There’s an old story about two guys on a hike in the woods. They see a bear, and one of the hikers carefully goes into his backpack and starts putting on his pair of running shoes. His friend looks at him and says, “What are you doing…you’re never going to outrun that bear….” To which his friend says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.”
The concept of marketing fitness is similar to physical fitness. To survive and thrive in business, you have to be able to outrun your competitors. If you’re not Marketing Fit, you’re going to have a hard time winning. In physical fitness, there are two basic concepts, demonstrated by the two essential strategies of all diet programs: reduce fat and increase performance. Essentially, in order to be fit, you’ve got to reduce the stuff that slows you down (fat), and increase the thing that gives you performance (muscle).
To be “marketing fit,” you also need to reduce one thing and increase another. The thing you need to reduce is the cost of business acquisition. The thing you need to increase is the perceived value. The cost of business acquisition, sometimes called the ‘Cost-per-Customer’ (CPC) relates to how much it costs you to get a customer. Just imagine how fast you could grow if you didn’t have to spend any time or money to get as much business as you wanted. The more you have to spend to get a new piece of business, the slower you can grow. Market Fitness means keeping unnecessary contact expense out of your budget.
Perceived Value relates to how much your product or service is perceived to be worth. That’s what sets the selling price. If you make or deliver something that looks like it’s worth a lot more than you’ve got into it, then you have a big head start.
Marketing fitness is achieved when you focus on the things that keep marketing costs down and increase the value of what you offer.
Just like you need a healthy diet and exercise to keep reduce fat and increase muscle, a healthy marketing program focuses on reducing acquisition cost and increasing perceived value. And, just like in dieting, there’s a relationship between diet and exercise in that the more you exercise, the more fat you burn, the same thing holds with marketing fitness. The more value you provide, the lower your cost of acquisition.