What do relay races and content in a marketing system have in common? Well, have you ever watched a relay race on TV?

It’s an event where runners on the same team run different segments of the race and pass a baton off to each other. No individual runner runs the entire race. Instead, the runners work together to pass the baton from one stage to the next as quickly and effectively as possible until the last runner crosses the finish line.

We find that relays are a great analogy for content’s role in a well-functioning marketing system, for several reasons.

A marketing system, while often talked about as one thing, is made up of different, distinct components. While the ultimate goal might be “more sales,” the goals for each marketing phase are context specific. To do well at every phase, you need to play each of them according to their own rules and to achieve their own sets of sub-goals.

For example, if a visitor shows up on your company’s social media profile, you’ve succeeded at one step — increasing awareness of your social media profile.

But how do you “pass the baton” to make them someone who takes the next step and visits your website?

The rules and best practices for this are different from the ones for getting someone onto your social media page in the first place. Once the visitor is on your site, how do you “pass the baton” to get them to submit their contact info? And so on, through all the phases, until they become a customer by “converting”.

The nice thing about the “pass the baton” mentality is that it both highlights the continuity of the entire marketing system and draws out the separation between all the phases. It’s much less intimidating to think about optimizing one phase, then moving on to the next one to do the same, rather than trying to figure out how to optimize your marketing system as a whole.

This is where analytics come into the picture. Google Analytics is set up out of the box to follow the different steps of the sales funnel, from Audience, to Behavior, to Conversions. Each of these sections has different types of reports because it’s a different “race”, with different goals.

So, how can you get into the “pass the baton” marketing mentality?

One of the first things you might benefit from is an evaluation of how you’re doing on the relay race as a whole. Are you happy with your overall marketing system? Are there parts of it that you know for a fact you’re doing great on, and other ones that you know need more work? If this currently lives in your head, take the time to put it down to paper (preferably with cartoon racers and batons being passed — for maximum effect!).

If you need help putting your current marketing system down on paper and analyzing its components and how to improve them, we are here to help. Our Growth Plan is a universal marketing strategy that’s practical and effective to implement — and that has a real impact on your bottom line. So pass the baton to us, and let’s do this thing together!

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