Forward Progress

April 18, 2023

I recently have started riding a motorcycle (please don’t tell my mom). And as a new rider I am being inundated with all new web content to read and enjoy, from best helmets to worst crashes to the inevitable Harley vs. Indian feud. 

One article that recently caught my attention was discussing lane splitting, the idea of motorcycles “splitting” a lane and basically riding slowly and safely between cars when encountering heavy traffic. This idea is further discussed in Europe where motorcycle riders are taught the concept of Forward Progress. 

What is Forward Progress?

Forward Progress, also known as Filtering, is the idea that a motorcycle is a small, agile vehicle and when encountering traffic should safely continue progressing forward rather than sitting behind a slow moving or stationary vehicle. The idea is for the motorcycle to help traffic by not adding another vehicle to the mess, but rather find safe paths to continue advancing thus creating less traffic rather than more. 

This concept really caught my attention and I thought of how PunchDrunk Digital takes the same approach. Our team of PunchDrunkers task themselves and each other to remain nimble, seeking to remove ourselves from the traffic of other digital agencies and the congestion of the overall marketing world. We want to always be making Forward Progress, for ourselves, for technology’s sake, for our clients. 

Before I became a biker (tattoo and Sons of Anarchy cut coming soon) I had never heard of Forward Progress. Our team didn’t have a specific term to huddle around when it came to our desire to separate ourselves from our competitors and power through the cogs of modern marketing. We just did it. We knew that our clients expected to be moving ahead of their competition and demanded that we bring them the latest and greatest of what digital marketing has to offer. Basically, to keep them out of traffic and flowing smoothly, quickly, safely, through the highways of advertising. 

What Forward Progress In Marketing Looks Like?

Forward Progress by definition is simple – continue moving forward, progression. When campaign traffic strikes: a down platform, a creative revision waiting for approval, a new intern that thinks Pepsi and Coke are the same thing, rather than honk the horn and stare at the car in front of us, our team asks the simple question, what can we still be doing to cultivate progress? If the campaign itself has reached a bottleneck, what can we as an organization or me as an individual be doing to maintain progress. 

When you hit marketing congestion look at these handful of ideas to help you achieve Forward Progress:

  • Attending Conferences 
  • Having Internal Strategy Sessions 
  • Reaching Out To Platforms and Vendors For Their Latest Offerings
  • Analyze Campaign Data
  • Train The Intern
  • Be Trained By Someone
  • Jump Into An Industry Forum 
  • Read Some Of Those Marketing Emails from eMarketer or IAB
  • Ask For Help

The last one is the key. Around you should be a trusted team, people that want you and the clients to have the highest level of success. Don’t ride alone when you don’t have to.

Keep Moving Forward

A little law of physics states that an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. We believe staying in motion is easy, as long as you avoid the forces that stop you. When you see traffic ahead, become a motorcyclist and begin looking for escape routes.

For more conversation about Forward Progress, Digital Marketing, or Motorcycle Riding, feel free to give PunchDrunk Digital a shout.