatment plan, receives care instructions, checks out, receives a follow up call with results…and that’s all from one doctor visit. Imagine a hospital stay.

One grumpy interaction with staff or missed step along the way can result in a “usually” rather than an “always” on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey where healthcare customers rank their satisfaction on a scale of never, sometimes, usually and always. The only answer that generates full federal reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare for hospitals and clinics is “always,” the most desired box to check on the survey—hence, hospitals thrive or nosedive by their Top Box results.

How can a hospital that has dozens of outlying clinics and a long list of services deliver top care consistently? How can they maintain brand sincerity when so many fingers are in the patient pie? Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose a motto and give it meaning with action.
    For example, our client Campbell County Health in Gillette, Wyoming chose “Excellence Every Day” which they’ve integrated into their daily team huddles and process improvement efforts.
    Provide scripting for front-end staff, technicians and nurses.
  2. Regardless of what facility your patients call, they get the same greeting and warm response. Some of our hospitals have employed the acronym AIDIT, which stands for Acknowledge (by looking in their eyes, calling them by name), Introduce (say your name and what you will be doing for them), Duration (if there is a wait, tell them how long), Explanation (explain the procedure) and Thank you (for choosing us, for calling).
  3. Enlist volunteers to greet your patients at the front door and offer to walk them to their destination.
    Our client Montrose Memorial Hospital did this with excellence on our first visit—complete with a charming older gentlemen who linked arms with us and walked us to the marketing director’s door.Always Blog graphic
  4. Educate patients they will be receiving a patient satisfaction survey and ask them to fill it out.
    While you can’t ask patients to respond with an “always,” you can let them know you want to hear their feedback, and that it helps you improve and makes a difference with federal funding. With that said, don’t let the HCAHPs survey be the end-all goal. Patients are savvy. They recognize when staff are insincerely nice just to get good scores. At the end of the day, an “always” is achieved by consistent, genuine and positive experiences that create loyal customers who are convinced you are great and expect nothing less. In other words, they trust you to deliver that delicious bean on top.

 

3Lynn Nichols, Copywriter, Publication Specialist

Around the office, our copywriter has earned the facetious nickname of “Dr. Lynn” for her off-the-cuff diagnoses of team ailments from her years of healthcare writing.


The Unboxing Experience

Even if we don’t admit it, some of the same things that we were excited about as kids still give us the same feelings as adults. Online retailers finally figured this out and as marketers, we can tap into the same ideas and principals.

BirchboxIt’s the excitement and anticipation of opening a gift – even if we already know what’s inside. A curated and thoughtful un-boxing experience makes the consumer feel special and it increases the perceived value of their purchase. More and more companies are upping their game by shipping orders in colored or patterned boxes, carefully wrapping the items in fancy tissue paper or placing them in cloth bags, enclosing a personalized note or putting your receipt in a nice envelope. When you receive a package like this, you are excited to open it for more reasons than just the item inside.

We can apply this theme to many other aspects of marketing a business – even if the company does not offer something tangible. It’s the attention to detail and the element of surprise that can make the customer (or potential customer) feel special and elevate your brand.

Add a surprise to your next promotion to make your audience excited to dive in. This could add cost to your campaign, but if it draws attention and conversation, it is well worth it.

Business Card Example from Moo
Business Card Example from Moo

The possibilities are endless, but here are some examples to get the wheels turning: 

  • Design a direct mail piece with a unique shape or even put it in a padded envelope with a clever item that aligns with a campaign. Anthropologie’s birthday mailings are great inspiration.
  • Everyone loves a giveaway, and promotional items are a great way to boost brand awareness. Consider taking it to the next level by packaging it or surprising your audience with something unconventional. Jet Marketing recently branched
    Anthropologie
    Example of Anthropologie’s Birthday Mailing

    out with miniature chairs as part of a school health center campaign to keep students out of the nurse’s office and in their chairs.

  • Add foil or print your business card on a heavy or unique paper. Use an interesting pattern or quote on the reverse side of the card to invoke emotion.
  • Present a proposal or bid in a pocket folder or bind it in a unique way to make it memorable.

Keep it unexpected, interest the audience, and don’t forget your end goal. In an increasingly impersonal world, this mindset will add personal elements to your product or service. A plain brown box just doesn’t cut it anymore.

 

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager

Katie loves the challenge of finding ways to help clients stand out in a crowded world. She believes that finding inspiration in unlikely places is the key to great ideas.


Marketing through Collaborations

Beer is a great way to bring people together on many levels. Craft beer has taken off not only in Colorado, but across the nation. There is a growing trend in brewing that is interesting to us marketers.

