It’s time to loosen up the arms, try a new approach in the box, and test out the rookies. It’s Spring Training in Florida and Arizona, and given the mild winter, it appears we’re in for a long, hot baseball season.
So, before the Bombers return to the Bronx for the regular season, what can we swipe from Spring Training that tells us about marketing effectively?
First is the idea of testing our product. Clients come to us with their newest inventions, thinking home run right from the start. Hold on, we say, let’s see what the market thinks first. Our market research efforts, while an investment upfront, saves businesses the greater expense of trying to market a doomed-to-fail product or brand. Testing and tinkering based on need and ability (and not just hopes and Cracker Jacks) creates better outcomes.
Next, we think about positions. What resources do we use in which situations, and where? Who’s on first, right? Organizations that seamlessly create products, take orders, and deliver goods aren’t lucky. They have the right pieces in the right places. This isn’t just about players, it’s also about coaches (leaders and mentors) who can make play-by-play decisions to pinch hit or pull the pitcher. Are you losing sales because your phone system isn’t customer friendly? That’s a marketing concern; one we help clients with often.
Thirdly, we have to identify our goal. Is it to get on base safely? Or is it to bunt so the guy before us advances? There are a lot of ways to reach our goals. We can get a base hit, or get walked; we can get hit by a pitch, or reach on an error; we can be called safe on a bad call. Do we have the right strategy to reach our goals? These are all questions we can ask, but only when we know our goal. A long-term goal might be to win the Pennant, or make $1 million dollars. Only when we think in terms of goals can we prepare ways to reach them.
Lastly, we need to preview our products to entice our customers. Spring Training is partially about showing off. It’s there to build excitement, anticipation, and desire. We’re given a glimpse of what’s to come, and that makes us want it more. How do you tease your products? Do you Tweet about them? Do you build showcases on LinkedIn? Do you participate in events? Do you sign multi-million dollar off-season free agents? We do all those things for clients. (Except the last thing, but only because we have an exceptional farm team.)
So are you in Spring Training for your business?