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SAM Best/Worst NSAA Award Winners Prove They Have Guts

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I was excited for the chance to contribute to the annual Best/Worst article that SAM puts out each year. In a way, that’s what I hope SlopeFillers is on a daily basis: a collection of what is and isn’t working in the industry. But in both cases, I can’t help but think of a strange irony in the “worst” awards.

It’s like the crash-reel from ski movies. You grimace and laugh as these skiers cartwheel down Alaskan chutes. Or when you watch “talent” shows on TV to see someone croak out a horribly off-tune cover of Adele.

The thing is, they were trying.

They weren’t skiing green runs at the local mountain or singing in the shower where no one could hear, they chose the biggest lines and biggest stages and gave it a go. Marketing isn’t so different.

You could sit back and send the same direct mailers, the same email sequence, print up the same local ads, and same events/promos/whatever as the resort has been doing for decades and still be okay. Marketing innovation in the industry doesn’t come from them, so saying some marketing idea was the “worst” isn’t true at all. It was just something that didn’t work the way the marketer hoped.

A Perfect Example
In the SAM article, one of my worsts was from Breckenridge. My recap, which ended up being labeled “Worst Use of Tired Trends”, covered how Breck had tried to combine Tebowing with a flash mob to get skiers engaged. It backfired and Facebook let them have it.

Here’s the thing: they weren’t sitting back on the couch with a cold beer and pizza, they were out there trying. Even the harshest critic of the actual event could never have predicted that response. We’d like to think we could, but the fact that Loveland had put on something similar (minus the flash mob label) just days before proved that skiers were all about Tebowing and gearing up in Broncos jerseys to hit the slopes.

So, I tip my hat to Morgan and the crew at Breck as well as all those other resorts that got stuck in the “worst” category. The fact that you were mentioned at all shows that you are on the right path and trying to innovate and try new ideas. That’s not an easy road to take and, as you know, it doesn’t always pay off and come out as planned.

But, like I say, there’s only one way to find out if it will. Props to finding out. That’s more than some marketers can say.

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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