It’s about 10 degrees and we’re enjoying a bluebird day on the slopes of Jackson Hole and a guy in our group continues to push for us to change it up a bit and test our endurance by hiking the Headwall to ski some tracks not accessible by a lift. Really - we’re supposed to be out enjoying the slopes and this guy (one of my best friends) wants to hike up the side of a mountain in ski boots carrying our skis!! It’s like a having a marketing campaign that’s humming away with no worries in sight - there’s no need to optimize and test it - let’s just enjoy the slopes in front of us and watch the leads roll in -- WRONG!!
We all know that we need to continue tweaking, testing, failing, and improving our campaigns, however, in order to do this, we need to start from the beginning and consider all of the tools we have in order to be successful with an omnichannel marketing strategy. What fun is it to just get off the lift when you have so much terrain (both marked and not marked) to enjoy! But careful planning and proper preparation makes for a safer and more enjoyable trip, every time.
1) Off the trail map - What’s your strategy?
Luckily we had our very own mountaineer brother duo (Robbie & Rich) and we followed him down through the Tensleep Bowl and then take the traverse to the top of the Cirque where the adventure begins. To a guy like me, throwing my skis on my shoulders to hike up a mountain isn’t something that I normally would have avoided at all costs - though today was a good day to enjoy an adventure. Our mountaineers helped us determine our strategy, just as we do when we’re looking at our marketing strategy. Knowing what tools, goals, channels, and budget we have will help us establish the ideal marketing mix.
2) How will you know you’re on track to reach the goal safely?
In our case, it was pretty easy - none of us wanted to meet the fine folks for the Jackson Hole Mountain Rescue Team because either we passed out on the hike or we broke our leg on the way back down! For our campaigns, we decide together in advance which metrics to measure our success with before we even begin. An interesting thing is how many times a campaign starts and one side may have a firm idea of what the success criteria looks like, however this was never explained to the client! Yeah, our mountaineers made sure we all knew what we were getting into, what to expect and kept us updated through the entire journey!
3) Utilize all of your resources!!
Anytime you take a group of skiers from the East and place them West, you never really know what to expect! Each one of us was at a different experience level, different gear, and had different life insurance policies (which we were hoping to not have to use!!). So, as we made our hike we all followed a similar path up, and on the way down, we each followed our own unique path. Similar to a successful omnichannel strategy, you want to utilize all your available tools. We regularly utilize channels like:
• Native & traditional ads on our websites and newsletters (the perks of having a stellar content team and a huge library of content)
• Targeted blasts
• Programmatic & social
It’s important to remember that you cater the messaging and promotions to each specific channel and just don’t say the same thing across the different media channels - use each channel’s best strengths to fulfill the marketing strategy. Heck, even within the channel you have to select your outreach appropriately so that you don’t turn off your audience or get lost in the sea of content!
4. Each snowflake is unique
We’re all unique and going to determine what’s the best way to approach a challenge or figure out a solution. It’s one thing to be standing in the Tram on your ascent up the mountain and watch a fearless skier descend over the lip of Corbet's Couloir, and it’s another to be at the edge looking over the snowy abyss. As we build out our campaigns we need to ensure that we’re leveraging all customer data collected from previous campaigns. This helps us truly gain insight and provide custom messaging for clients and prospects.
We utilize tools look Idio to help personalize our outreach to clients, Clearbit to help us append more information, and IBM’s Watson to put AI to work for us. These are just a few of the tools we use to curate our available content based on our reader's previous behaviors and interactions.
5. Forget the Waterfall!
It may bit a bit strange that I’m pulling in talk about a “Waterfall” in a blog about marketing and skiing - however running a successful marketing campaign is going to take a an “Agile” mindset and not a “Waterfall” mindset. If we had started off by just looking at the trail map, drawing out the line, and throwing on our skis, confident that mother nature hadn’t altered the conditions - we wouldn't had gotten too far! Instead, we started off with objective in mind and plan. The trek went as planned and then when we started to have to make small adaptations due to the snow cover and terrain. Similar to a marketing campaign, if your too rigid up front, you won’t be able to make the required adaptations as the data and feedback help to steer the campaign.
6. Apres Ski
You guessed it - we made the hike, traversed the ridgeline, and made our descent! The only victim of the adventure was a sole pair of eyeglasses that will enjoy their place on the beautiful mountainside for years to come! As we made our way down to lodge to relive the adventure and enjoy our well earned Apres Ski to review day and charge us up for our next adventure. We always need to be looking for more, changing and improving our methods as we learn and grow. As such, we always adapt to each client and discover what works best - utilizing a perpetual demand creation mindset. This means that we’re always choosing the right tools for each of our campaigns, combining inbound marketing with lead nurturing and sales enablement to boost conversion rates in a cyclical way. We review, reset, and get ready for the next changes as a team.
The world of marketing continues to be an evolving journey. If we’re open to it and the adventure, it can be a tremendously satisfying to put in the hard work and reap the benefits. The challenge is that this does not come easy, just like our other satisfying adventures in life.
…when’s the last time you went out of your way to test the waters (or slopes in this case)?
As our good friend Warren Miller tells us “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do”