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5 Marketing Tips Inspired by Olympians


Just because the 2012 Summer Olympics are over, it doesn’t mean we can’t turn to our favorite Olympians for inspiration with marketing and brand management. In fact, there are great marketing strategies to take away from these world-renowned athletes which can be applied to enterprise marketing departments. Here are some tips that will help you keep your eye on the prize — ultimately winning marketing gold.

1. Focus.

Perfect your strategy, or in this case, your marketing strategy. Olympic swimmers don’t just hop in the pool and hope for the best. They take their time, making every stroke count, analyzing their form, and conserving energy for when it matters most. The same holds true for marketing strategy and brand management. Put your time and energy into actions that improve your brand and value. As a result, you’ll get to the finish line before the competition. Don’t waste your time – your smartest competitors aren’t wasting theirs.

2. Engage Your Audience.

The 2012 summer Olympics were deemed the “Social Olympics” for a reason. More than ever before, Twitter was widely used by Olympians – allowing fans to get close and intimate with their favorite athletes. To put things in perspective, in 2008, Twitter had 6 million users with an average of 300,000 tweets per day. Today, Twitter claims to have over 500 million users with an average of 400 million tweets per day. And at the 2012 Summer Olympics, athletes used Twitter and other social media platforms to interact with fans at a record-breaking level. In fact, Olympic gymnast and gold medalist, Gabby Douglas, went from 14K Twitter followers to over 540K Twitter followers in less than two weeks. Wow! Most marketers can only dream of having such growth and audience intimacy, right? Sharing personalized photos, engaging posts, shout-outs to fans, and entertaining re-tweets are all great ways to reach your target audience. The better you interact — the more they will share and interact with you. Help your audience get involved.

3. Master the Balance Beam.

Marketing is just like a balance beam. Well not exactly, but it is all about finding the right balance and providing the best performing maneuvers in sales-enablement, inbound marketing, brand management, and social media. And while we may not be capable of back-flips on a four inch wide bar like our Olympic Gold gymnasts, we sure can learn one thing. The right amount of focus, timing, and balance will help you stick the landing and move forward as a world champion marketer.

4. Protect Your Brand.

When you’re an Olympic athlete, eyes are on you. And when you are a Gold Medalist, all eyes are on you. A tweet may only be at the top of your newsfeed for minutes but it’s still a reflection of your brand. It also immediately reaches a worldwide audience. In the 2012 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee released official guidelines for what participants can say in social media channels. Failure to comply resulted in some Olympic athletes being banned from the games after posting offensive tweets. Not only can social media mistakes hurt your situation, but they can ruin your entire brand. In marketing, it is very important to manage your brand across all platforms while being cognitive of your message, tone, and agenda.

5. Records Can Always Be Broken.

Just because all medals have been awarded and the Olympic torch has been extinguished, it doesn’t mean the athletes stop training. Twenty-Two Time Olympic medalist, Michael Phelps is proof of that. In the world of marketing, you should never stop improving your brand, quality of campaigns, and marketing savvyness. If your marketing strategy stays stagnant, your brand will get left behind while the rest of the world improves and gets smarter. Change is the only constant, so why not continuously change for the better.

Olympians prove to us that gold isn’t just given to participants, it is earned. The same can be said about marketing. With key strategies, best practices, and a lot of hard work — you too, can be a marketing gold medalist.

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