There’s more between the game of golf and marketing

How 2 totally different disciplines have more in common than you would think

Picture this: you’re standing in the clubhouse of a nicely groomed infamous golf course, overlooking the slopes and fairways, the perfect greens, admiring the challenges offered by bunkers, trees and the rough. All you can think of is, how will I be able to fight the elements, play the game and win at the end of the day.

Now, switch to your office: you’re standing near your messy or perhaps clean desk, changing your views from the whiteboard to the world outside your window and back, pondering where to go with your business, your products or services, and thinking of the challenges offered by competition, market circumstances and the business you’re in. All you can think of is, how will I be able to fight the different business forces, play the game and win from the competition.

Do you see what I see and think? You’ll need a plan, a strategy to survive and succeed! A plan with a vision, that prepares for the challenges you will face on your road to success, step by step and taking into account the circumstances you’re in. You have gained the techniques and know-how to do what you need to do, but need to plan on how to apply this in the right way.

For a round of golf, whether it is a competition day or tournament, this means that you set your goal(s), study the course in total, the 18 holes individually, the various natural and unnatural obstacles such as bunkers and ponds, local rules, weather circumstances and your competition, the fellow players (even though you usually play against your own mental condition). Not to forget, you check the state of your swing (and improve where needed) and which clubs you need for the course together with your caddy and coach (indeed, professional golf is a team effort).

The complete preparation, the plan, the strategy, should lead you to victory. Even though you may fail on your road to victory, thanks to a ball in a bunker, a pond or in the rough. This failure can be compensated with excellent plays in the next phase as long as you’re prepared and know what you have to do and rely on your knowledge, experience, flexibility and creativity. Indeed, your plan or strategy may change due to changing circumstances.

From a marketing perspective, the entire approach is not much different. Together with your team and the board (preferably…) you set the business goals, study the market, your target groups (perhaps individually), the various obstacles that may block your road to success initially, laws and rules, business environment and your competition. Not to forget, you check the internal marketing & communication competences and knowledge, look at what is needed and where you need to improve in order to face the battle for success.

You may fail on your road to success, as long as you learn from it and don’t do the same again. In this way you should know what works for your products or services and what not. As you are prepared with a plan, a strategy, and know what you and your team need to do while relying on the available knowledge, experience, flexibility and creativity, you will be successful. That’s the moment where the customer has two products in mind, they put your competitor’s product back on the (virtual) shelf and they bring yours to the check out. Multiple times…