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Book of Principles
GBOP: If I’m Your Target and You Want My Attention, the Solution is Crazy Simple

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This is an installment of my “Book of Principles”. For more info, click here.

I’m a basketball fan (understatement). I also like to think about things (bigger understatement).

So at college basketball games when I’m not vicariously living a dead childhood dream through the players on the court, I’m people watching and, even creepier, people studying. And one of the most interesting phenomena you’ll see at a basketball game is the jumbotron.

Very few people honestly watch the jumbotron, but put someone on the jumbotron and within about 5 seconds, almost without fail, they will realize they’re on the big screen even if they aren’t watching that screen.

A-Ha Moment
Here’s how it goes.

  • Cameraman points lens at Joe but Joe is looking at his phone.
  • So are Joe’s wife and son, but not the guy behind Joe.
  • The guy behind Joe taps him on the shoulder, saying, “Hey, you’re on the jumbotron!”
  • Joe looks up, sees, and smiles (seriously, almost everyone smiles).

It’s the exact same thing for marketing and, more specifically, the early days of SlopeFillers.

  • Gregg writes a post about a resort’s clever campaign.
  • The resort isn’t following Gregg but a friend from down the road is.
  • The friend emails/tweets/tells him/her about the post.
  • Resort looks it up, sees, and smiles.

In other words:

“If you want someone’s attention, talk about them.”

Talk about someone who doesn’t know you and that attention can turn into interest. Talk about someone who does and that attention can turn into loyalty as it does with Killington:

As I mentioned in my last principle, attention is what gets the whole marketing ball rolling. And one of the easiest ways to get someone’s attention is by talking about them.

Here are a few more examples.

Example #1
In December I wrote a post about resort video subjects. In that post I shared a screenshot of a Facebook comment. This comment:

Within 24 hours of that post going live word of this mention had made its way to Jon and he not only stopped by, but commented on that post.


Example #2
I had a client years ago who couldn’t seem to get any publicity for a product that, to be fair, was rather headline worthy.

So, being the early days of Twitter, I tried an experiment. After finding an outlet that both created great content but also was the ideal place we’d like to be published, I then jumped into the brand account and shared links to some of that outlet’s best content with glowing reviews.

Three weeks later, without a single cold email to the editor, we got a incredible piece on the front page.

Example #3
Remember that Killington tweet from earlier, Killington retweeted it (another example of this same concept) but more importantly someone on the list noticed as well.

This concept is everywhere and this list could go on and on. I have dozens of similar examples.

Ask Yourself
Obviously, the direct application of that concept is the most powerful, but that doesn’t always scale. Luckily, talking about a representation of the people you want to reach still holds a huge portion of that same marketing juice. But, either way, ask yourself:

“Who do I want to become my future customers? And what is something nice I could publicly and visibily say about them?”

Whether that’s an individual, a skier-type, or an entire city, I think you’ll be surprised with the ideas that come from that very simple exercise.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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