Lines on a Grass Field: What Is Your Marketing Maintenance Schedule?
There’s something magical about the look of a freshly painted natural turf field at the beginning of the season. Whether it’s a pitch for soccer, a diamond for baseball or a gridiron for football, the colors popping against perfectly manicured grass represent the hopeful unknown of the season to come. It’s the only time of year where every team has a chance to win a championship. Well, almost every team—I’m still a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, so my odds are minimal at best, but I digress.
When I see that a company is rolling out a new marketing campaign, I always think about how it’s like those carefully painted blades of grass on a field: crisp, bright, clear and different from the rest of the turf. However, over the season as the area is used for play and the grass grows, the colors on the painted green become less vivid—sometimes to the point where everything blends into a sad shade of olive or taupe. If you’ve ever watched a football game in November at a stadium where the grounds crew hasn’t properly preserved the gridiron, you know how confusing it can be when the hash marks and yard lines mingle into the surrounding sod. The only way to avoid a bleak-looking field is by keeping a rigid maintenance schedule to repaint the lines on the grass.
Similar to the painted grass on a field, without intentional and careful maintenance of any marketing effort, the crispness will begin to dull, the brightness will fade, the clarity will become obscure, and the entire effort will blend into a multitude of monotony. Remember, at one time, Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?!” campaign was the talk of both the marketing world and consumers. After little more than a year—and minimal updating to the original genius advertisement—the campaign faded into a little more than a catchphrase and a memory. With some critical thinking and effort, Wendy’s could have extended the campaign’s life instead of simply allowing it to dwindle.
Your marketing efforts don’t end with the launch of a fresh and well-thought-out campaign. Instead, the work is just beginning. Because, over time, the novelty will wear off, and your target audience will start to bore. As you look at the timeline of any marketing effort, it’s critical that your plan periodically has designated time to review and assess what is working and, more importantly, what might need to be enhanced, adjusted or even discarded. This way, you can ensure continual movement forward to keep your marketing efforts sharp and vivid to your prospects and clients alike.
Think of it this way: In the middle of a marketing campaign, you want your audience to feel it’s as fresh and vivid as the day it was launched to create maximum effectiveness. By carefully studying how your audience engages (or doesn’t, for that matter) during the campaign, you can proactively make the efforts to brighten, enhance and, to stick with the analogy, repaint your marketing grass. This is the only way to keep your field of play looking fresh for your prospects and clients.
Remember, no one wants to look on a field where everything simply blends together—it leads to confusion, frustration and indifference. Just like a football field at midseason, your marketing grass needs to be repainted to ensure the clarity of your message is seen by your audience.
Bill has over 20 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products companies, always working collaboratively to achieve the “wow” desired by the target audience.
A Managing Partner at brandivate, a full-service marketing services and advertising agency, Bill is featured speaker at numerous national and international events, a serial creator of content marketing, and co-host of the industry-leading podcast, Promo UPFront. Bill has extensive experience defining brand strategy, creating successful marketing campaigns, creating and developing winning RFP responses, and presenting winning promotional products solutions to Fortune 500 clients.
A fierce advocate for the Promotional Products Industry, he is the Immediate Past President of the Regional Association Council (RAC) board, has worked closely with senior leadership at Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) on many committees and work groups. In appreciation of his years of service to the promotional products industry, Bill was named as an inaugural PPAI Fellow—a program designed to recognize influential individuals who have actively supported the industry through personal involvement.
Bill lives in Franklin, TN with his wife of 26 years, Sandy, and their 17-year-old twin boys, Drew and Mitch.