Lessons Learned in Digital Sports Marketing for Non-Sports Brands

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The other night, I presented to a group of Vancouver entrepreneurs on the topic of social media – specifically on how non-sports brands can leverage the passion of sports marketing for their own brands.

It’s a topic that had been on my mind recently and I was happy to take advantage of the opportunity to speak at the event. I used to do presentations to entrepreneurs back when I lived in Toronto. When I started my business in 2005, I benefited from a great program that supported entrepreneurs so I’ve always been happy to give back.

The carry over to my blog is this – give back. The sports business is a niche to say the least. It’s tough to break into, and there are a lot of challenges despite its high-profile perception. I’ve always gone out of my way to support people I’ve worked with and recommend individuals for positions with teams. Like any business, sports is about people and networking is critical.

In addition, I always admire entrepreneurs and those people who go about building their own business. Building a career in sports or building a business requires tireless efforts, bouncing back from mistakes/rejection, adapting and growing. It’s about people and networking – so thank you for being a reader and let me know how I can help you.

Facebook as a Marketing Tool for Local Businesses

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facebook-logo1I’m going to take a look at two very different businesses and how they use Facebook as a marketing tool.

One is a well known brand/multi-million $ business in a major U.S. city and the other is a small hair salon in the interior of British Columbia.

Two reasons: Contrast and Compare. While these businesses are very different entities – they both leverage Facebook for the same purpose and strategy. People have a lot of questions about how to use Facebook to promote their business. There is no doubt that Facebook provides huge potential – but many people are unsure how to best make use of it.

Facebook benefits B2C companies with immediate and collaborative communication. Their audiences are already there on Facebook –  Here’s an example of one…

hairdooz1Click here to see Natasha’s Hairdooz on Facebook.

There are a number of things that I think Natasha is doing very well with Facebook:

  • Leveraging Her Network: With almost 300 Friends (50% are customers), there are frequent posts on Natasha’s profile about her customer’s satisfaction and requests for appointments.
  • Customer Testimonials: Natasha posts photos from in the salon and hair styles of her customers for all to view.
  • Profile and Page Integration: By building a Page about her business with location and contact info, she also drives a lot of discussi0n back to her profile as well.

Some Key Points…

Natasha targets younger clients through Facebook and her salon offers free wireless internet access. Her friends and customers are already on Facebook and by allowing them to connect with, participate in and access her business on Facebook, she gains  immediacy, convenience and promotion that is unachievable by any other means. Having a camera on hand at her work allows Natasha to photograph clients and then post the pictures on the spot.

One of the greatest features of Facebook is the visibility it provides – when anyone in her network makes a comment, all the other Friends see that comment too – this results in exponential exposure for conversations surrounding the hair salon.

Facebook leverages the network that people already have in a very effective manner and can be an excellent marketing tool for solo entrepreneurs in the B2C field.  On the flip side, my next post will break down how a much larger business in the sports industry uses Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy…


Marketing = Applied Art, Selling = Fine Art

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It’s always different working with entrepreneurs vs. sales people.

Teaching at Microskills

Teaching at Microskills

I recently taught a class here in Toronto focused on social media at MicroSkills. For a lot of “new” entrepreneurs, selling is the last thing they want to do. Many of them see sales as a necessary evil – as if it is only a matter of time until the market finds out about them and the phone begins to ring. They have the vision, but are not prepared to put in the time to find customers/clients (and the skills to pull it off). They focus their skills gap on the brandi.e. “if only the brand were stronger…” vs. “I’d like to be better at selling.”

On the other hand, sales people often miss/overlook the vision of the business – both their own and their prospect’s businesses. They have the skills and can pound out calls and presentations, but have trouble with the big picture.

Now – these are generalizations, and there are some great sellers with vision and some entrepreneurs who can work it on the streets. Ultimately, I think it is rare for individuals to be strong in both areas. Success doesn’t come easy.

Bottom line = $. The efforts of any business – your own or selling within someone’s business needs to result in sales. Sales continues to be stigmatized while functioning as the life blood of any organization. I see both entrepreneurs and sellers alike continue to wish that their brand could help them sell, or better yet, sell for them.

Selling is a fine art – marketing is an applied art.