The following is a guest post by Jenna Bruce.
Got an advertising campaign you were sure was going to be a winner but instead underperformed? It’s not a good feeling, but it’s part of the marketing game. Here’s what you do the next time it happens: simply ask yourself, “What would LoLo Jones do?”
In case you’re not an Olympic fanatic like I am and don’t know who LoLo Jones is, she was an Olympic hurdler who had tremendous promise, like the kind of promise where everyone in the world just assumed she’d win a gold medal. But she didn’t win a gold medal. In fact, she went home after the 2012 Summer Games without any medals, and this was after going home empty-handed after the previous Summer Olympics.
To say LoLo was at a low point in her life and career is an understatement, but she didn’t let failure stop her from achieving her Olympic dream. Instead she turned to a sport she had never tried before: bobsledding. LoLo recently qualified to become one of six women who will represent the United States in bobsledding at the Sochi Winter Games, and this may finally be her year to bring home the gold.
So, the next time one of your advertising campaigns doesn’t medal, ask yourself, “What would LoLo Jones do?” Specifically, what would LoLo Jones the bobsledder do?
Run Really Really Really Fast
Sure, the bobsledding course is covered in ice and built at an angle, and then there’s the whole gravity thing, so the bobsled is going to move pretty quickly on its own. However, if you want to win a gold medal, you have to spend the first few seconds of your run actually running and pushing that bobsled as fast as you can to gain momentum. Gathering speed at the beginning of the race is the key to bobsledding.
You’ve got to do the same thing with your advertising campaigns, except instead of running as fast as you can, you’ve got to do as much research as you can. Gathering data at the beginning of your campaign is the key to marketing success. Who are you targeting with your ads? What problems will your products or service solve for them? What media do they consume? Do this research first and you may be well on your way to a gold medal.
Launch at Just the Right Moment
After LoLo runs as fast as she can, pushing that bobsled ahead of her, she has to launch herself at just the right moment and make sure her butt hits the little seat inside the bobsled, or else she might be left behind in the dust, or the ice, which is even worse and far more painful.
You must also launch your campaigns at just the right time or your competitors will leave you in the dust. What time(s) will your campaigns be better served? On a Sunday? In the morning edition of the local paper? In a late afternoon radio spot? To know this answer, you have to take all the data you gathered in step one and create your ideal prospect. Once you have this target profile in mind you’ll be able to determine the best time to reach them with your message.
Lean the Bobsled Side to Side
Once LoLo’s inside the bobsled she can’t just sit there and hope she stays on track. She needs to maneuver that bobsled in order to make every twist and turn.
Once you launch an advertising campaign, you can’t just sit there and hope for the best, either. You’ve got to track your campaigns and adjust them accordingly so the campaign, and your budget, stays on track.
Wear a Cute Little Outfit
Face it, no matter how talented these athletes are, and no matter how much they should be respected for their hard work and dedication, at the end of the day it comes down to who has the cutest outfit. LoLo’s bobsledding outfits are skin tight and colorful and you can’t take your eyes off of them. In other words, the outfits are equally as engaging as the actual sport.
Your campaigns have to engage your audience as well. All of that research and data-gathering and tracking won’t mean a hill of snow if your campaigns are dull, lifeless and utterly uncreative.
If you attack your advertising campaigns the same way LoLo attacks a bobsledding course, there’s no reason why you can’t bring home your own gold medal!
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