Game On!

Game on

A simplistic July 2015 ADWEEK print advertisement caught my attention this week. It wasn’t overly colorful. It didn’t have a large, dramatic and unexpected visual image. There wasn’t a celebrity or professional athlete endorsement. Nor was there any attention grabbing call-to-action. Just a straight-forward, thought-provoking headline: “Advertising is a sport. This is our championship.”

The ad is promoting the Clio Sports Awards and Winners, an international competition honoring creative excellence in sports, to ADWEEK subscribers. These readers are highly interested in any and all trends and triumphs that have to do with advertising and marketing “wins” and “losses”. However, I personally feel that a larger, more generalized, business-oriented audience can also take away a key point from this headline: “Advertising is a sport.”

How very telling that statement is! We must all remember and/or come to the realization that the promotional regime of a business needs to be treated like a custom branded team playing a part in a much larger local, national or international arena in a competition on behalf of their company.

5 tactics to bolster your Marketing Team’s A-game:

  1. Know your competition. You should perform a competitive analysis quarterly to keep up with your direct competitors. Once a year or at the start of a campaign is not enough. Things change frequently and constantly, as the season continues, so you need to stay on top of their every move in order to beat them.
  2. Update your playbook. A coach doesn’t run the same play over, again and again, to get down the field. Instead, the coaching staff uses a variety of plays, just like you should use a variety of marketing channels and tactics – some tried and true methods and other brand new, fresh out-of-the box ideas to change things up, stump the competition and score big when it counts.
  3. Practice makes perfect. It never hurts to “practice” on a smaller portion of your customer or prospect base before rolling out the entire game plan. Consider doing a test run first. Launch a pilot program, test a random sample, run the ideas by a focus group or implement the plan in pre-determined phases… before your find yourself all-in with no relief.
  4. Roll the review tapes. After each marketing campaign, event and promotion, make sure to thoroughly review and critique every aspect that occurred to determine what worked and what didn’t. Logging and tracking both your successes and failures will help you learn from your mistakes while inevitably making you a stronger contender in the long run.
  5. Celebrate the success. You might not pass out trophies or participation ribbons at the end of each quarter, but recognition can go a long way when it comes to boosting employee morale. Measure and track your marketing, advertising and sales results and then take the time to acknowledge, share and celebrate those small victories. From new customers acquired and repeat sales to growth in market share and successful lead-generation tactics, your team at the very least deserves a high five for a job well done.

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