Marketing Lessons: What I Learned From Surfing

I've always loved surfing since I was young. All I've been doing is simply just heading to the beach and catching waves.


After all these years, I see surfing from my marketing professional angle and notice some common things. I thought I was a little crazy but the more I read about some other business experts who wrote articles and novels, I just realized that there are some similar thoughts out there.

Here are some lessons I would like to introduce—five business lessons that I learned from surfing.

Commitment

grayscale photo of man riding a surfboardPhoto by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Once you commit yourself to wanting to be a good surfer, you keep practice year round. Summer or winter. You will see some progress and review and correct things for improvement.

Marketing is the same. You build some marketing objectives/strategies and stick to them to review for improvement.

Be Competitive

woman carrying surfboardPhoto by Debora Cardenas on Unsplash

Unlike other sports, there is a clear rule regarding priority on the wave rides. Only one person can ride the wave. The surfing's priority rule applies when a surfer takes off. You can compare yourself only to yourself and always give 110%, no excuses, and learn how to lose sometimes.

A competitive advantage is what makes your business better. Compare yourself by analyzing your data. Stay ahead of consumer trends and automate your marketing campaigns.

Have A Mindful Marketing Viewpoint

woman sitting on seashorePhoto by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Analyze your surfing style. Know your weakness and strengths to become a better surfer. Same for marketing: determine the brand/product directions by analyzing your brands/products, competitors, and market, so you can set goals, objectives, and strategies.

Risk Management

body of water surrounded by fogPhoto by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

The peak of a wave is its highest point and the ideal take-off point for surfers. To be there, you will need to read waves. And once you take off, you still need to read, assess, and anticipate the wave. And it is perhaps the hardest aspect of surfing. It might be your skills/techniques that would help you to complete the waves but sometimes you are just lucky to complete with simply how the waves break.

Either way, you will need to make decisions.

In the marketing business, you will need to lay out all the possible results or outcomes but also you watch/review/edit during the process while you are preparing for the worst case scenario.

Be Prepared

woman doing weight liftingPhoto by John Arano on Unsplash

In surfing and other sports, sometimes you get lucky and get a perfect score. Professional surfers might not win the competitions once or twice out of 10. This also means 80% of the time, they can become the finalists.

Marketing professionals also know that 80-90% would be depending on the preparation of the strategies but the rest depends on luck or market/trends conditions.


I wrote about what I see in common with the marketing and surfing, but there might be anything in common with the business and your favorite sports. If you think you would agree and want to share about it, I would be happy to hear. Please reach out to me via LinkedIn.

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