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 9.00.44 AM

Collaborations.

One way organizations and breweries are doing this is by having competitions to name or design a beer. By doing this, they are engaging people along every step of the way and generating a lot of PR. The brewery gets PR through the non-profit and vice-versa. In the age of social media, there is a huge potential for organic reach. Recently, United Way had a beer-naming contest to honor volunteers. Bonfils Blood Center teamed up with 6 breweries to create this seasonal 6-pack.
1744 Rockwell LabelThe Colorado State University College of Business collaborated with Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins to create a 50th Anniversary brew.  A naming and label design contest was put out to the community and alumni.  After narrowing it down the 4 finalists, market research was conducted to choose one design.  Jet Marketing’s team was a finalist for this contest.  It was a great exercise in the science of naming and branding  – it was a fun project for everyone involved.

Jet was also involved in a more spontaneous beer-naming project.  What started out as a Father’s Day gift for my dad, Tim, turned into a tasty collaboration to commemorate the last year of Colorado State University’s Hughes Stadium.   I came up with the name “Harry Hughes’ Aggie Ale” and with the help of our amazing designer, Erin, we had a beer label and tap handle.  The thought was to use the tap and the stickers at my parents’ infamous tailgate parties – no matter what the actual beer on tap was.  Then local brewery, Horse & Dragon got wind of the project.  We now have a real beer and it has been enjoyed by beer lovers throughout Colorado.

Obviously Fort Collins is a great spot for collaborations with it’s hot bed of breweries.  But just think of the possibilities of collaborative marketing across other types of business and non-profits.  It is great inspiration for feel-good marketing that people will be genuinely interested in. Microsoft Word - Aggie Ale.docx

Katie O’Hara, Project Manager

Katie is a huge fan of local businesses and loves the opportunity to work with them. The creative collaboration that arises from these opportunities is fun and inspiring, and produces incredible results. 


The Power of the Personal Story (and how to secure your own stories to highlight your brand)

I admit it – I’m a fan of The Voice and a few other mindless talent shows on television.  Sometimes I find myself choked up, all because of the heart wrenching stories told about the lives of the contestants.  Logically I know why they pick the most dramatic story lines – but emotionally, I’m hooked.

Turns out there is nothing like a good story.

A recent Forbes article titled The Power of Story explains, “. . .we are wired for interpersonal connections and put more stock in ideas that result from personal contact than from hard data.  Essentially, we internalize stories much better than we do facts.”*

In marketing, when others say good things about your products and services the message has much more credibility and longevity than mere description.  It takes work to procure real stories, but it’s worth it!

Always be Mining for Stories

Encourage friends, neighbors, family and staff members to share stories that reflect your organization or product in a good light. Remind them often, especially staff members. Follow up with unsolicited notes of thanks and social media posts to see if there is a lead and a willing storytelling participant.

Give People Something tScreen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.44.50 AMo Talk About

Create a community event that encourages storytelling.  For one of our hospital clients, we created a community birthday party.  We invited all 10,000 babies that had been born in the community over the past 60+ years to come and be recognized. Lots of photos were taken, both pre- and post-event, and the community conversation about how the town has changed was robust.  It was a very positive image booster for the hospital and we shared photos in their community newsletter, social media outlets and print.

Another fantastic example is Heathrow Airport in London. They are using their 70th birthday to gather stories, encouraging anyone to share memories of time spent at the airport over those 70 years.  If you get a chance, it’s a GREAT read.

 www.heathrow.com/Stories

These types of campaigns encourage people to connect to a brand and to reflect on the ways that brand has impacted and influence their lives. By invoking nostalgia and encouraging people to reflect on their own memories connected to that brand, the outcome is positive feelings towards that brand.

Photos are Key!

We are all drawn to photos – especially ones with faces in them.  Professional or candid, make sure you have a photo to go along with the story.  Like they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Be Transparent about Your Intentions

Don’t overplay or underplay what your intentions are.  If you have a story and a photo, be clear about the types of media you plan to use.  Don’t tell the storyteller it will only be a print ad and then later they see themselves on a billboard.  Keep the storyteller involved and make sure to give them the opportunity to approve materials.  Then stick to your word, otherwise the positive engagement could turn into a negative one.

I hear all the time that people don’t read anymore, and while I think that’s true to a certain extent, I do believe that we still like to read, hear and listen to a good human story.

The Power of the Story, published on Forbes.com

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2015/08/22/the-power-of-story/#77bdf25e5c95

 

Jackie O’Hara, Owner/Account Executive/Strategist

This summer, Jackie has enjoyed listening to friends tell stories around the campfire, working on home and yard remodeling projects, and sneaking in a few rounds of golf with her husband (the real storyteller of the family).

