By: Michael Palmer
In my last blog I likened marketing training to athletic training in that marketers like professional athletes need a fitness program to move from being average to outstanding performers. I stated that without a fitness plan you cannot increase your athletic prowess, nor can you elevate your marketing proficiency. Nike has spurred us all on with their “Just Do It” advertising, showing us that even everyday athletes can improve their performance with the right attitude and a PLAN.
What’s keep most of us from developing and executing a marketing training plan? Four things actually:
- We don’t think we have the time.
- We don’t know where to turn.
- We don’t understand what is the best Learning Process.
- We are unsure how to apply our new skills to make a difference.
Let’s deal with the time issue here. I would suggest that training should be as important and natural as breathing. No professional team or athlete would dare enter a contest without the proper preparation. Championships are won in the gym, not in the ring, arena, stadium or on the court. Where as football training used to start with training camp, it is now a twelve month process. Football players have to get themselves into top notch condition, on their own, arriving at training camp ready to learn the system, not get in shape.
Why aren’t we as marketing professionals thinking the same way? Why aren’t we consistently stretching our own boundaries, our own abilities through training so that when we are on the job, we are not worrying about getting in shape, but learning the system, the process that will propel our brand forward?
Lack of time should not be an excuse. If we don’t take the time necessary to keep in top marketing shape, we cannot be the star our team, our company needs. I would suggest that not taking the time to retrain, refresh, and reinvigorate is doing a disservice to your ability to reach your career goals. Getting away from the grind, finding a new perspective, understanding what new techniques are available is critical. Just stepping away from the day to day activity and looking at your job with fresh eyes will be of great value. When a baseball pitcher or batter is in a tight jam, they will step off the pitchers’ mound or get out of the batter’s box just to refocus. As marketers we need to step back as well and remember that our ability to perform is based on how well we have put together and executed a fitness plan. Take the time, put your plan together and give yourself the time to execute your plan – you and your career will be glad you did.
We will address the other barriers to training is subsequent blogs. And if you have an interesting training story or can share ways to elevate your marketing proficiency, please pass them along – I will then share them with the readers of this blog.