The Single Thought that Will Focus Your Marketing Forever
Goals, tasks and vision to answer a single question, “Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?”
This is the story of how a British men’s eight rowing team’s Olympic gold victory will help you achieve success with your marketing goals.
No, really. This is good stuff. It will help you focus your marketing like never before.
Follow me here.
Ben Hunt-Davis, the captain of the British national men’s rowing team, faced consistent setbacks in 1998. To deal with the failures, Hunt-Davis came up with one simple rule. With every decision or activity, the team asked a brilliant question, “Will it make the boat go faster?”
When facing the dreaded morning run, they asked, “Will it make the boat go faster?” When the team discussed going to the pub, they asked, “Will it make the boat go faster?”
The focus of the team quickly moved to a single-minded objective. Yes, making the boat go faster.
The result was the British men’s rowing team won the Olympic gold in Sydney, Australia in 2000. The first team to win gold for Great Britain since 1912.
So, how does a rowing team relate to casino marketing?
Success in marketing a casino depends on the needs of your company at a given moment.
Marketing success also means something different for each casino.
Are you looking to save marketing expenses through efficiency? Are you trying to gain market share through revenue gains?
In his book, Ben Hunt-Davis famously said, “You get what you focus on.”
Your team’s target might be to increase visitation from outer markets. It might be to promote a resort concept. It might be to drive more response from SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
When designing a focus for your property, why not ask your team, “Will it make our marketing more successful?” “Will it make our marketing more efficient?” “Will it make our marketing grow revenue?” Whatever fits your focus.
Asking the question eliminates the distractions and non-vital programs that drain energies without results.
By asking, “Will it make marketing more … efficient, aggressive, responsive (or whatever your specific need)?”, you will focus your efforts and reduce progress-draining clutter.
Tips from “Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?” that will help your focus:
1. Incredible Power
The question “Will it make marketing more successful?” is incredibly powerful. It can cut through the confusion your team faces every day when pulled in a hundred different directions. It guides team behavior, focuses attention, and moves your team forward toward a single goal.
2. It’s about the Controllables
Are you are dealing with setbacks, making the impossible happen, or trying to move your team towards a positive goal? Focus on what you can do and move away from the minor issues that bring your goals down. Every day your team makes choices. By focusing on the controllables, you can eliminate the daily time wasters that drag your team down. If it doesn’t fit, “Will it make marketing more successful?”, then let it go.
3. Face the Challenge
Daily, challenge your team to move beyond the status quo.
When faced with another marketing request that doesn’t move the needle, ask, “Why?” Your marketing department is handed hundreds of suggestions from well-meaning department heads.
As recipients of suggestions and comments, I always say the two most difficult departments are marketing and food and beverage. Everybody is a marketer, and everybody eats. The challenge is to take in the comments, learn from the good, and discard the bad.
Too many people-pleasing marketing personnel chase comments from around the conference table and try to deliver. By asking, “Will it make marketing better?”, you can separate energy suckers from performers.
4. Simple and Brilliant
When it comes to focus, concentrate on your marketing department’s needs. Ask the simple and brilliant question, “Will it make marketing more successful?”, when dealing with issues you can control and not control. Ask the question when faced with marketing “suggestions” that come from all directions. And, always ask the question to keep your goals in line.
After all, it’s your boat to make go faster.
This article was originally published in the October issue of Casino Journal.