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Patricia O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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How to do a Usain Bolt and Get Ahead in the Digital Game

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I’m hardly the first to recognise that the digital marketing arena bristles with tough competition. The internet is a free-for-all playing field, inviting contestants from all around the world to participate and attempt to carve out their own unique presence within the global virtual sphere.

However, it’s how you perform within the digital landscape that dictates your success. Let’s take one of the greatest athletes of our time and use him as an example (because frankly, it’s Olympics season and that’s all anyone is talking about these days): Usain Bolt. A few nights ago, Mr Bolt made his mark in history by securing his third Olympic Games 100m gold medal in Rio. We’ve all seen the photo floating around the internet: Usain, poised well ahead of the pack, looking back at his competitors over his shoulder with a cheeky-yet-confident grin on his face.

So, let’s take a few lessons from the man himself and set out a pathway to acquiring that prime first-place position, Usain Bolt-style.

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To rank number one, you need to have a plan of attack

Usain Bolt trains 365 days a year to secure that podium position. In order for a digital campaign to be successful, it needs to be consistently worked on, it needs to be tackled with innovative approaches, and it needs to receive ongoing support from the experts in the game. Just as Bolt’s trainer adequately prepares the athlete for all kinds of racing conditions, a digital campaign needs to be ready to adapt to emerging trends, shifting keywords and rising competitors by remaining constantly on the ball and always focused.

There’s no need to panic when things don’t quite align

Sometimes, things go off track. While confidence is a key attribute to getting ahead of the game, you also need to remind yourself that at times, obstacles are going to present themselves; rather than letting them deter you, you need to find ways to overcome them and reset your pathway to success. In Bolt’s legendary gold win on Monday, he found himself immediately hindered at the start of the race with the second-slowest reaction time. But rather than panicking, the professional athlete remained cool, calm and collected, propelling himself forwards towards that first-place medal.

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Shape a goal for yourself, and make it your mission to achieve that

Bolt became the first man to achieve a hat-trick of Olympic 100m titles. It’s basically a superhuman feat that many could never fathom. However, the Jamaican sprinter simply responded to the accomplishment with the casual utterance: “I told you guys I was going to do it”. Yes, Bolt established a target for himself and he decided that he was simply going to achieve it. In digital marketing, you need to set yourself something to aim towards and to find any way possible to make that happen. When you give yourself goals to strive towards, you automatically find the self-determination to chase them so you, too, can pocket away that proverbial gold medal and leave your competitors eating dust in your tracks.

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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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