Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Companies Should Tebow to their Bottom Line

On March 20th, the Denver Broncos announced the signing of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. With that huge signing, the Broncos and team executive and Hall of Famer John Elway sent the message to their fans that they are certainly serious about winning.

With that one fell swoop though, it’s safe to say that Tim Tebow’s days in the Mile High City certainly are numbered. While Tebow’s late game heroics during the last NFL season saw Tebowmania take the nation, the Broncos believed that Tebow’s 46.5% passing completion percentage wouldn’t be enough to get them to future Super Bowls.

Missed by the Broncos is the fact that Tebow’s jersey was one of the top sellers for much of the season; not to mention that increased TV ratings and national prominence when Tebow was under center positively drove the company’s bottom line. The reason was simply because of the fact that such a large national audience -- including people who usually wouldn’t care about football –mobilized around Tebowmania.

Those facts certainly did not prevent the Broncos from signing Peyton Manning though, which while probably a good football decision, may not have been such a good business one.

It certainly would make good business sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars to trade for Tebow, the former Florida Gator, which would no doubt fill up the consistently empty EverBank Field.

As we saw with Jeremy Lin’s surprise emergence for the New York Knicks in February and as we’re seeing with the 3 million iPad’s sold by Apple in the first three days of its release, companies that are able to tap into the emotional side of their customer’s psyche can see their share price and business revenues skyrocket.

When Lin started at point guard for the Knicks on February 6, MSG stock was at $29.50. Two weeks later, when Linsanity was in full force, the stock closed up 13% at $33.43 on February 21st. Some speculated that the increased interest in the Knicks as a result of Linsanity brought Time Warner back to the table in its cable deal with MSG. Similarly, due to speculation of the release of the new iPad, Apple saw its stock skyrocket 28% from February 1 to the March 16th release of the new tablet.

These are just some examples of how an iconic person or product can mobilize a huge audience of people and positively drive the respective companies' bottom lines. All it takes is for a company to tap into their customer’s emotional psyche and appeal to their wants, needs and desires.

While you might not have those icons on your roster, here’s a few key ways you can get there:

  • Identify who your target audience is by looking at the primary market segments that are buying your products or involved in your issues.

  • Complete an assessment or market analysis to identify what are your customer’s needs, desires and concerns.

  • Develop a strategic communications plan that accurately targets your key customer groups in the places they receive their news, get advice on products to buy or congregate with others like them to support or oppose certain issues.

  • And finally speak directly to your customers and influence them to take action by appealing to their emotional desires by pointing them to people like them who have successfully utilized your product.

Instant icons like Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin and Apple’s iPad don’t come along too often. That’s why it’s important for companies throughout New Jersey to identify who their basic stakeholders are, what are their desires and wants and finally what tugs at their emotional heartstrings and encourages them to take action.

Tony Bianchini is the Director of Public Affairs at Open Door Media, a public affairs and communications firm based in Trenton, NJ. He can be reached at: (609) 396-6620 or by email at: tony@opendoormedianj.com. Visit Open Door Media at: http://www.opendoormedianj.com/ to learn more.

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