Jordan Ogren

September 21, 2021

What running can teach you about marketing. (Hint: a lot)

What’s more important:

A strong start or finish?

As a lifelong runner, I can’t help but think in terms of running. A good start is critical when running because it’s almost impossible to catch back up if you lose the leading pack.

A bad start can derail your entire race.

But a good start with a lousy finish is almost worse. You start well yet fail to hold that pace. Nothing is worse than getting passed in the final 400 meters when you worked so damn hard to get there.

Note: The context of the race determines which side of the equation is more important.

In a 100m dash, the start and finish are mere seconds apart. In a marathon, the start and finish are hours apart.

A kick-ass start is vital to doing well in a 100m dash (sprint). It’s not as important when there are 26 miles to run.

Marketing is more like a marathon than a sprint.

By only focusing on a good start, you may go out too fast and burn out. Think of all the companies that started creating content only to stop months or weeks later.

They forgot that maintaining and finishing strong is more important than how it starts.

I believe we put too much emphasis on starts while failing to respect the messy middle and finish. We think our new product will only be successful if we nail distribution right away. We believe the only way to win is to be first (What about Facebook? Amazon?).

Instead of realizing the critical piece that the middle and end play, we oversexualize the beginning and hold it on a pedestal.

Marketing Insights
  • Do the opposite—Put your focus and energy on the middle and end.
  • When everyone else decides to let up on their pace (toward the end), double down and pick up your speed
  • Forgive yourself for bad starts by realizing the middle, and the finish dictate success

How do you maintain your pace and ensure a strong finish with your marketing?

🧠 // JO