On the surface of it, marketing and and Wimbledon aren’t all that similar – amongst other things, one requires that you wear shorts, and the other, well, not so much…
However, there are a few things we think marketing can learn from Wimbledon to make sure that you serve your clients with the best marketing your business can offer, and get them results that they’re going to love.
Here are our top 4 things that marketing can learn from Wimbledon.
Strategy is important, but so is thinking on your feet
We all know the importance of strategy. In marketing and in tennis, a good strategy is crucial to success. However, strategy isn’t about rigidity. In fact, incorporating flexibility into your strategy is the best thing you can do, whether you’re in the office or on the courts. In tennis, being flexible means that you’re prepared to play anyone no matter what tactics they use. In marketing, flexibility is crucial because you never know when someone or something is going to throw you a curveball (to use a mixed-sports metaphor).
Marketing is a fast moving industry, and you should be fast-moving too. Social media is a great example of an area where being flexible is a must – we live in a world where there’s always a new app to get to grips with, or a tweet delivers breaking news before the media can. Whether it’s a client dropping an unexpected workload on your desk, or something important happening in the media that affects your strategy, flexibility is key.
Push yourself – especially against the giants
Have you heard of Marcus Willis? No? A couple of weeks ago, the British tennis player was the world number 772. After winning six matches for the main draw of the 2016 Wimbledon championships, Willis played 7-time champion Rodger Federer – the current world number 3.
Federer defeated Willis, obviously, but Willis is all the better for it – he was considering giving up professional tennis earlier this year, but after powering through and giving his game with Federer his best shot, the plucky player is now tipped for a tennis career in the big leagues – even his number 3 opponent believes he is destined to “make big strides”.
The moral of the story for marketers? Give it all you’ve got when you’re faced with a ‘David and Goliath’ situation.
Marketing is about proving value, and this includes proving your own. If you’re a new business and you’re up against marketing giants, pushing yourself is essential. Use your size to your advantage; specialize in a particular area and be flexible. Developing your personal brand is also a must. In a comment to the Evening Standard, a brand specialist suggested that Willis could make millions if he works with the right products and sponsors – if you’re in marketing, working with the right clients and developing a strong reputation is key to achieving results.
Competitor analysis is important
Another thing marketing can learn from Wimbledon is research. When a tennis player steps onto a court, you can bet that they’ve analysed countless hours of footage to see how their opponent plays. Luckily for them, tennis players know who they’re going to be playing on the day. In marketing, you’re up against a lot more opposition; digital communication means that business doesn’t need to be kept local, and can be done internationally. This means that you’ve got to make sure that you’re able to offer the best services you possibly can – you never know who else your prospective client is looking into. Identifying your competitors, both locally and more widely, seeing what services they offer, what trends they’re following, etc. helps pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. This not only helps you to understand the industry and see what other firms are offering, but also to identify gaps in the competition and see what things you could be doing to plug those gaps.
Prepare for rain
This year, Wimbledon attendance hit a nine-year low in its opening week because of the rain. To avoid your own downpour, marketing professionals need to be prepared for negative publicity or the dreaded ‘marketing fail’.
If someone leaves a negative review of your product online, or there’s a backlash to something your brand posted on social media, there’s only one thing to do – respond quickly and honestly. If it’s a marketing mistake, apologise. If it’s a bad review, offer something to make amends. At this point, the ball is in your court. In tennis, if you can’t clearly tell whether your opponent’s shot is in or out, etiquette dictates that you assume it is in. In other words, the old adage is true – the customer is always right.
Want to make sure that your marketing is a smash hit? Get in touch to find out how we can help.