As Digital Marketers we are bloated with options for tools and processes and have bloated backsides from sitting at desks all day long. Over the past 3 years I have lost and kept off 80 lbs and have led multiple end-to-end digital marketing transformations. I can safely say I’m a bit of an authority on both personal and digital marketing fitness.
In both our personal lives and careers, being fit allows us to do more with less, be more agile and frankly just be happier. I have found there are five keys steps to being both personally fit and fit in digital marketing.
- Have short term goals and long term vision
- Get the right information at the right time
- Remember it’s a journey not a destination
- Have a system
Short Term Goals, Long Term Vision
80lbs of weight loss is, to say the least, intimidating. However, with just a few changes, nearly anyone could lose 5lbs, right? Then 5lbs again and again. Small, achievable goals bring momentum and combine together to revolutionary change.
Having a vision is important, but even more critical is breaking the vision down into small achievable steps. These steps can be as small as losing 5 lbs, improving a particular customer interaction or improving a single campaign.
These small goals must align back to the larger vision and must be measurable and attributable to the desired outcome.
The Right Information at the Right Time
As I left downtown, my music dimmed and I listened intently to my pace for the last 1/2 mile split. Up ahead, I could see the path snake back upon itself as the course climbed over 300 feet from the river valley of the Ohio river to the peak of the hills surrounding Cincinnati in Eden Park. The next mile would make or break my goal for this running of the Flying Pig Half Marathon.
Having this wealth of information at my fingertips makes me a better runner as I can compare to how I expect to be doing and adjust my pace to respond. Running a bit too fast? I can pull back, running a bit behind pace? Time to pick it up!
As marketers, we need data in real time and we need to tie this data to actionable KPIs. A single split time doesn’t make a race, just as much as a single Ad doesn’t make a campaign, but understanding the trend and being able to respond in real time enables us to avoid missing our goals.
Similarly, in my personal fitness, I’ve found tracking my weight on a daily basis enables me to predict the trend and keep myself on target.
We need to have the data frequently enough to develop the trend, but not drown in irrelevant information. At the same time, you can’t expect progress every minute and every day, consistent progress over time is key.
A Journey not a Destination
One of the hardest things about losing weight is accepting that you can’t go back. You can’t eat the things you did before, do (or not do) the things you did before or you will end up in the same place. You will always have to at least think about calories and do some level of exercise or eventually, the pounds will catch you back up.
At the same time, knowing fitness is a journey is liberating. Just this month, I have made two personal records, running a half marathon in 1:51:39 and a 5K in 0:24:07. Now, I want to see if I can get under 1:45 and 0:24 the next time around.
It’s the same in digital marketing. A single project doesn’t make your marketing a success, neglected maintenance will come back to haunt you and every customer’s best interaction is now the bar they use to judge every brand interaction. After our success, we cannot sit on our laurels, we need to pick up and move the goalposts.
By thinking about the journey, not the destination, you will be better mentally prepared to be fit. Additionally, there’s no small pleasure in knowing that around every curve there’s a new obstacle to overcome and there’s always another mountain to climb.
Have a System
Collecting data and having goals is well and good, but how do you ensure you’re making progress? Physical fitness is largely a matter of will power, but having a good system can help put a finger on the scale.
I use MyFitnessPal to track calories and help keep my own worst inclinations in line. I’ve found that even when I go over, entering my calories into MyFitnessPal helps me keep an overage from spilling into a complete splurge.
Similarly, in digital marketing, having a solid governance plan and supporting tools ensures not only are you measuring progress, but that you are staying on track.
Being physically fit and being fit in your digital marketing requires determination, willpower and the right support. Contact us at Perficient Digital to learn how we can help you on your journey to Digital Marketing fitness.
Do you have a trick you use to be physically fit or be fit in your Digital Marketing? Leave a comment!
Dan is a certified Adobe Digital Marketing Technologist, Architect, and Advisor, having led multiple successful digital marketing programs on the Adobe Experience Cloud. He’s passionate about solving complex problems and building innovative digital marketing solutions.
Dan is a PMC Member of the Apache Sling project, frequent Adobe Beta participant and committer to ACS AEM Commons, allowing a unique insight into the cutting edge of the Adobe Experience Cloud platform.