The Run for the Marketing Roses: Lessons from the Kentucky Derby
“The most exciting two minutes in sports” is just two days away. While hundreds of thousands prepare to attend Thurby, Oaks and Derby Day, we have compiled the top three marketing lessons we’ve learned from the Kentucky Derby.
Reporting Live on social media. It’s happening, whether you like it or not. Technology is forcing you out of your comfort zone and social media’s new features are providing alternate ways to pull people in. Derby Week Races have been live-streaming to Facebook and Twitter all week long. Forbes relates Facebook Live to Netflix; you know the line “Netflix Original Series,” yeah, you’ll only catch some shows directly on Netflix. Same for live-streamed videos, the content is exclusively yours. Consumers must visit your page to view the content. Yes! Driving traffic one live-stream at a time. One last tip, make the content worthwhile. We don’t all have horses to showcase, but we’ve got something to offer or we wouldn’t be in business, right?
Spend the right marketing dollars in the correct areas. No one wants to waste money! Even when you’re betting on Always Dreaming or Girvin or Irish War Cry, you project you’ll win and in your mind you’re not wasting a dime. If only it could be that easy. So, we research. The same for marketing. It does not have to be a gamble. Churchill Downs along with their Kentucky Derby sponsors do a fantastic job showing us how it’s done. According to AdWeek, Kristin Warfield, the Vice President of Sales and Partnerships at Churchill Downs, matches brands with their intended demographic seamlessly. For those attendees in the infield—mainly 18 to 34 year olds—are targeted for a lower-end brand. Those in front-side seats—mainly 35 and older—are targeted for higher-end brands. It’s essential to know your target audience; otherwise you’ll be rolling the die or, in this case, bidding on the wrong horse.
Spread your niche. The Kentucky Derby is known for the horses, jockeys, roses, flashy suits and over-the-top hats, but the event is also known for its Mint Juleps. Even if you’re not a horse racing fan, you want to get your hands on one of those 143rd Kentucky Derby glasses with the bourbon drink filled to its lid. People relate the drink directly to the Derby. In any industry, you want to be the leader and the company people think of first. What do you want your brand to be affiliated with? How will you strive to get there? Whatever it is, blast it! Blast it any and everywhere. Make your niche resonate with your target audience! (There’s no coincidence that this is our mission statement!)
May the best horse win on Saturday, and may you find your niche, amp up your social media live presence and target the right audience all year long!