Modern Marketing: Are You Throwing Javelin or Shooting Hoops?

I might be biased as a Fin, but javelin throw is the most entertaining track & field sports ever. However, what makes good spectator sports is not necessarily good way to do marketing. Many companies are still stuck in the old ways of doing marketing, which painstakingly resemble the Finnish national sport:

Javelin Throw: Traditional Marketing

Seppo Räty, the best Javelin dude in the world

Seppo Räty, the epitome of no-frills javelin thrower

– Fixed amount of trials: In javelin you get six trials to prove that you are worthy. In traditional marketing you do couple of campaigns a year.
– Individual: You only worry about your own performance.
– No room for improvisation: You do what you have practiced and try to duplicate your practice performance. If things start to go sidetrack, it is hard to make changes in competitive situation. Same with big marketing campaigns, when they veer off-the-track you cannot really save them. When javelin is released, you can only hope for it to be a good throw.
– Make it or break it –situation: You either make the throw or not. Your bi-annual campaign is either hit or not. Success of the whole year is judged based on that single try.

Basketball: Modern marketing

In your face

This dunk is one of the many baskets done on the single game.

– No limit on trials, but limited amount of time: Trials depend on your opportunities you get during the game. The best players seize the good opportunities, but occasionally take bad opportunities as well.
– Collaborative: The success is not only based on the individual, but on how well your team is playing and also the level of your opponent.
– Room for improvisation: Practice is important and creates the core of what you do well. Your core skills also contribute to the average probability of succeeding (among other things). That is why it is important to invent as you go along. Success is about talent, hard work & many trials. More you try, the luckier you get.
– End-result matters: Individual throw can go in or not. Only thing that matters by the end of the day is the total amount of shots you got in and have they contributed to your team win. Some shots are more important than others though. One of the most important skills nowadays is the skill to recognize those important shot opportunities and seize them.

If we want to succeed in this changing world, it is not sufficient to improve our technique in the existing game. We have to totally change the sports we are in.

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