How Marketing is Like Golf

June 28, 2019

Strategy, planning, flawless execution and evaluation are all components of a successful marketing campaign, and when you think about it, marketing is a lot like golf. Let’s ponder that idea for a moment, if for nothing else, to conjure peaceful images of blue sky, nice green fairways and fresh air.

Know the lay of the land and visualize your target.

In marketing, as in golf, you must have a good understanding of your current reality, your vision and a plan for how you are going to get from one to the other. Environmental factors can have a big impact on success as well. Who is your target audience, what message do you need to inspire your audience to buy into your brand and what approach will you need to deliver that message effectively are key considerations in marketing. They will determine your strategy and success just as ground slope, wind direction and distance to the pin determine which club you will choose and how hard you need to swing during your golf game.

It’s the short game that determines the win.

Hole-in-ones are rare. While you must define your long-term strategy, flexibility to adapt your plan to changing market conditions and buyer behaviors is important for achieving success. Set shorter term KPIs – such as unit sales, customer engagements, website traffic, etc. – and then evaluate the results and adapt accordingly. Your long-term strategy will point you in the right direction, but prowess at determining and executing changes in short-term tactics will get you closest to the pin and hopefully under par.

Keep up with technology and understand the impact it will have on the game.

Just as a well-designed driver or the latest in ball technology can give you the edge on the course, having updated marketing technology in hand can provide keen insights to deliver the right messages at the right time to your target audience. For example, the advent of the smart phone and social media necessitated that marketers deliver messages in smaller and faster nuggets that were adaptable to the environment of the target audience. Understanding updated delivery technology, adapting brand identities and creating content to meet new technology requirements moved tech savvy brands ahead of the pack. Just like golfers have to adjust their swing to changing winds and course conditions, smart marketers stay on top of technology to adapt to those changing elements, too.

Consider the importance of a caddie.

If you have ever played high-end courses like Pebble Beach or St. Andrews, you understand the importance of having the luxury of a caddie. Marketing and advertising may seem daunting – perhaps you have a preconceived notion of it that intimidates you, or perhaps you don’t even know where to begin. Consider including a marketing partner. Choose a partner who knows the lay of the land, understands emerging technologies, helps you understand the data you are getting, develops spot on strategies and plans, and then helps you execute the short game. You are already paying to play. The right partner can increase your ROI, eliminate unnecessary expenses by pointing out the traps, and take you in for the right approach to score.

Celebrate your successes and gear up for the next round.

Small wins. Big wins. Great ROI. We believe you must learn from each execution and gear up for the next round. But you should also celebrate! Here’s to the 19th hole.