What We Learnt from Seb Coe


Here at Stone’s Throw Media we love learning – so much so that “we always learn” is one of our core values.

Who can we learn from? Well, everyone! As the American author H. Jackson Brown Jr once said:

“Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.”

It was with that piece of wisdom ringing in their ears that our Matt and Mike travelled to a business event held at the NEC in Birmingham featuring a guest appearance from the legendary Seb Coe.

Olympic gold medal winning athlete, MP, head of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, a Life Peer, President of the IAAF, Pro-Chancellor at Loughborough University…it’s fair to say that Lord Coe knows a thing or two about being successful.

Could Matt and Mike learn anything from the great man? Of course.

Could they learn anything about business however? You better believe it!

As Matt explains in our video above, a large part of Seb Coe’s talk at the event revolved around his athletics career and “marginal gains” – incremental differences which don’t look much on their own but when added together can result in the gaining of an advantage over a fellow competitor.

Here’s a couple of quick posers for you: A) Who won the 1500m at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics? B) Who finished 5th in that race?

If you’re a sports fan or a good guesser, you’ll probably be able to get the answer to A) right – Seb Coe, funnily enough. But the answer to B)? Well, that’s a lot harder – it was the American Jim Spivey.

Both Coe (the winner) and Spivey (the guy who got lost in the shuffle coming fifth) were both amazing athletes full to the brim with natural talent, but it was the marginal gains – brought about thanks to hard work and innovative thinking – which saw Coe come out on top (but only by 4 seconds).

So how does this relate to business? Well, we think that there are incremental differences that every organisation can make – regardless of its size or sector – that can help it get a nose in front of its competitors.

One of these is of course the utilisation of video productions. If you’re not doing this already, now would be a pretty good time to start!

After all, shoppers who view demo videos are 1.8 times more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers, the inclusion of video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%, and 95% of a message via video is retained compared to just 10% via text!

In conclusion, utilising video will be one of those ways you can keep one step ahead (pun intended) of your rivals and seeing you land the gold medal*.

Now that’s a good lesson to learn!


* Not that you get gold medals in the world of business – which I think we can all agree is a tremendous shame

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