360° Coverage : What If Marketing Were An Olympic Sport?

2 Updates
What If Marketing Were An Olympic Sport?
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

What If Marketing Were An Olympic Sport?

Feb 20 2014, 3:41pm CST | by

Meryl Davis and Charlie White got me thinking about some of the parallels between competitive sports and marketing. You remember their 4 ½ minute performance in the ice dancing finale? It was...

Filed under: news


31 weeks ago

What If Marketing Were An Olympic Sport?

Feb 20 2014, 3:41pm CST | by

Meryl Davis and Charlie White got me thinking about some of the parallels between competitive sports and marketing.

You remember their 4 ½ minute performance in the ice dancing finale? It was mesmerizing, wasn’t it? And under such pressure!

They were the last pair on the ice and their Canadian rivals had been fabulous. Meryl and Charlie had to be even better. They’d chosen Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherezade” as their music and that was a good idea because it got the Russian crowd at least not unsympathetic.

That’s when it occurred to me that in so many ways, the two ice dancers were great marketers. Consider:

  • Marketing takes a lot of trial-and-error testing to learn what works and what doesn’t both for the marketer and for the target audience. I’m pretty sure that Meryl and Charlie tried all kinds of different programs, fell many times but got right back up and continued to work toward excellence. Great marketers do that all their lives.
  • Marketers need outside help, suppliers and consultants to make programs extraordinary. Davis and White had a great coach (the same woman who coached the Canadians!) but they also thought outside the rink and asked Derek Hough, choreographer for Dancing With The Stars, for advice on unique dance steps.
  • These gold-medalists were not an overnight success. They’ve been together since they were about 10 years old and now they’re 27. They stayed committed, worked their way up slowly and became masters at what they do.
  • Marketers stay committed over time, too. They learn from every success and learn perhaps even more from every failure.  There are very few legal get-rich-quick ideas and most people who try crash and burn. Steady improvement over time will get you there as long as you keep testing, learning and becoming better and better.
  • Sacrifices along the way? I can only guess at the Davis and White financial challenges before the US Olympic Committee began to help. Their Moms, sitting together in the stands, looked like very nice women but not like overly wealthy matrons. And the time and the commitment must have seemed extreme at times.

Sounds a lot like my life in marketing. Budgeting, racing off to give a speech followed by a major presentation to a new client the next day, reviewing results, growing winners and dropping losers.

  • More than anything, though, after Davis and White had put themselves in position with exhaustive preparation, they put themselves over the top by … being unique. Not just better but differently better, memorably better.

Their program didn’t resemble any of the others. They were not ordinary in any way.

Oh, how I wish we could all be like that with products or services that stand out. Or a brand that stands out. Consider just one example from the last Super Bowl: Budweiser’s Puppy Love commercial stood out because it was beautifully done and it could have come only from Budweiser thanks to the Clydesdale. It takes time and commitment to develop that kind of simple and unique brand power.

  • Meryl Davis and Charlie White radiated confidence on the ice. They looked and acted like they were winners, like they’d done everything they needed to win and they expected to win. That feeling is half the game in the Olympics and in what you do.

And if you run your business as well as Meryl Davis and Charlie White run theirs, you deserve a Gold medal. And a standing ovation. If you were here, I’d even play the National Anthem.

Source: Forbes Business


4 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing t ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore


4 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hit ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore


Don't miss ...


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Unique 'signature' found in ageing brain
London, Sep 30 (IANS) In a discovery that may lead to treatments that can slow or reverse cognitive decline in the elderly, researchers have found evidence of a unique "signature" in the ageing brain.
Why drinking makes a smile more contagious among men
New York, Sep 30 (IANS) Alcohol induces a sort of "social bravery" among men, disrupting processes that would normally prevent them from responding to another person's smile, says an interesting study.
Sleep twitches connected to brain development in babies
Sleep twitches activate circuits throughout the developing brain, says the study, suggesting that twitches teach newborns about their limbs and what they can do with them.
Fiber optic sensors to improve landslide prediction
London, Sep 30 (IANS) Detecting and monitoring both large landslides and slow slope movements could be a lot easier and cheaper with optical fiber sensors, says a study.

Latest from the Network

Venezuela swaps guns for education
Caracas, Sep 30 (IANS/EFE) The Venezuelan government has initiated a voluntary arms exchange programme under which its citizens can surrender their firearms in return for work tools or a scholarship. The plan, which...
Read more on Politics Balla
Amanda Bynes arrested for DUI
Los Angeles, Sep 30 (IANS) Actress Amanda Bynes was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) here, but was released on bail later. The 28-year-old star, who came out of a rehabilitation clinic late last year,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
Asian Games: Indian men face Pakistan in hockey final
Incheon, Sep 30 (IANS) Two-time champions India will be facing arch-rivals and defending champions Pakistan in the mouthwatering title-clash of the Asian Games men's hockey final slated for Thursday. While India edged...
Read more on Sport Balla
Afghanistan, NATO sign agreement
Kabul, Sep 30 (IANS) The Afghanistan government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Tuesday signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) here. Afghan Presidential Advisor on National Security Mohammad...
Read more on Politics Balla
Afghanistan, US sign Bilateral Security Agreement
Kabul, Sep 30 (IANS) Afghanistan and the US Tuesday signed the long-awaited Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to allow a limited number of troops to remain in Afghanistan after the drawdown later this year of the NATO...
Read more on Politics Balla
Spain's Constitutional Court freezes Catalonian referendum plans
Madrid, Sep 30 (IANS/EFE) Spain's Constitutional Court has suspended the referendum on Catalonian independence set for Nov 9 while justices study arguments from the Spanish government, which strongly opposes the poll,...
Read more on Politics Balla
Asiad: Indian women's handball team ends 8th
Incheon, Sep 30 (IANS) The Indian women's handball team ended eighth at the Asian Games after losing their 7th-8th position playoff against Thailand 30-31 in a thrilling penalty shoot-out at the Seonhak Handball...
Read more on Sport Balla
Gowda wins Asiad discus throw silver
Incheon, Sep 30 (IANS) Vikas Gowda won India's ninth medal from athletics at the 17th Asian Games claiming the silver in men's discus throw final at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium here Tuesday. Gowda, who won the...
Read more on Sport Balla
Asiad kabaddi: Indian men beat Pakistan to enter semis
Incheon, Sep 30 (IANS) The Indian men's kabaddi team brushed aside arch-rivals Pakistan 23-11 to top Group A and entered the semi-finals of the event at the 17th Asian Games here Tuesday. The Rakesh Kumar-led Indian...
Read more on Sport Balla
Asian Games: Indian women win bronze in sailing
Incheon, Sep 30 (IANS) The Indian pair of Varsha Gautham and Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan finished second in the 12th and the final race to claim the bronze medal in the 29er - women's two person dinghy - at the 17th Asian...
Read more on Sport Balla