Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wee Willie Keeler, Marketer

Jonathan Schwartz is a deejay back in New York (and on Sirius XM radio) who, every Super Bowl Sunday, addresses the Big Game by devoting his show to...Baseball.

He's a huge fan -- particularly of the Red Sox, which, in New York, is literally taking your life in your hands.

But I like his maverick approach. And so, because I too am a huge fan of the descendant of the old English game of Rounders, I thought I'd fly in the face of March Madness roundball. And, instead, acknowledge the March Madness that is...Spring Training.

Welcome to the "Get-yer-ice-cold-Ballantine" edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

This at-bat has appeared in previous volumes; here's a replay:

Jacques Barzun, a French-born American historian of ideas and culture, once famously said "Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball..."

And along with it, some lessons we can apply to, yes, marketing.

There was a baseball player around the turn of the century -- at 5'4" the shortest ever to play the game -- named Wee Willie Keeler. Click here: Willie Keeler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Known for perfecting the "Baltimore Chop," whenever Willie stepped to the plate the chant would ring out, “Hit’em where they ain’t!”

The meaning was simplistically clear: hit the ball where the fielders weren't positioned, to improve the chances for getting a base hit.

What if, metaphorically speaking, you could “hit” your target markets…where your competition “ain’t?”

Most businesses – however small or large – tend to market themselves through the standard avenues…the local newspaper, the local weekly, radio, TV, et al. And buckshot mailings to one’s database of clients, colleagues and friends. (And now, of course, through various forms of social media.) Chances are that your industry counterparts are doing mostly that same thing.

Maybe the next time you’re “at bat,” consider going – pardon the pun – farther afield. That is, think about hitting those markets not just among your primary audience but also to the outer periphery of your spheres of influence.

¶A CPA, for instance – whose services are needed by virtually everyone – can make herself the go-to professional with the local remodelers trade association.

¶A chiropractor might consider offering internal clinics to the staffs of Home Depot or Lowe's (think of all the lifting, stretching and bending those folks go through).

¶An etiquette consultant might consider aligning with a business or life coach to offer services to further their clients' business growth and social success.

¶A sometime caricature artist might join a wedding and event planners organization to be their unique source of party entertainment. (Hey wait a minute, that's me..!)

For that matter, maybe there’s a hobby you have, or a weekend passion you love, that can be parlayed into a business opportunity -- by providing your services to fellow aficionados. Do these enthusiasts have associations? Do they have meetings? Do they have means, i.e. literature or promotional materials, by which they communicate with one another…and in which you can contribute an ad or, better yet, an informative article?

Again, something that perhaps your competition hasn't customarily done...

Next time you grab that metaphorical bat and stand in the box…you may want to think outside of it every now and then. And hit’em where they -- your competition -- likely ain’t.

By the way, did you know that, after "Happy Birthday," the second most sung ditty among Americans is..."Take Me Out to The Ballgame?"

See you again the first Tuesday of next month, with another Moneyball edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin
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704.575.8850 mobile
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