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Great Small Business Marketing? Dave Wottle's Kick Offers a Valuable Lesson

When I was 13 years old I was heavy into track and field and competed for my middle school team. I focused mostly in field events - especially the high jump - but also ran hurdles, relays and 400 yard dashes. So I kept my eye on the elite track and field world.

There were many track and field heroes for me to follow, but my favorite of all time was (and still is), by far, Dave Wottle.

He was the most unexpected of heroes. A runner who specialized in the 800-meter distance, kind of doofy looking, with buck teeth, and a funny name. And every race he insisted on wearing this beat up, old golf hat. His persona didn't capture me at all, but instead what captured me was his running style.

He began a race at the back of the pack, and for about 2/3 of the race, that's where he stayed. You often wondered how he could possibly make up lost time.

But then, with the race 2/3's over, he made his move. He would start accelerating and pass runners on the backstretch. By the time he got to the home stretch he was accelerating even faster. The last 100 yards of the race, he'd continue passing runners until......right at the end.....he'd sprint through the finish line and win.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, check out this short YouTube video of Dave Wottle winning the 1972 Olympics. (If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, just fast forward to about 1:30 into the clip and watch the end of the race).

What on earth does Dave Wottle and his infamous kick have to do with successful small business marketing? Just this:

Every marketing tool, whether it be a television ad or a brochure, a website or a YouTube video, requires a kick to the finish line. It's easy to get distracted and give up on that new marketing initiative, or the 23rd version of an old one, but I'm convinced if you burn the image of Dave Wottle sprinting through the finish line into your subconscious mind, you'll successfully complete more marketing campaigns.

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December 1, 2008 in Small Business Marketing | Permalink


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