Have you ever been at a track meet as a spectator? The sprints are fun to watch because they happen fast, and they keep your attention because you know you could miss something. Sprints are dramatic and exciting, and they take one particular type of athletic ability: Speed.
Marathons, on the other hand, are not so exciting. A marathon is all about endurance and staying in the race until you cross the finish line. Speed can have a big part, particularly in strategic places like the final yards, but the drama is not the same because the race is not the same. A marathon runner works on more than speed because speed alone will not get them far enough to finish.
I think that marketing should be approached like a marathon runner approaches training because you want to be doing a process that will be consistently getting you somewhere in the long run.
Here’s a practical business example: a friend who works in a credit union recently made the observation that the push to open new accounts in their branch isn’t really resulting in long-term customers. The (sprint) emphasis on numbers of new accounts looks good on paper, but there’s no activity happening on those accounts because they are things like accounts for a grandchild who doesn’t have reason to use it.
She thought a long-term approach (marathon) like offering kids, parents, and grandparents financial workshops or material for high school classes and college financing would result in bringing in new credit union members who utilize more services as they became financially savvy.
See the difference? How can your business marketing strategies be more like a marathon?