In honor of the NYC Marathon, the sun has wrapped itself around the city.
Sunday afternoon, you could spot the runners by their fleece-lined blue capes and the large gold marathon medals. They hung proudly shimmering in the uncommonly warm sunshine.
They looked like regal super heroes. But after their 26.2 mile run, most of the runners huddled near family and friends as they made their way back home.
We said “Congrats” to Shuhrat from Uzbekistan on 23rd Street and got into a conversation. This was his fourth NYC Marathon.
Monday, marathon runners turned into tourists. On Little Island (see Voice Notes) we talked to an architect from Mexico. This was her first marathon. She confided to me, “It’s really only the last 5 miles that count!”
While starting the race is easy, it’s finishing the race that really matters.
Actionable Marketing Lesson of the Week
► 2021 TCS New York City Marathon
Last Sunday marked the 50th NYC Marathon, a destination for runners from around the world. This year, the Marathon meant more because it showed that the city I call home once again is coming back post-pandemic.
The 26.2 mile marathon across all 5 boroughs gives runners a sneaker-cushioned sense of the city most New Yorkers never get. Runners cross several
iconic New York City bridges, namely the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Queensboro or 59th Street Bridge.
Among the 30,000+ runners was Larry Trachtenberg. He ran in the first New York City Marathon in 1970 and completed Sunday’s 50th Marathon at age 67!
The NYC Marathon has lessons for you even if you don’t run!
Like marathons in other major cities, the NYC Marathon has become a major location-based event.
It’s a big buy for advertisers and attracts big-name sponsors. They get their logo splashed all over the bleachers and the finish line.
Beyond closing roads and stopping traffic, the Marathon is a reason to celebrate with parties and cheering. This gives local merchants a reason to create promotions. Friends who lived on First Avenue in the 80s always hosted a Marathon brunch.
From a media perspective:
The New York Times publishes the names and times of the 30,000 marathon finishers in the Monday edition of the newspaper, a tradition they started in 1994.
As a result, they increase retail sales about 50% over a typical Monday. Even better, they don’t need to create original content since they just report the results of the race.
What does this mean for your Marketing?
- You don’t need to go as big as the Marathon to support local businesses.
- Consider what would make your location stand out. What would make it talk-worthy?
But, the marketing lesson of the New York City Marathon is bigger. It’s not just the ability to extend an event over time so that an entire city stops to watch. Rather it’s about the commitment a marathon takes, whether it’s in your work or in your life.
Kara Cutruzzula observed this about the New York City Marathon in her Brass Ring Daily Newsletter. (BTW—It’s worth your attention!)
[The New York City Marathon is] the greatest day of the year because we get to witness people who chose to start and are choosing to finish.
They remind us what it looks like to commit—not only to running, but to whatever might appear hard or insurmountable in our own lives.
In her 99th Total Anarchy Newsletter, Ann Handley shared what it takes to commit to doing something. Over the course of 198 weeks of writing her newsletter, Handley has grown her list and built relationships.
What most people don’t see is that this content marketing rockstar still spends 8 hours crafting each newsletter. (And yes I see some of you bloggers cringing.)
While she doesn’t get paid to provide her insights and wit, she shows up because she’s committed to do so.
You can’t just wake up on the first Sunday in November and decide you’d like to participate in the Marathon. You need to get in shape and build up your endurance for the long journey from Staten Island to Manhattan’s Central Park. This requires a plan.
So I ask you:
What are you committing to and what does it mean for you personally? What are you willing to risk?
► Sounds of Little Island
Little Island is New York City’s newest park west of the Meatpacking District. It’s quickly become a tourist destination.
It offers spectacular views looking south. The panorama encompasses lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge.
Beyond the sounds of the Hudson River washing up the western edge of Manhattan, this park provides insights into the power of audio content. Built on concrete “mushrooms” that jut out into the Hudson River, the park is a playground full of sounds.
Several sculptures invite visitors to interact and construct melodies. You can step on the surface or use mallets to bang out your sound.
At the heart of this park is an amphitheater built from polished wood benches and metal decorations. It allows the sounds of the performance to fan over the natural beauty.
This sound conscious park has tapped into the power of audio content. We saw 2 women walking around listening to an audio tour describing the plants and sights on their smartphones. When I asked how they found out about the tour, they responded that it was on the sign on the way into the park.
When we left the park we saw the QR code on the park sign.
As a New Yorker, I wasn’t surprised I had missed it since the city is packed with signs. Every window, free space on buildings and other surfaces of outdoor space carries some form of advertising from Citibikes to bus stops.
As for QR codes, I was amused to see how these small packages of information have quietly re-entered the mainstream.
About 10 years ago they were the marketing rage. Now they provide an easy, touch-free way to get people to download your content directly.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Extend the power of your owned media to raise awareness for your voice and audio content. Don’t assume that one impression will be sufficient.
- Provide multiple entry ways to your voice and other owned content.
NYC Marketing Marketing Minute
► Madison Square Park Leaf Fest
On November 13th, Madison Square Park Conservancy is hosting a Leaf Fest. This is a fancy name for raking the leaves. I must admit that I was surprised to see a sign promoting the event in the Park.
I’d never think of turning raking, an activity most people with lawns consider a chore, into a community activity. Yet someone turned this chore on its head and into a fun filled day for families. And, they even got Whole Foods to sponsor it.
I point this local event out since it shows that you don’t need to host a massive event like the New York City Marathon to get your local community involved and possibly attract some local sponsors.
You can do something small that gets your community out to participate together.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Examine what activities and resources your business has that you can dress up to attract your community.
Recommended Reading: Small Business
New Posts on the Actionable Marketing Guide:
To extend the life and reach of your content marketing. 10 types of audio content formats to use.
Then make sure you have these 10 fundamental abilities to make your content marketing succeed.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
Join me at these marketing events:
► November 10th – Project Voice: The Voice of Money The #1 event for voice tech, AI, and modern banking and finance returns to the heart of New York City for a special one-day-only gathering. Program begins at Noon ET. Register here.
► November 10th – The World Wide Voice Web An all day, in-person and live-streamed workshop featuring experts from academia and industry who will discuss the concepts, technology, and the ongoing standardization effort to create the WWvW. Program begins at 9am PT at Stanford University.
Welcome new members: Justin, Erica, Renè, Richard, Elena, Crystina, Ulia, Kenny, Jerrilynn, Dmitriikrutoi and Caroline.