 


Heat things up with great headlines

Nothing cranks the heat up like being asked to write an ad headline, tagline or new campaign slogan. Essentially, you’re being asked to deliver your client’s brand message in 5 words or less—and make it something that motivates people to want to read on and take action, please. Just thinking about it makes my face flush.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the challenge. But I don’t take the words of David Ogilvy, hailed as the “father of advertising,” lightly when he says: “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Now you understand the rising blood pressure and red face. To make it easier, I follow a few rules and apply a trick or two. If my headline doesn’t fulfill at least one of these, I know my coffee break has to wait.

1. Does it make an instant impact?

The best headlines, slogans & taglines show personality. They’re clever and maybe even shock or surprise. Take the healthy, real fruit drink alternative, Bai. When launched in 2014 the ad agency went to town creating slogans that were so racy they even had articles written about them. Billboards in Time Square simply showed a picture of the bottle with the following slogan:

Tell your taste buds to stop sexting us

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.17.20 PM

Other headlines included:

Flavor that goes all the way on the first date,” and, “Wet. Juicy. Ready. But not in that way,” and, “Naturally sweet. Unlike most men.”

The one that survived the test of time and is on their products today, is:

“Flavor so fresh you want to slap it”.

Talk about instant impact.

2. Does it make your brain do a flip?

A great technique for writing clever headlines is to simply take a cliché and turn it on its head, or apply it to a new situation. The July 2016 issue of O Magazine has some good examples. In an article on no-cook summer recipes, they use the following subheads:

Grain and Simple

Sandwich Generation

Salad Swap Meet

Fit to a Tea

3. Does it make you want to read on?

Not all topics are easy to promote. For example, colonoscopies can be a hard sell. A good trick here is to play on words but also get across the expertise of your client, as in:

Our cardiologists never miss a beat

Or you can go for shock combined with a message of “we care” as the Gastroenterology Associates of Colorado Springs recently did with:

Up Yours, and we mean that sincerely”

Now maybe it’s your face that’s turning red.


3Lynn U. Nichols, Copywriter/Publications Specialist at Jet Marketing

In her spare time, Lynn enjoys reading, running, kayaking and staying young by hanging out with her teenage boys. 

 


Giving Back to Your Community is a Great Marketing Strategy

These days, it seems like everyone is participating in some kind of cause-based marketing campaign. Some pretty famous brands center on causes, like Livestrong and Product (RED). Box Tops for Education have long brightened our cereal boxes. Other brands like TOMS and Warby Parker have built a business around a cause. Even the NFL outfits their athletes in either pink or camo (depending on the month) for breast cancer awareness and their Salute to Service for veterans.

Cause-based marketing is a partnership between nonprofit and for-profit organizations for mutual benefit. It intends to bring awareness and fundraising to a good cause or nonprofit. This might sound like a lot of work, time, and money to spend on charity rather than on your own business, but there are a lot of good reasons why you might consider a cause-based marketing campaign. It’s an excellent way to build a reputation for your company and to create trust.

Your customers probably prefer a company that is associated with a cause. Almost a quarter of American shoppers usually buy one brand over another for this reason. Not only do customers care about causes, it’s also a lucrative field slated to continue growing. That’s a great big piece of market for you to get in on. And, despite the influx of cause-based campaigns, consumers remain very receptive to them.

Your employees also prefer to work for a company associated with a cause, especially one that relates to their community. It shows an investment from your company in your community – right where your employees live. People want their work to make a difference.

Cause-based marketing engages both your customers and employees, showing them that you care not only about them, but about the communities where they work and live. You’re not only doing good, you’re building a brand reputation.

So, how do you get involved in cause-based marketing? There are a couple things to consider, and it’s best to be strategic.

First, consider your company, your mission, your values, your audience. You want to be involved in a campaign that benefits you and the nonprofit or cause you partner with.

Any campaign you get involved in must feel true to your brand – consumers can see through gimmicks designed to pull their heartstrings and get their dollar. You want to keep and grow your customers’ trust. Don’t lose it by jumping aboard the cause-based train without careful thought.

Second, consider your range. Your company may be small and local, or vast and global.

For Jet Marketing, it makes sense for us to be involved locally.  We are involved with WomenGive, an organization that supports local single mothers with childcare scholarships as they go back to school. Our team members support WomenGive individually, but we participate as a team. As Jet is largely made up of women, this makes sense for us. It appeals to all of us working here, and we get to support our community by participating.

