The Marketing Iditarod?

We’ve all heard it a thousand or more times, “marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.” Well, I would have to disagree slightly with that statement. I would say that marketing is more like the Iditarod.

For those of you who know what the Iditarod is, you should stop by our office and introduce yourself because I’m pretty sure we’d be great friends. For everyone else that has never heard of the Iditarod, let me explain… In the tiny town of Nome in northwestern Alaska, an outbreak of diphtheria started to spread like wildfire in 1925. Nome’s only doctor Curtis Welch failed to notice that his supply of antitoxin had expired and was utterly useless.

Dr. Welch sent out telegrams asking for help and a fresh supply of medication. The nearest antitoxin was in Anchorage nearly 1,000 miles away and with Nome’s remote location the only way to deliver the antitoxin was by dogsled on the Iditarod Trail. Twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs traveled in whiteouts, blizzards and temperatures close to -85F to deliver the antitoxin. In under 2 weeks, the town of Nome was safe and healthy.

This amazing journey sparked the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which first took place in 1973. Mushers race across the original trail from Anchorage to Nome nearly 1,050 miles every February in what is aptly called, “The Last Great Race.” There is also the Iditarod Trail Invitational where people can choose to bike, ski or run the same distance along the trail. Running the Iditarod is the equivalent to running from Rapid City to Sioux Falls, back to Rapid City, and then back to Sioux Falls again! As if that isn’t hard enough they run in the middle of the winter as well.

When running a 1,000-mile race you have to prepare, figuring out your strategy and how you plan to conquer the terrain is critical. Marketing is no different, if you just jump into a marketing campaign with no preparation it will be very hard to make things work. Planning out your marketing strategy and roadmap is crucial before you even slip your feet in your boots.

With your marketing campaigns, you have to pace yourself. You can’t take all your content and put it on your website in one big lump and you can’t spend your entire budget in one month. Pacing yourself is a key to success in creating meaningful marketing campaigns. Trying to run 1,000 miles at full speed is not an effective strategy.

I have never personally run the Iditarod, but I’m sure it holds its fair share of ups and downs. Your marketing may be a bumpy ride but that is to be expected. Don’t get disappointed if a post didn’t get as many likes as you were hoping, or people aren’t interacting with a certain piece of content the way you wanted. That’s the fun of marketing! Figuring out what works and what doesn’t, taking the good with the bad and learning from both your ups and downs.

While many people see marketing as a marathon, we see it as an Iditarod. A marathon is a race and the Iditarod is a journey, your marketing should be no different. If you need someone to take the journey with you, give us a call at 605-716-5666!