Spreading Your Message: Be a Point Guard

It’s simple when it comes to me and basketball; Love. So it was only a matter of time before a parallel between basketball and marketing would dawn on me. At first glance, you wouldn’t think there would be a similar vein between basketball tactics and marketing, but here are a few points on how a message, like any championship team, needs a driving force that can effectively run an offensive strategy; it needs a point guard.

A Decision Maker:

“It’s always the passer’s fault” – A coach once told me this and it’s stuck with me ever since. At the time I didn’t fully understand why I was the one on the receiving end of a lecture. In my mind, a snap, crisp pass to an open teammate who fumbles the ball shouldn’t register as my own fault. It was only afterwards that I understood what my coach meant, and what he expected of me. A point guard is the floor general of a team, as such, he has to know who his teammates are, inside and out. A point guard has to know which option is better, passing to a teammate on the run or keeping the ball for the open shot. It’s always the point guard’s duty to make the call on any given situation, even if it means avoiding certain players.

In marketing a message, the same concepts apply. Social media has given a whole new range of avenues to reach audiences, but often companies develop a ‘me too’ complex from all the success stories they hear and jump in thinking they are destined for online greatness. Social media is not a solution on its own. It’s a tool that aligns with your existing strategy. If you have great engaging content but distribute it through the radio when your audience only watches television, then it’s to no avail. True success stories come from folks who create great content and distribute it using the avenues that their audiences listen to. So before you jump in, get to know your teammates, survey the floor and then make the call.

Find Your Go-to Guy:

Every great point guard had his go-to guy. John Stockton had Karl Malone and Steve Nash had Amare Stoudermire. These point guards would still distribute to a variety of teammates, but they always focused the majority of their passes on their go-to guy. It’s a win-win situation and it dictated the tempo for the rest of the game. Keeping their go-to guy happy allowed both players to blossom in the long run.

For new campaigns or businesses, it can take time and energy to truly understand who your main audiences are. However, once you  identify your main niches, you have to concentrate your resources on maintaining a fruitful relationship with them. It’s the foundation of how your message disperses. Spending resources to acquire new audiences at the cost of losing your go-to niche is a grave mistake seen over and over again in the marketing industry. You should never forget who your foundation is built on. Reward your go-to guys, and they will make you all-stars.

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