Beware the marketing magpie syndrome

An email popped into my inbox this morning from a dude I know. He’s like the marketing magician of the fitness industry and is astonishingly successful. Not in a “here’s my new Porsche” way, but in an “actually getting shit done and building a strong business” way.

Close up of a magpie sat on green grass

Don’t be a magpie, attracted by the latest, shiny fad. Invest in tested techniques.

Anyway, he was talking about zumba.

Remember zumba? A few years ago, it seemed to be everywhere. Hundreds of people crammed into church halls, community centres, gym studios, and even The Assembly Rooms in Leamington Spa (a pretty big gig and clubnight venue).

It was crazy popular.

When’s the last time you saw a zumba class advertised?

Or actually taking place?

That’s the question Paul asked in his email and I can’t think of an answer. Certainly I haven’t seen any classes around here, where we’ve moved. I don’t remember seeing many when I lived in Leam either (and I taught pole fitness at a local gym, so I did pay vague attention to what was going on).

So, this zumba thing got me thinking about strategies and tactics. And how tactics are short-term and might not work… but sound strategies have worked since the dawn of marketing and will continue to do so.

Moving around more and having fun while you’re doing it is a sound strategy to get fit, lose weight, or whatever it is you want to achieve. The tactics you choose might not work. And once the shine of the fad has worn off, they might not even be around anymore.

Like zumba.

I’m not that well up on the fitness crazes that pass by; I’ve found mine: pole, aerial circus skills, gymnastics, running. I hate gyms so I rarely go into one. But I think at the moment CrossFit is a huge thing. And opposite my pole studio, there’s a massive warehouse from which emanates the shrieks and whoops and whistles one might find at a rave.

Apparently this is “clubercise”. Sounds horrific, but all the people who come out do so with a huge grin on their faces so it must work for them. I’m wondering how long it’ll last.

Thing is, it’s really easy to get distracted by the latest bright shiny object in fitness or in marketing and running your business. Which brings me to my point: if you have a sound strategy in place, you know you’ll get to where you’re going. Not all your tactics will work well; some will fail miserably; but the long-term strategy will get you there.

Funnels sound like a shiny new thing, but they’re not. They’ve been around for ever.

(Just in case: a funnel is a system for attracting prospects, drawing them in, and then converting them into paying customers and clients.)


Want to know more? My book, Business For Superheroes, will give you an introduction and guide to setting up your own sales funnel. Interested? You can buy a copy here.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

PS Joe and I discovered the most beautiful gardens just a few miles down the road from our new place yesterday. I’ll share some pics tomorrow. I’ve now got grand plans for part of The Dingle gardens…

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