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  • Writer's pictureOli Shawyer

From Scotland to Melbourne

Updated: May 21, 2020

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to jump on the 'phone' to Scotland to talk all things sports marketing with Scottish FA's Chris Samson and Michael Bochel.

For anyone with some free time, you can have a listen via Spotify here where we covered off a wide remit of stuff including:

The biggest barriers in pursuing growth in sport and specifically a number of key, but not exhaustive hurdles that aren't just exclusive to sport, such as:

  • The focus and myth on retention and loyalty for growth, particularly the idea that you can’t deliver sustainable, YOY growth by getting those that already spend a lot with you to spend even more.

  • The imbalance and prioritisation of short term sales tactics over longer-term, profit building brand activity.

  • The cornering and 'unsaid' labeling of marketing departments as the 'colouring' in department that only oversees execution.

What challenging the norm and 'how things have always been' means to me and my approach to work, which includes:

  • Taking on the issue that many businesses don’t take marketing all that seriously and rarely has a seat at the decision-making table.

  • Tackling the lack of understanding that the only job of a marketer and the marketing team is to make money. working to pull back the over-inflated sense of purpose that has evolved which only increase the gap between C-Suite taking marketers more seriously (rather than closing it).

  • Ensuring the people advocating and consulting on marketing are trained in marketing, and those that aren't are not the ones to manage it.

  • Address the reliance put on new technologies, digital trends and fads - the bright and shiny new toys that are highly attractive but overly distracting and rarely impactful, often pursued because everyone else has said they need to.

  • Confronting the challenge from these same people that the idea that if something is many years old, it’s not right today.

  • Bringing focus and resource prioritisation to the craft of strategy that has been lost in time due to the constant tactification of marketing as a discipline.

  • Questioning the belief that the sports industry - the fundamentals of marketing and the market laws are as applicable to our industry as they are for many others.

Outlining where I start with building and delivering a marketing strategy and go-to-market plan, which in summary is done within a three-stage approach learnt and taught by adjunct marketing professor, Mark Ritson:

  1. Diagnose - understand the market and develop a detailed map of it. Specific tasks in this stage include Market Research and Market Segmentation.

  2. Strategy - identify key audience priorities, articulate your positioning for each and set key marketing objectives against each to pursue for the financial year. Specific tasks (and language that will be familiar to educated marketers) includes Targeting, Positioning and Objective Setting.

  3. Tactics - only once you have defined what you’re setting out to do, and who you’re setting out to target to deliver on that, you can move focus to how (which doesn’t just include promotion - this is where your 4p's comes to life).

And uncovering the key questions I ask myself before creating any campaign or piece of communication, which as cliche and generic as it is, includes:

  • Who is our target audience?

  • What are we trying to achieve with this target audience?

  • How will we get this target audience to do what we need them to do?

Within the mix we also covered off some top-line advice for those with no budget and the importance of brand (which was also recently written about for The Online Rule).



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