Keep your eye on the ball
and stay in the game
A Golfer's Analogy for Today's Marketeers.
Whether you are a golfer or not, we all understand a few things about the game. Keep your eye on the ball, know the lay of the land, and put it in the hole in as few strokes as possible.
I'm certainly no golf pro, but I've played enough to know that the game requires skills that come with years of practice. The same can be said of marketing.
Over and over again, I see more 'Pro' Marketers taking a blindfolded approach to their methods. Once again, just because today's technology has broadened our marketing options, it doesn't mean your efforts will be more effective.
Imagine walking out on the course blindfolded and attempting to shoot eighteen holes of golf. Any golf pro would tell you that it would be next to impossible. Chances are, you'll never make it past the first hole. The same is true of marketing.
The challenges we face today are much different than they were just a few years ago. Starting with the simple fact that there is a whole new breed of marketeers, from all corners of the globe, eagerly lining up to tee off from your home turf.
On any given day, your potential customer has been saturated with media, losing patience, desensitized, and wary of whom she should trust.
Here are a few quick tips:
Keep it simple. Ditch the blindfold, get your eye on the ball, and focus on one hole at a time. Don't get caught up in all the hype that promises instant results. Good marketing and building brand loyalty both still require making solid emotional connections with your audience.
Always aim for the efforts that earn your customer's trust. Statistics state that acquiring a new customer can cost five to seven times more than retaining an old one.
Keep your score sheet handy. Big brands start little, they grow by continuously evaluating their efforts and reinventing for better results. Make good use of online metrics to conclude your efforts—don't be afraid to tweak your approach. Study and use the latest marketing tech tools—many of these nifty new 'irons' will get you to the green in one stroke, but just like any challenge you'll face in life, it takes time and practice to get them tuned in.
Don't forget to work on your 'short game'. The internet has brought the consumer from the other side of the globe to your doorstep. However, on the flip side, competition is equally more fierce. Keep your eye on the target. The days of hit-and-miss advertising are long gone. Today, targeted email campaigns and web-based analytics can take your company's marketing efforts directly to your ideal consumer. And the results good or bad can be measured instantaneously—right down to the socks on their feet.
According to Golf Digest, Payne Stewart's used Argyle socks were auctioned off for a whopping $3,215.
Golf Images courtesy of The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Complete Golfer , by Harry Vardon