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Case study: How we promoted a virtual run with myFITBOX?

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Digital Marketing | 0 comments

Why are you reading this case study?

Earlier this year, my friends at myFITBOX decided to organize a virtual run. It was called ‘We Hate Cardio.’ The goal of the run is to inspire people who don’t like running too, well.. get up and run. 

We were allowed to help them market the run. And in this post, I’ll discuss what we have learned during marketing it. Hopefully, the tips you’ll learn here will help you do better marketing.


#1 — Create something new, not better.

“We Hate Cardio” was an odd name for a race. But that’s what made it so attractive. 

People are naturally attracted to what’s new and not what’s better.

For example, when Taco Bell opened in Malaysia, people were willing to wait under the hot sun just to get a meal.

If you are going to market something, find a way to position it as something new. There are hundreds of marathons every year. What’s different about yours?

‘New’ attracts eyeballs. 

We Hate Cardio wasn’t the typical “quickest time is a winner” type of run. 

Participants can choose to walk, run, or hike to reach their goals. And the best race groups get their team name shown on a billboard in Bangsar, KL. Again, new stuff. 

Takeaway: Create something new. Better and good quality is an expectation. 


#2 – Remove obstacles for people.

Want more people to sign up for your run? Remove as many obstacles as possible.

With We Hate Cardio, participants had to form teams of 5 to participate. This became an unnecessary hurdle, especially for people who did not have a team.

To tackle this, we quickly set up a ‘matchmaking’ service to help solo participants and put them together as a group.

So often, we see businesses asking for a truckload of information during the purchasing process. People don’t have time. Make it super easy for your customers to sign-up. You can always ask for more information later on. 

Takeaway: Are you making registration difficult for your customers? Simplify it!


#3 — Measure your marketing. 

Not doing the hard work of setting up your analytics before marketing is a huge mistake. 

How would you improve your marketing if you have no data on what worked and what didn’t? 

Marketing is a moving target. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. That means you have to constantly monitor your marketing and be able to change strategies quickly. 

For We Hate Cardio, we set up two types of analytics. Google Analytics for quantitative measurement and heat mapping software for qualitative measurement. 

Using Google Analytics, we could track if traffic from our ads was converting. We could also pinpoint which ad creatives or video was attributing the most conversions. 

And with the website’s heatmap, we could observe if our visitors clicked on the right buttons, including the headlines/offers on the page that interest them. 

Takeaway: What gets measured gets improved. 


#4 – Don’t market to your audience. Market with them. 

Typical marketers buy ads on Facebook to promote their product, or in this case, a run. Then they spend all their time trying to optimize the algorithm, creatives, copy, etc. 

The problem is they forget people dislike hard-sell ads. JOIN OUR RUN! You’ll love it, and it’s the last day for your discount! 

People are tired of seeing such ads. Especially when we are bombarded with tons of advertisements every day. We’re developing advertising blindness. 

So what can we do if advertisements are becoming less effective? Stop marketing to your audience, and market with them instead. Here’s how we did that for We Hate Cardio.

Putting together a team of 5 runners was hard. So, we rewarded team leaders who completed a team of 5 with a free ‘challenge’ registration ticket. They could also challenge a friend to join the run with the ticket. 

The strategy worked. Team leaders of a completed group began inviting their friends. And their friends started forming their own teams, giving us extra participants in the process. 

Takeaway: Make great products that people love, then create a system for them to tell others. 


#5 — Build a brand.

There are literally hundreds of runs and races organized in Malaysia every year. What’s the difference if you were to organize one? Why would people be excited? 

Building brand matters. A brand is a reason why people are willing to pay a premium for a t-shirt with a swoosh on it.

For We Hate Cardio, we invested effort into building a brand – even if it was just a virtual run event. We created a website for it and made sure it was searchable online. 

Plus, we started an Instagram page just for the run. 

While all these seem like nothing, they brought a lot of value to the run. Not only could people easily get information about the run from the website and Instagram page but having a dedicated website for the run just portrays the legitimacy of the event. 

Takeaway: Always be building your brand. 


#6 — Leverage user-generated content (UGC)

Creating content is hard work. Not to mention costly for most businesses. You’ll have to plan, shoot and edit them. 

And even after all that hard work, there’s no guarantee your content will be a hit. In fact, the type of content that becomes a hit is usually the unpolished ones. 

That’s why for We Hate Cardio, we decided to leverage user-generated content. We created a warm-up challenge where participants could win prizes by posting videos. To encourage participation, we broke down the challenge into a few categories, namely: 

  • Most entertaining warm-up.
  • Most creative warm-up.
  • Most hardcore warm-up.
  • Most scenic warm-up.
  • All-rounder award.

People started recording and posting videos on their social media. This was a win because participants spread the word about the run. 

Takeaway: Find a way to market with your audience. Make something worth sharing.


#7 — Go where your customers are.

People who ask, “Where is the best platform for marketing” are missing the point. Effective marketing is about identifying your ideal customer and then figuring out where they are. 

For We Hate Cardio, we figured ideal participants are people who spend time on Instagram. That’s why we set up a page, posted content, and ran some advertisements there. 

However, throughout the marketing campaign, we learned that many participants joined because they were looking for an activity. With that info, we decided to post up our virtual run event on event platforms like Peatix, Eventbrite, and Ticket2u. 

This was a viable strategy, as we started getting registrants from those platforms (including a participant who lived overseas).

Takeaway: Marketing comes down to 3 questions. Who is your ideal customer? Where do they hang out at? How do you reach them?



There are many ways to market a virtual run or event. But regardless of marketing an event, product, or service – one thing remains constant: Ads are getting less effective. 

Instead of doing marketing by the book – running Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads, etc. These days, doing effective marketing means having to be a little creative. On top of that, marketers should learn to listen to their customers and learn about their pain, fears, hopes, and dreams. 

How would you market a virtual run? Let us know in the comment section down below.


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