Strategy With Brutality: Why Marketing Is Like Boxing

Strategy With Brutality: Why Marketing Is Like Boxing

Marketing is a bit like boxing. 

Yes I have seen a few people literally coming to blows in the world of marketing agencies over the years, but I mean more in terms of the execution, if you pardon the pun, of marketing campaigns. 

I’m not really a boxing fan but I was quite fascinated by the recent world heavyweight championship fight between the U.K.’s Tyson Fury and the USA's Deontay Wilder.

In one respect I think I was interested in the fight (as were many others) because it was shaping up to be a great story – with both actors in this story having various flaws as well as super powers and both had their own reasons and their "whys" for getting into the ring.

Simon Sinek could have had a field day.

Tyson Fury's story absolutely adheres to the classic format of the Hero's Journey because he has had many troubles and difficulties and problems in his own journey through life so far.  

But he has managed to faces his foes – such as his well-documented struggles with his mental health and related issues – and come out the other side as the winner. 

So Mr Fury is enjoying a story of redemption and renewed success in the classic style.

But what also made me interested were the obvious comparisons to somebody running a business, because Fury's victory was a triumph not only of strategy, but also one of brutality.

Now brutality, unlike strategy, is not often a word you hear mentioned in a business context. 

However the brutality in this case was in the execution of the plan, the single minded way he made it happen. 

The fact is that many successful businesses are quite brutal in their execution – for example businesses who email consistently, regularly and sometimes multiple times in one day could be accused of almost being quite brutal – but they are absolutely executing on what works for them.

You could also say the same about high frequency re-targeting via digital advertising as being a brutal approach. But when done well (e.g. kept fresh with multiple messages and correct sequencing) it too can be very successful. 

And so I do have to commend Tyson Fury on the strategy behind his brutal execution. He got this 100% spot on and he knew what he had to do in order to give himself the best chance of winning by executing his plan.

Sometimes a great strategy with quite poor execution can work well in business, as can a great execution of a relatively poor strategy.

But when a great strategy is mixed with great execution then that is when the ground-breaking results are going to happen.

That is when when we see Strategic Brutality and that's where the magic happens and where great results are the outcome.

I wonder when we'll see a Tyson Fury book on his 'method'? 

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