An Olympic-Sized Lesson for More Effective Marketing Campaigns


When it comes to creating more effective campaigns, don’t tell your prospects a story; focus on building a connection.

I must admit, I’m a sucker for the Olympic games. While I vow every two years at the onset of either the winter or summer games that I won’t be held captive this time around, I emerge 16 days later having spent entirely too much time getting acquainted with my couch. Predictably, this time around was no different.

This year, however, I can honestly say that my two plus weeks of “research” have really paid off and have given me something to think about when it comes to advising clients in terms of PR and marketing campaigns.

While viewers have always loved a good story to accompany athletic prowess, the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea took it a step further. They established personal connections. In our business, we hear a lot about storytelling. How a good story is memorable. That may be true, but while a story may stay with you, a strong personal connection will drive you to act. During the games, the connection drew us in and made us watch. In terms of your campaign, it may drive an install, a download or an inquiry.

Who can forget the connection we felt with the American Curling Team while watching them win gold? Why? Because they are five guys who look like the average pizza-eating, beer-drinking dad from the bowling alley, not demigods like most world-class athletes.

We felt that connection with Lindsay Vonn, not because she won, but because she lost and publicly acknowledged that her body can no longer take the abuse as she gets older. Now for most of us, that pain is a result of taking the stairs too quickly as opposed to alpine skiing at the highest level, but the connection remains.

And how about Germand Madrazo, the 43-year-old cross country skier from Mexico who finished last? Yes, that’s me: I could finish last, too. Connection made.

The lesson here is, what can you do that builds a unique bond with your prospects and customers? Are you the empathetic company that understands their daily frustrations? Can you be the partner that solves their most pressing business need? Are you the missing piece to an efficient operation?

If you want to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and hit your KPIs, don’t tell your prospects a good story: Make a connection and show them how you can help.

If you think the ability to make a personal connection is what’s missing from your campaigns, reach out and let’s talk about it.