Sun | Dec 5, 2021

What can we learn from football fever?

Published:Sunday | June 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Colombia's Juan Cuadrado scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the Group C World Cup soccer match between Japan and Colombia at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24. - AP

Corine La Font, Contributor

It's contagious, isn't it? This FIFA World Cup! Just like Olympics, everything else takes a second or even last position on the priority list when it comes to these events; I dare say, even crime and violence.

Screens are placed in strategic positions to allow for ease of watching, accessibility and to build camaraderie and a common spirit among people who normally used to bicker and fight. Now, everyone puts everything aside in the name of sports. It is said that sports and music is an international language. I guess they are right.

Even vendors on the street and corner shops ensure they have that big screen TV which helps to entice and encourage sales, as many tend to linger longer than usual. Such simple strategies to get all this in return: increased sales, camaraderie, kindred spirits, engagement, an expansion of your network, and a shared common goal, to name a few.

I wonder what can we learn from this football fever that we can take with us in our businesses or even in promotion and marketing of ourselves and our books? Let's have a look, shall we?

1 One of the most noticeable things is that many of those jumping up and down and making the most noise don't know a lot, if anything, about football. Let me clarify this. First, I am one of those who don't have an idea about football so I stay behind the scenes and may catch one or two outstanding goals that I must admit you really have to jump up and down for. The people to which I refer can't speak to the players, their background or the club to which the players belong. What do we call them here in Jamaica? Bandwagonists!

In marketing, it's the same thing. When you craft a plan to get your book or product out there, many persons who follow you might be in that 'bandwagonist' group. They don't know anything about you and really don't care to know, but they just want to be a part of the excitement and happenings and want to be associated with you. While nothing is really wrong with that, one needs to be careful as one bad apple might just spoil what you have been working so hard to achieve. Lesson to be learned: ensure you have a recovery plan in place to allow you to bounce back should things go awry.

2 While you might not have the funds to purchase flat-screen TVs, what can you use or what other methods can you employ to allow for increased engagement from a large group of people? How about giveaways, especially phone-credit giveaways for your customers or clients? That is low cost and everyone would love to win some free credit, right? Lesson to be learned: Work within your means but get the best bang for your buck!

3 OK, so do you really have to buy a flat-screen TV when you have YouTube? That's international TV right there. As you might know, many people have posted their videos on YouTube and have received contracts in the entertainment industry, among others. Why can't you follow suit and get creative in doing some tutorials or free training videos or share some of your expertise and build viewership and relationships with others around the world. Lesson to be learned: Leverage what is available.

4 World Cup is international, which means varied languages, locations and culture. How much do you know of the countries in which you want to establish yourself? Do you know where they are located, their capitals, cities, flags, likes, dislikes and what might offend them? What words or special phrases may mean to them? Have you taken the time to get to know their language and communicate with them or reach out to persons who can help you along the way, further building that network, but even more so - a possible client? This is what your competitors are doing! Lesson to be learned: Open yourself to new knowledge. It will come in handy one day.

Just a bit of a preview into what I am up to these days. I am about to launch my online school, loyalty programme and live adult and children workshops. Stay tuned by subscribing to my newsletter for updates at this link: http://bit.ly/KtnkCx.

Corine La Font is a self-publishing, online marketing and virtual events specialist and consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka and Tune in to her radio programme at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja. She can be reached at corine@helpdeskja.com.