The last place I expected to learn about marketing was on the golf course, but playing the game has taught me a lot of skills that apply to my work in Marketing as well. How to use the right equipment, practicing and patience are just a few of the skills that I learned playing golf and have applied to my job, and they can help you too. Read the 5 things golfing can teach you about Marketing and put them in your bag today!
1. Expensive Equipment Can Only Take You So Far
Every golfer knows the excitement that comes from a shiny new driver, and the high hopes it brings to your game. The same goes for a brand-new software program or vendor for marketers. We all know the expectation we have for how any new tool, vendor or service will affect your performances, whether it is on the course or on the web. We also know the sting of disappointment when something new does not deliver the results we wanted or does not perform exactly as advertised. The way to ensure you are utilizing your tools and services, for golf or your marketing efforts, is to put in the work to ensure they are successful investments. Tools alone will not make you a better marketer, nor a better player.
2. Be Ready To Adapt
If the Pandemic has taught us anything as marketers, it’s that a constant flow of in-person event leads is never a guarantee. Being adaptable to new challenges in your communication and messaging is a necessary part of you marketing game. Much like marketing, golf is full of unexpected challenges, such as poor weather conditions, new pin placements, or even a simple mishit that you need to make up for with your other shots. Keeping a clear mind and adjusting to new challenges will make you a better marketer, and a more productive golfer.
3. Just Because Something Has Worked In The Past Doesn’t Mean It Works Now
We have all heard the phrase “That’s the way it has always been done” in business, and it is a slippery slope from here to obsolescence. Adapting to new challenges won’t always get you by if you cannot break out of bad habits and old methods. Like golf, sometimes the same routines that you previously used will no longer work for you. Updating some of your business practices that have been “standard” for too long and are not keeping up with the changes you are making may be a daunting task, but it is necessary to take strokes off your marketing game. And a change in your swing speed might not hurt either.
4. Practice, Adjust and Repeat
Now that you are ready to take on new challenges and ditch your old habits, it is time to hit the range. Practicing the new things you want to try is not only the way to cement them into your game, but also to figure out what doesn’t work. When updating and changing your marketing strategy, it’s not as simple as set and forget. You must keep working on it and adjusting when something does not work out the way you wanted. It is important to learn from mistakes, figure out what works and what does not, and continually evaluate progress toward your marketing objectives and overall organizational goals. Know what metrics you need to track and evaluate and figure out how to identify potential gaps and areas for improvement. Continually evaluate your processes, make small adjustments, and repeat to ensure no marketing program or golf game gets stale.
5. Be Patient
One thing learning and playing any sport like golf will teach you is that patience is key. This translates easily to your marketing endeavors. When you are learning a new skill like golf, you must know that it takes time to improve and see all your practice take hold — as well as to break bad habits. The same goes for launching a new campaign, a product announcement, or any optimizations you implement. They take time to yield results and show concrete evidence of success based on the work you have done. Knowing how to sit back and wait can be difficult, but it is important. You also need to be patient with yourself as you adapt, practice, and learn to be a better marketer, just as you must be patient while working on your golf game.
6. Do Not Be Afraid To Get Outside Help
At some point, in both our professions and our hobbies, there comes a time to admit we need help. Understanding that it may take you much more time to develop, create, or quantify results from your marketing campaigns is a type of self-awareness that is important for leaders. Also, if you are involved in the day-to-day aspects of your business, there may be simple fixes that fall through the cracks. While golf is an individual sport and practice and learning are mostly up to you, almost everyone reaches a point when you realize that you might need some professional help. Lessons from a professional are a way to get outside help in the areas you may be struggling with. Typically, a professional that specializes in one skill can find things you would miss after months of practice or running a campaign.