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From 10k run to marketing funnels and goal setting theory blog image.

What A 10k Run Teaches Us About Goals & Funnels

marketing performance May 28, 2021

Trying to segue from running my first 10k race to marketing funnels and goals may seem a stretch but it actually makes perfect sense. There's 3 key components required to achieve a goal:

1. Believe it's achievable

2. Get feedback on performance

3. Follow a plan


Let's take a look at self-belief. Okay this is a positive thinking cliche, believe in yourself etc. etc. But it's true, there's science to back it up. If a goal is unrealistic or perceived to be unrealistic, it can have a demotivating effect - (see Goal Setting Theory).

For 10 years, I told myself I wasn't fit enough to run a 10k race, maybe 5k at a push, I firmly believed I just wasn't one of 'those' people. 


There's a common myth that enough practice leads to mastery which was popularised by Malcolm Gladwells 10,000 hours rule. Gladwell's best-seller is a fallacy as the original research by Anders Ericcson, which Gladwell's used as basis of the 10,000 hour rule, stated that amount of practice was important but mastery was only achieved with a combination of qualified feedback and deliberate practice. In short you need to know what needs to improve and how to do it. 

What's feedback in a marketing sense? Numbers, analytics, conversions. This sounds a lot like a Funnel, doesn't it?  But how can I link this back to my first 10k run?.

Well, a key to changing my belief that I couldn't run was measuring how much I was running and improving, thanks to tracking on a smart watch. I didn't believe I could do it but numbers rarely lie and the numbers showed I was running longer and eventually faster. I knew I couldn't go from running 5km to 10km but once I was able to run 7km, I knew an extra few km was do-able, I may not be fast but I could do it. 

Lets link this back to marketing. Let's look at a funnel for an ad campaign. Your numbers may not be amazing but they are something to aim to improve. They are the equivalent to a coach as your conversions in your funnel point to what's working and what isn't.  

Lots of clicks but poor conversions? Well there's something not working on your landing page so test an improved design, layout, copy. Then see how the numbers improve. 

Reluctantly, I must admit a business coach I once worked alongside who wasn't shy in telling you when he was right was actually spot on with his mantra of "know your numbers, know your numbers". Knowing your numbers is quite useful once you are able to understand what numbers are important to a goal or how to put a number to your performance. Ultimately it boils down to measuring. If you measure it, you have a number. 


Finally a plan. The internet is full of inspiring memes reminding us that "a goal without a plan is just a wish / desire / dream / any abstract word" you want to use to make the quote your own. Remember everything exists twice; first in our mind then in reality. Writing it down takes it out of the imagination and into the real world where it can be realised. 


In order to get from couch to 10k, you need to find proof that you can do it. Measuring your performance is the feedback you need to improve. Writing down the steps you need to follow to finally run that annual race you've been dreaming of running for 10 years makes it real.

This approach is the very same that we need to follow to improve any part of our marketing performance or even life performance for that matter.

And one last thing, we all need accountability buddies. I ran with two friends and we kept pushing each other on. You know those days when you pull over the curtains, see the rain and don't want to go out? Well knowing I wasn't going to be the one to be "The Fair Weather Runner", it made me turn up. And just look at the result because of it!

Look, my smart watch was good for tracking numbers and improvements, but we all need support from others. 

The Achievers Club

That's one of the reasons why we're setting up The Achievers Club. Sometimes you go further with like minded people, people who truly understand the challenges as well as the achievements.

If you are looking for support, accountability, training and a community of like minded people with a goal of growth in mind, then put your name down on our waitlist for The Achievers Club -

Here's to your continued success,


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