Marketing Strategy

Applying High-Intensity Interval Training Principles to Marketing

By February 21, 2017April 19th, 2019No Comments

Applying High Intensity Interval Training Principles to MarketingMy New Year’s Resolution was to fit in exercise every day, no matter what my work or my family life demanded. While some days I fit in a 1-hour walk or yoga, there are others in which 15 minutes is all I have to spare.  

On those days when I have 30 minutes or less for exercise, I turn to high-intensity interval training or H.I.I.T.  Using H.I.I.T, you give 100% effort for a short period followed by short, but still active recovery period.  Rinse and repeat for as much time as you have.  (For more info, read “The Shortest Workout Possible.”)

Too Often Marketing is a Marathon

As I was doing my HIIT this morning, I started thinking about how marketing departments too often view their job as a marathon.  We have five-year plans, annual budgets, and 12-month campaign cadences.  Some efforts, such as exhibiting at a large tradeshow and search engine optimization, demand long-term planning. However, results here at our marketing agency show short, burst ad and email campaigns can be actually more effective and less costly.  

Why More and Longer is Not Always Better

The marathon mentality in marketing also spills over into content.  Pick up any marketing publication or search the web for “creating more content,” and you’ll see a plethora of marketing leaders conveying their main issue is they can’t produce enough content.

I’d argue that in many cases, this isn’t because they don’t have enough resources, but they burn out their creative and content writers with a fast-paced marathon mentality that’s just not sustainable and frankly doesn’t produce the best results. This pace doesn’t give content teams enough time to look at data and assess the success of past pieces.  Or creatives being creatives, they want to continue to make things, not assess them.

Using H.I.I.T. Methods In Marketing

Here are a few ways you can test H.I.I.T in your marketing mix:

    1. Produce 3 high-quality content pieces. Execute the campaigns using the content in a maximum of two channels over a one-month period.  Stop the campaigns, assess the data, hold a debrief meeting with the content team and, only then, produce more content if warranted.
    2. Host a single webinar.  Putting together a webinar series is super intensive, but a one-session webinar using existing content and opt-in lists can often be pulled together in less than 20 hours.
    3. Apply H.I.I.T. to accounts based marketing (ABM).  ABM efforts, in which target companies identified and promoted to personally, often stall because the sales and marketing teams try to tackle too many companies.  If you only have time to target one account, quickly work that campaign to the best of your ability.  If you are not confident in you processes quite yet, pick a company towards the middle of your rank list as a test subject. Assess and move to the next prospect on your time.  

Have other ideas on using interval training in marketing?  Feel free to add your comments below.  

Chris Slocumb

Author Chris Slocumb

Chris is the founder and president of Clarity Quest Marketing, where she has the best job on the planet leading a talented group of marketers helping healthcare and technology companies grow revenues and visibility. To learn more about Chris' experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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