Saturday 6 September 2008

My top 3 marketing lessons from the sporting world

This blog entry appeared in the September issue of the Dutch marketing magazine Marketing Tribune when I was Head of Marketing for PICNIC, the biggest international media event held every year in Amsterdam:

Excellence in marketing requires the same approach as excellence in sport.

  1. Goal setting, planning, and discipline: Excellence in sport starts with setting ambitious, yet achievable goals, planning how to achieve these and having the discipline to keep to the plan; plus possessing the flexibility to revise the plan if needed. A marketer without such a goal and plan, is like a feather in the wind.

  2. Partnerships and trust: A sporter without a coach and sponsor is going to have a hard time making the top even with the required ability and discipline. Trusting them is also a pre-requisite. Marketing is not a stand-alone department, it is a way of thinking. Being an excellent marketer requires partnering internally with sales and with organizations with the same ambition; joint ownership of a goal makes reaching that goal more attainable.

  3. Measuring and testing: A top sporter lives by measurement, whether it is seconds, weight, calories, heart rate or distance. For every change in technique or equipment the output is measured and revised if appropriate. A marketer can’t excel without measuring and testing every Euro spent to determine possible improvements in output compared to the baseline.
Check out the video's on achieving your sporting goals by some top coaches, they talk about planning and team in particular:

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