WomenGive
Jet hosted a table at the WomenGive luncheon, bringing together other women from our community to learn more about the program.

 

Far from just being trendy, cause-based marketing is a strategy that you can use to grow your brand and support your community. These type of campaigns promote your name, build trust around your brand, and motivate both your customers and employees. Making a difference in the world can also make the difference for your brand down the road.

Reach out to Jet whenever you’re ready to get started.

Sources: http://www.causemarketingforum.com/site/c.bkLUKcOTLkK4E/b.6448131/k.262B/Statistics_Every_Cause_Marketer_Should_Know.htmhttp://adage.com/article/agency-viewpoint/marketing-hot-pay-good/293537/
Kirsten Queen, Project Manager at Jet Marketing

Kirsten comes from a background in nonprofit work and is excited to learn more about the places where nonprofit work and marketing connect.


The Top 5 Reasons Training for a Half Marathon Made Me a Better Marketing Professional

We all have images in our heads of being a champion at something. For years I wanted to be a “runner.” I had these beautiful pictures in my head of what that would look like; tan skin, flowing hair, running like a gazelle through the mountains, or the crowd cheering wildly for me as I sprinted across the finish line to victory.  The problem is I am not a gazelle, and when I run, it looks more like that chubby neighborhood kid chasing down the ice cream truck, frantic and unsuccessful. Oh, and did I mention I also hate running?

Despite this strong dislike towards running, I started running casually as a commitment to a friend.  Since I am one of those people who like to jump in and overcommit right away, I proceeded to sign up for a half marathon.  Whoops! I immediately regretted this impulsive decision as I began to Google half marathon training programs.  I had thoughts like, “Who has time for this? How can I run and still have time to work?  What if I am not fast enough?  How could my legs possibly carry me that far?  Can I get a refund?  I hate running! ”  However, I still held on to that crazy mental image of me running across a finish line and I just couldn’t shake it.  I didn’t know it then, but I had been bitten by the running bug before I even took a step!

That’s how I came to write this blog on how training for half marathons has made me a better marketing professional.  Here’s what I learned:

1) Goal Setting Big and Small

The best way to get somewhere is to always know where you want to end up. Having a clear, definable goal with a deadline helps to keep you on track and stay focused when the path gets muddy.  Sign up for that race, schedule that client meeting!

It also helps to set lots of small goals that add up to a larger accomplishment.   When training or executing a marketing plan, I don’t look at the total number of tasks there are to complete in a project. Instead, I focus on the run- or tasks at hand- for that day and how they fit into my weekly schedule.  By focusing on these smaller more immediate tasks I am able to accomplish more without feeling overwhelmed. Achieving lots of small goals consistently over time always add up to a big win.
Where are you going?

2) Pick a Plan (and stick to it) 

Once you have a goal, you need to put a plan in place so you can be successful. Get a plan that maps out your routes every day so you get in the necessary miles and are ready on race day. Similarly, I love to write up a good marketing plan for a new project.  It helps get me motivated about the project ahead and sets up clear expectations for my team and myself.
What does your map look like?

3) Find your “people”

One of the ways to help keep you on a path to success is to have a support community in running and in business.  Find a mentor or go to coffee with a professional peer and bounce ideas off of each other. There are always people who have gone before us, so use their experience to give you an advantage.
Who are your people?

4) It’s Ok To Rest

Know when to take a break or walk! Believe it or not, your gut can tell you a lot more than just if you’re hungry.  Listen to your gut-if you need to step away from your desk or take a break, do it! When we are exhausted and frustrated we are more prone to getting injured or making mistakes. We do our best work when we feel energized and inspired.
How do you refuel?

5) Visualize crossing the finish line

I never lost the image of racing across the finish line and crowds cheering me on.  When training got tough or monotonous, I clung to that image. Why?  Because the goal was crystal clear to me. I knew what achieving that goal looked liked, sounded like and felt like. What does achieving that goal look like to you?  Can you visualize it?  Is it the perfect pitch to a new client?  Launching a new brand with great success?

Sometimes in the day to day of marketing we forget to visualize the finish line, we forget that we need support and the plan can go off track. When I run I have lots of time to think. I often reflect on the unexpected parallels between running and being a successful marketer. Training for a half marathon became one of the biggest opportunities for growth both, personally and professionally. I realized that I already had many of the necessary tools. I just needed to put them into action, literally one step at a time.

Lindsey Corcoran, Account Manager at Jet Marketing

During her free time, Lindsey enjoys long runs in the beautiful Colorado outdoors, followed by a good nap.