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March 28, 2011 / jasonpinto

Business Lessons from the Bleachers

The Bleachers

In the old days, reading about and watching sports used to be far too important to me. But as I’ve gotten older, my perspective has changed and thus my viewing & reading habits have shifted accordingly.

(Of course, my wife might completely disagree with that statement after this past weekend. After watching nearly all of the NCAA tournament games and scaring my neighbors with my VCU & Butler chants, I have some serious dish-washing and house-cleaning to do tonight.)

However, sports-related news can still make an impact on me, especially when it comes to business. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this article: “Why Is Killing By Leveraging Social Media“.

The story of how a small start-up is successfully competing with a much larger sports media powerhouse inspired me.  From the article, I jotted down three ways that other businesses could learn from what has done:

Your Fans/Customers Do Not Care About Marketing Budgets

When you look at the list of competitors that you are going up against each week, it can be easy to become discouraged when you see companies that exceed you in name recognition, budget, and other resources.

The bottom line will always be this — those companies can outspend you.

But in today’s world of marketing and communications, a bigger budget may present less of an advantage than it once did.

In the end, your audience cares about whether you are providing relevant content to them, at the right time, and through the right channels. More than ever before, those preferred channels may include the web and social media. Nearly every business can afford to produce informative and engaging content that is published over platforms such as WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The same applies to technologies on more traditional channels. If you can make your printed materials interactive faster than the big guys, you will be positioned as the thought leader.

If your content entertains, enlightens, and engages, the audience will respond. They will not care whether the article was approved by 5 levels of management, or if it was created and published in less than 20 minutes from someone’s garage.

Social Media Rewards Determination

With a big budget, a business should be able to devote more employees and resources to channels such as social media. They should be able to spend more time listening to their audience and engaging with them.

However, for whatever reason, there are many big businesses that are not yet doing this.

This presents an opportunity for small companies everywhere to use this fact to their advantage.

If you are willing to spend the necessary time being where your customers and prospects are… and then if you are determined to listen to their feedback, share helpful content, converse with them, and provide superb service when they need it, you will be rewarded with loyal fans and customers.

Give Your Audience a Voice

Companies certainly have the right to want to tell their story. They should be able to create and publish content that tells the world how people are benefiting from their products and services. But if they are too scared to let their customers share their stories as well (the good and bad ones), then they will miss out on an excellent chance to engage with their audience.

If you allow your audience to speak up and to interact, it will increase the chances that they come back to your company more often.


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