Islamic Marketing & the Power of Marginal Gains 

People often see great successes as the result of significant moves. This, however, is not always true. Often overlooked are the details and the little moves that lead to the end goal. It’s more about the small achievements that accumulate to greater success. Marginal Gains is a concept about valuing each little moment and creating the best out of it. It’s about routinely making small amendments and changes. Regardless of how massive your goal may be, it doesn’t demand you to take a massive step for its achievement; it requires you to accept it as a gradual process and to consider mistakes as opportunities for improvement. A famous quote from the book, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, says “Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins.The rule of marginal gains goes something like this: if you improve one percent each day, you’ll be thirty-seven percent better than who you were a year ago, and if you decline one percent each day, well – vice versa. 

How Marginal Gains Revolutionized British Cycling

The concept of marginal gains emerged in 2003 during the rise of the Tour de France when the British cyclists had almost lost hope. A new coach was hired to look into the cycling team from a different angle. And so he did. He decided to scrutinize each detail; from redesigning the exterior of the bike to the interior. The point was to seek improvements even in the most unexpected areas. They ensured nothing was overlooked, even if the requirement of improvement was just one percent. Not only within the boundaries of cycling, but they also ensured their health was perfect and their sleeping patterns had no loopholes. Due to this approach, the British cycling team went from ‘never winning a single event in 110 years’ to winning the Tour de France, nine Olympic records, and seven world records. From that point onwards, the concept of marginal gains became a guiding principle for every successful person.

The Aggregation of Marginal Gains: Small Steps Lead to Big Successes

Sometimes, the improvement by one percent does not seem to make much difference as a whole. The point is to see how much it contributes to the achievement of the goal. It is to understand and evaluate whether the outcome would remain the same if that one little improvement didn’t exist.

The Value of Marginal Gains:

  • Small Steps Add Up: Working on that one-percent improvement may almost seem useless in the beginning, but as time passes by, you will see a drastic difference in the outcome between those who improve daily and those who decline.
  • Goals as Aggregations: We often view our goals as single-shot events, but they are actually an aggregation of all the decisions and choices we make, whether one percent better or worse.
  • Daily Habits: An easier way to understand the value of marginal gains is to realize that one small step every day leads to either a bad or a good habit, and that habit molds you as a person.

Why Marginal Gains Matter:

  • Lifestyle Approach: This is why marginal gains are important and should be applied as a lifestyle or an approach toward life.
  • Focus on Routines: Every successful person or TED speaker focuses on building a schedule or a healthy routine because it involves all the small decisions and actions you make, falling into the category of your betterment or decline.
  • Proof of Small Wins: Marginal gains prove that small wins matter just as much as the goals themselves.

Transforming Failure:

  • Approach to Failure: ‘Marginal gains’ was also an approach towards failure. It wiped out failure once and for all, seeing every failure as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Opportunity for Improvement: Every failure is a marginal gain in disguise.

Applying Marginal Gains in Islamic Marketing

In Islamic marketing, the concept of marginal gains can transform how nonprofits approach their mission. Small, consistent improvements in outreach strategies, donor relations, and community engagement can lead to significant impacts. For example, optimizing email campaigns by improving open rates through better subject lines can gradually increase donations. Enhancing the quality of content in social media posts can build stronger connections with the audience. These small steps, rooted in the principles of Islamic marketing, reflect a dedication to excellence and continuous improvement, aligning with the values of integrity and sincerity.

Marginal Gains for Business Growth

In the field of business and marketing, especially within Islamic marketing, marginal gains are referred to as strategic planning. When it comes to a business startup or its further growth and management, marginal gains are often the first approach. Growing a business seems to be all about investment and profit as a whole, but the concept of marginal gains highlights the importance of automating and managing little things that might seem to take a few hours at the moment but save much time in the long run. The growth of a business depends on the training of each and every person working in it, the knowledge each employee has, constant measurement of performance, and the will to make amendments. Downfalls in business often occur because something meaningful enough to improve was overlooked.

Over to You: Embracing Marginal Gains in Islamic Marketing

Considering the concept of marginal gains as an approach towards life will only end up in your favor. Be it a simple goal of losing weight or the biggest dream of your life, break it down into simpler and smaller goals and work on them. In Islamic marketing, this approach can lead to significant and sustainable success. Do the math and make sure you do not miss out on anything. By embracing marginal gains, you can transform small, consistent improvements into substantial achievements.


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