3 Things Baseball Can Teach Product Marketers (About Creating a Devoted Customer Base)

Major League Baseball (MLB) teams do not need fancy promotions or discounts to entice the general population arriving to the games – plenty of spectators show up for the big names playing that night. That is why whether you love or hate the Yankees aside they play to sellout crowds all over the league. Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams are a different story. With many players unknown to the public, it forces MILB teams to spend hours thinking of creative and innovative ways to attract more people to the stands in a way that major league teams don’t have to.

Business is not stagnant and constantly changing. Companies cannot wait six months, let alone six weeks to promote and advertise their companies. It is important that they stay active and always in the public eye otherwise they could be forgotten. Startup companies could use this to their advantage – if a larger company fails to keep up with the changing times, a smaller startup could swoop in and take that position.

Gartner Analyst Ben Pring notes that: “Any new idea emerges within the context of established ideas. To gain attention amid well-known, well—understood ideas that have their subscribers, a new idea or approach needs a way to both differentiate itself and attract attention.”

Marketing with Humor

A huge variety of television commercials are aired every day and many are forgotten once the commercial is over. The commercials that stay with us are ones involving humor or a catchy tune. It tempts us into learning more or wanting to see the advertisements again. MiLB does the same thing – they develop creative advertisements using humor to attract the public into the events. Advertising for a funny event like a “Hamster Ball Race” or “Hairy Back Contest” throughout town, will make most people laugh and be intrigued about the event. Reaching people on an emotional level and not just with empty words on a screen, leaves a much longer lasting impression on people.

Additionally, it will encourage people to talk about teams more and attract new clients. This is similar to how new start-up companies are forcing their way onto the scene and competing with the larger corporations. Just as the comedy used in Old Spice commercials revived the brand, new start-ups must create a unique way to contend with the larger companies.

Social Networking

Most people these days have accounts on mre than one social networking site. Because of this, information can be spread more easily and quickly. Smaller companies use the “word of mouth” via social networks to promote their company and advertise opportunities presented to the public. As in MiLB, events can be posted online and people can check in to specific events encouraging interest and more attention. Technology can be very beneficial to new startup companies if used effectively. Moreover, posting photos or videos from the events involves people more than just reading words on a page.

Ben Pring of Gartner continues: “Social media is the perfect format and forum for introducing (and continually reintroducing) yourself, your ideas and your offering to anybody and everybody. Your passion and excitement about your “crusade” can be communicated through incremental, additive, ongoing articles, blogs and tweets that build your presence and reputation.”

Nontraditional Marketing Ideas

– Yellow Cab Pizza Co. painted their mopeds yellow and black like a cab: easy to remember and colorful enough to catch your eye

– A simple logo, such as the Nike Swoosh logo, is very distinct and easily recognizable

– Blendtec posted a YouTube video of Tom Dickinson dropping an iPhone into the blender: it was unique and caught attention of the public

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Omri Erel
Omri is the Lead Author & Editor of SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.