60lbs ago, I was a competitive cyclist. What’s that got to do with business and marketing? A lot actually. And since the Tour de France just ended, I thought I’d wrap this July up with a little story:
Amateur athletes can be a funny bunch, but few groups are quirkier (and funnier) than cyclists! Dressed from head to toe in spandex, shaved legs, shaved arms, zooming down the street as if they were part of their own personal Tour de France – it’s hysterical (or annoying depending on which side of the steering wheel you’re on).
About this time of the year, all competitive amateur cyclists are approaching burnout. Many have been racing since February or March and with the Tour de France over and no Lance to cheer for, they figure it’s time for a break.
By September, they’ll all be talking about getting ready and beginning to build their base (train) for next year! It’s right about this time that they start looking for new equipment – something that will give them the edge over the competition for next year.
One of the most common upgrades is a set of lightweight and ultra expensive carbon fiber wheels. Fancy wheels can shave more than a pound of “rolling weight” off of a bicycle which helps you go faster up hills and while accelerating out of turns – it doesn’t hurt that they look cool too.
Purchasing these wheels is all in the name of going faster and winning weekend bike races. The ironic part is that virtually all of these cyclists would be FAR faster if they invested in a power meter and hired a coach – instead of buying the fancy wheels.
Although a power meter typically adds weight to a bicycle – making it harder to go up hills and accelerate out of turns – nearly every cyclist using one (with a good coach that can make sense of the data) gets considerably faster. The coach is needed to turn the power meter data into actionable workouts to improve the cyclist.
Thinking back to business, marketing and advertising – sound familiar?
Far too many businesses hit a slump and jump to the conclusion that they need fancy advertising or a slick new website or a new message. More often than not, they would experience far better business results if they FIRST invested in the equivalent of a power meter and a coach.
If you don’t measure it (first), you cannot improve it.
Measurement and tracking may not be as sexy as SEO, but measurement and tracking makes every SEO project more effective! Don’t believe me? Call any company operating at the top of their game in on-line marketing and ask them what roll website analytics have played in their success. See what they say!
Finally, you need the equivalent of a coach – someone that can take the data and translate it into actionable takeaways for you – the business owner. It’s not that you can’t do this yourself. It’s that you have a business to run – similar to content marketing – most of you just don’t have time to deal with this. If you don’t outsource it to someone, it will never get done. Opportunity lost – you fail to maximize outcomes.
Want to improve your cycling performance? Buy a power meter and hire a coach. Leave the carbon fiber wheels for the suckers you’re going to be dropping next spring.
Want to improve the performance of your business? Adopt a measurement mentality and track everything. Pay someone else (us!) to make sense of the data and convert it into actionable takeaways.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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