Okay, I get it. You’re probably thinking ‘what the heck does marketing have to do with paintballing’? I’d be asking the same thing if it weren’t for a slightly random discussion we had here at DG headquarters earlier this week after our (rather painful) paintballing session at NPF Bassets Pole, where one too many paintballing puns started to reveal a weird truth – marketing and paintballing are basically one and the same.
Okay, okay, not really seriously. But we decided that there were enough interesting parallels that it was worth exploring a relationship between the two! So, here are 3 marketing lessons we actually learnt from our recent paintballing trip.
Both teach you the equal importance of teamwork and responsibility
Teamwork is important in paintballing – during our trip, we decided to form many different teams, pitching boys against girls, design against comms, to see who would come out on top. Teamwork was essential – each game started with a quick get-together to decide our tactics and how we could work as a team to successfully cover each other’s backs to ensure minimal hits (note: we didn’t). But there were also an awful lot of moments when one person had to make a dash for it for the sake of the others – making themselves both vulnerable to being hit and responsible for the success of their team.
In a way, working for a marketing agency isn’t actually too dissimilar. To ensure we get the best results for our clients, we start each Monday with briefing sessions that help cement and align our goals as a team. We discuss these tactics with our clients and ensure that they know exactly what we need to do and what they need to do to get results. However, there’s also a lot of responsibility that one side of the team or even individuals have to take – from individuals leading on certain projects, or delegating tasks effectively so that everybody knows what part they have to play in achieving the wider goal.
Strategy vs Agility
Picture this. You’re in the line of fire with your eyes on the prize. You’ve snuck up around the back of your opposing team and he flag you have to bring back to your base is only a few feet away. Everything has gone to plan, you’re seconds away from winning the game, and then you get hit with a paintball that means you have to go back to base and start from square one.
It sucks, right, but what can you do? Now the other team knows your strategy, so you’re going to have to come up with a new way to bring your team to victory.
Marketing is kind of the same. Strategy is key. It’s an absolute if you’re going to try and plan your route to success – whatever success looks like for your business. Planning your goals and how you’re going to get there is crucial – whether that’s a social media strategy, or a broader marketing plan. However, this industry moves fast – whether there’s a new tool or social media app to figure out, or a client with an experimental campaign idea, marketing is always about what’s next. The sign of a good agency is to be able to move just as quick, if not quicker. Strategy is important, but so is thinking on your feet. Sometimes you might just be thrown a curveball (or paintball?), and you need to be quick enough to respond.
You need to be good at targeting
This is pretty straight forward. To be good at paintballing, you need to be a good shot. Spraying out paintballs randomly with no real aim is unlikely to get you a hit – and if it does, it’ll be completely by chance and you’ll be hard pressed to do it again next time.
Targeting is also key in marketing. Sending emails or tweets out at random isn’t going to help your business achieve anything if you don’t know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. From defining your target market, to sending personalised emails, knowing who you’re targeting, why, and how is the only way to make sure that you get a hit.