With Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner let’s take a look at how the N.F.L. markets the most important sporting event of the year and what career lessons we can learn from them. In today’s competitive job market, it’s becoming more and more important to brand and promote ourselves in order to separate us from the competition.
1. Identify A Target Audience: You need to define your target audience early on so you can design a plan of how you will market to them. NBC’s airing of Super Bowl XLIX drew a record audience of 114.4 million viewers, making it the most watched telecast in U.S. history, because N.F.L. marketers do extensive demographics to find out who their audience is, so they can increase their viewership and advertising dollars.
According to Marianne Bickle, author of The Changing American Consumer, “Super Bowl ads are designed to resonate with the target market. These ads communicate more than just the product; trust, loyalty and commitment are key components between the company and its consumer/viewer.”
You can do the same with your brand.
Think about who you want to target and create content that will resonate with your audience.
“There’s a saying in politics that someone needs to see your message seven times before they even remember who you are,” says Dorie Clark, former presidential campaign spokeswoman and author of Reinventing You. “You’ll never hit that frequency if you’re trying to communicate with a vast, undifferentiated group. Targeting enables you to get known by the right people faster.”
2. Define Your Product: What is the Super Bowl? At its core, it’s the N.F.L. championship, pitting the best team in each conference against each other. But as we all know, it’s much more than that. It’s one of the most watched sporting event in the world, with advertisers paying as much as $5m for a 30 second ad placement. The commercials are often discussed and dissected more than the game. The halftime show is an event in itself, with artists as diverse as Tom Petty, Madonna, and the Black Eyed Peas performing over the years.
By defining itself as the premier sporting, entertainment and advertising showcase of the year, it has grown in viewers and revenue dollars every year since the first Super Bowl 50 years ago.
How can we apply this to our career?
First, you need to develop your brand by using your unique voice to tell a story about yourself and your services. It can be something as simple as using a consistent picture of yourself across various social media channels or creating a blog. Second, you need to become an expert in your field and make your expertise available to others.
“It’s important to highlight how you’re different and unique from others,” says Clark. “That provides the reason why people will choose to work with you, rather than someone else. There are plenty of marketing consultants, but if you write and speak frequently about how to succeed with Facebook ads, a client that desires that skill set will seek you out.”
3. Promote, Promote, Promote: Real time Tweets during the game, constant tie ins throughout the playoffs, and partnerships with advertisers are just some of the ways that the N.F.L. markets Super Bowl Sunday to make it the most watched game of the year.
There are a million different ways that you can promote yourself and your services. You can create marketing materials, promote yourself and your services on LinkedIn, or create YouTube videos to share your expertise.
As the job market gets more and more competitive you need to start thinking outside the box and develop your brand and your online presence. The days of getting a job with a slick resume are over. You need to provide evidence that you are an expert in your chosen field.
The Panthers or Broncos can’t just say that they are the best team in the NFL; they need to prove it on Sunday.
Let’s just hope they don’t prove it until the last minute of the game.