Inbound Marketing Strategy

Why the Marketing Process is Like Losing Weight

Brad Smith
August 8, 2013
People struggle with losing weight because of some very basic reasons. Here's why that's exactly like the marketing process, and how to fix it.
Abstract: People struggle with losing weight because of some very basic reasons. Here’s why that’s exactly like the marketing process, and how to fix it.

In 2020, researchers predict that 43% of men and 42% of women will be obese, up from 32% and 34% respectively, according to the Mexico Bariatric Center.

66% of people over 20 are overweight, while 33% are considered obese. And this trend is only getting worse. Some estimates show those numbers doubling in the next decade.

But what’s interesting about obesity, is that it’s entirely preventable. It’s a simple equation…

Burn more fat than you consume. That’s basically it. Not difficult to comprehend.

But if it’s so easy… then why do we keep getting fatter?

There are many potential answers. But here’s a big misconception that derails our efforts before they start paying off…

We pay too much attention to the outcome, and not enough on the process.

And when that happens in life — or when you’re trying to lose weight — people give up before they’re ready to buy in.


What Gets Measured Gets Managed

David Meerman Scott is the author of the bestselling book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR. (Fun fact: Years ago I read this book while sitting on a jury — for an attempted murder trial — for two weeks.)

But I don’t want to talk about his marketing expertise. Instead, I want to talk about his weight loss.

In a candid post, Scott discusses how he lost over 50 lbs. And here was one of his nuggets of wisdom:

When I measured just on my weight, I couldn’t lose weight. No matter what I did I stayed basically the same.

However, when I measured different things such as bodyfat percentage, metabolic age, calories burned, and the foods I eat, I changed my behaviors leading directly to weight loss.

This simple insight is the reason behind why so many people struggle with weight loss.

People pay too much attention to the outcome (their weight) and not enough on the process of losing weight (specifically, improving their body fat %, quantity of calories burned, food choices through-out the day, and more).

Most people begin light cardio and lifting weights when they want to lose weight.

Which is great, but here’s the problem…

Muscle weighs more than fat.

When you start burning fat from your time in the gym and hitting the pavement, you’re also building muscle at the same time.

So you’ll start to both gain weight from new muscle mass and lose it from burning fat — at the same time.

Which means the total number on your scale might not change a lot — even though you’re becoming much healthier.

Therefore, the number you’re using to base all assumptions — that number on a scale — is deceiving at best and incorrect at it’s worst.


The Proof is in the Pudding

How do you define success in life or business? The answer is different for everyone, but let’s take a look at marketing. Specifically, SEO.

Search engine optimization is one of the best sources of new leads online. Trouble is, it’s complicated. In order to improve clarity, we simplify too much and focus on inane things like the number of keyphrases or backlinks you can get each month.

But does any of that really matter?

Business isn’t stable. It’s constantly changing. So Newton’s law applies: with every action comes a reaction. When you take one path, or make one decision, there will be unintended consequences. Why grow revenue if it means your profit falls as a percentage? That means you work more, sell more, take on more expenses, and make… less?

You can’t control how Google will update their algorithm next year, or next decade. But you can control your approach, your methodology, and your daily efforts to build a brand that provides a better solution and a better experience than anyone else in your industry or location.

Break down your goal, and identify the small critical steps along your path. So if you want to excel at search engine optimization, you might start with:

  • Crafting a brand that is both memorable and differentiated
  • Providing the best solution — product or service — possible
  • Designing your packaging and messaging to better match prospects

Then you would:

  • Communicate this value more effectively through better blog posts, articles, and webinars
  • Share and publicize this value more consistently and authentically through key industry contacts, partners, and your customers through social media and email marketing

If you can do these things well over time, then you’ll be at the top of the search rankings for every relevant phrase you could imagine.

All without keeping an eye on how many keyphrases you use or how many backlinks you acquire each month.


Why Paying Attention to the Process is Critical to Success

When your weight doesn’t go down as fast as you think it should (based on all your effort over the past few days, weeks, and months), then you start to get discouraged.

Discouragement begets pessimism. Before long, you quit or abandon your efforts.

“It’s not working”, you exclaim. “I’ve wasted my time”, you think. Those experts, trainers, and books? All liars.

“It might work for some people, but not for me”, you swear.

And eventually you slip back into your old habits. The ones that continue to add inches to your waist line and cut years off your lifespan.

And the worst part…

Your effort was working. You just couldn’t tell. While you were transfixed on the big, oversimplified number on your scale, you were also ignoring the underlying metrics just below the surface (like your body fat percentage decreasing).

Had you watched those instead, your attitude and behavior would have been different. Your habits would have changed.

You would have eaten healthier, slept better, improved your stamina, stressed less, and eventually… lost weight.