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Why Internet Marketing is Like Driving Supercars

There are often unexpected perks to being a blogger and this Sunday was one of the best I have experienced. On top of having a great day out, I realized something about internet marketing that can benefit you in your business.

Me and my Ferrari

What put this goofy expression on my face? Read on ...

6th Gear had invited a bunch of online geeks, Al Carlton, Dave Naylor, Kieron Donoghue, Patrick Altoft and me, for a day of thrashing supercars around a race circuit. This involved us driving £1million worth of posh motors at bowel-shaking speeds, all the time wearing grins like the one you see above.

In my case my gear changes let me down. I was in brilliant and expensive machines, in an ideal environment (purpose built track on a clear, dry day), but the expert instructors showed how someone with actual driving skill could really do the business.

What Supercars and New Media Have in Common

As the day went on I did improve marginally in my driving ability, but it made me think of how driving supercars and success in the activity of marketing online are related with the following three factors:

  1. Power of the setup – Is your site, marketing campaign or content holding you back or providing the power and momentum you need?
  2. Skill of the operator – If you or your team are holding you back then you need to update your skills to maintain competitiveness
  3. The field of operation and environment – You might have everything you need but still be held back by your niche and environmental factors, in which case change direction. There is no good in having a supercar capable of 650bhp that is trapped and constrained by conjestion, speed bumps and potholes – take your whole package to a place where you can really let rip!

Now if in your business something is holding you back, you can put these essential elements back on track:

  • First ensure you work a niche with sufficient potential, or redirect your efforts and audience targeting into a related niche that offers more room for growth and acceleration
  • Bring your skills and knowledge up to requirements by taking courses, attending seminars and putting in the study hours.
  • Develop your site, content and marketing campaign to make sure it attracts, retains and converts paying customers

Have you got the whole package? It would be worth taking an honest look at your setup then putting right any deficiencies now …

Would You Be Up For It?

We were all so buzzed on the day I am sure there will lots of ideas percolating amongst our collected brains so let me know in the comments if you would be up for taking part in a supercar event next year.

It’s impossible for me to adequately describe how cool it was, so I won’t even try, it is written all over my face in the picture. Suffice to say I would totally recommend the experience to anyone, and if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the reports of the day from Dave, Kieron and Patrick who have wasted no time in blogging the event, and my flickr gallery here.

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Comments

  1. I’m not sure how far you can take the analogy between supercars and new media marketing, but it’s an interesting thought.

    Another way to think about it might be to think of a specific campaign in terms of are you trying to sell a supercar or a Ford Focus (apologies to Focus drivers!).

    Campaigns often fail because they put a supercar chassis and body on a Focus engine. If you dress up something and make it look cool, and it doesn’t perform as expected, customers feel let down. Better to focus on substance and style.

    That’s the appeal of supercars; they have substance AND style!

  2. I’m not sure how far you can take the analogy between supercars and new media marketing, but it’s an interesting thought.

    Another way to think about it might be to think of a specific campaign in terms of are you trying to sell a supercar or a Ford Focus (apologies to Focus drivers!).

    Campaigns often fail because they put a supercar chassis and body on a Focus engine. If you dress up something and make it look cool, and it doesn’t perform as expected, customers feel let down. Better to focus on substance and style.

    That’s the appeal of supercars; they have substance AND style!

  3. great insights – great pics!

    cheers,
    matt

  4. great insights – great pics!

    cheers,
    matt

  5. Superb, Chris. I’d have an equally cheesey grin on my face.

  6. Superb, Chris. I’d have an equally cheesey grin on my face.

  7. I love this. So sweet to hear that you got to drive a Lamborghini. Wish I was there with you.

    On the biz side, it’s important to remember that with targeting a niche market, you want to also position yourself effectively in that market. I define positioning as what your audience believes you do – which is essential for success. The clear they are at how you can help them, the easier the conversion.

  8. I love this. So sweet to hear that you got to drive a Lamborghini. Wish I was there with you.

    On the biz side, it’s important to remember that with targeting a niche market, you want to also position yourself effectively in that market. I define positioning as what your audience believes you do – which is essential for success. The clear they are at how you can help them, the easier the conversion.

  9. Glen Crosier says:

    Hi Chris – you’ve convinced me ! I love your reports back from your offline adventures – this is different from the photos you posted from the venue of your Northern meet up – enjoyed that too…what’s up next ? Cheers, Glen

  10. Glen Crosier says:

    Hi Chris – you’ve convinced me ! I love your reports back from your offline adventures – this is different from the photos you posted from the venue of your Northern meet up – enjoyed that too…what’s up next ? Cheers, Glen

  11. I’d definitely be interested, bearing in mind I’m a blogger, automotive journalist, and work on marketing for some large automotive magazines and websites!

  12. I’d definitely be interested, bearing in mind I’m a blogger, automotive journalist, and work on marketing for some large automotive magazines and websites!

  13. Thanks Chris. What fun!

    Your analogous example this morning put some of the faith back in our fervor . One of your earlier posts reminds us all not to lose heart when the world isn’t immediately beating a path to our blog in its early days. So much effort goes into the learning, building, content creation etc etc. you want to see immediate results.

    I truly believe, “If you build it, they will come”. This post just reminded me to temporarily stop measuring our success by # of subscribers, stay focused on creating valuable content, and just keep digging into the books/blogposts learning every day, examine the winners for their winning marketing and communications strategies and keep the faith.

    Thanks. Glad to be here and an ‘Authority Blogger’ student.

    Alex

  14. Thanks Chris. What fun!

    Your analogous example this morning put some of the faith back in our fervor . One of your earlier posts reminds us all not to lose heart when the world isn’t immediately beating a path to our blog in its early days. So much effort goes into the learning, building, content creation etc etc. you want to see immediate results.

    I truly believe, “If you build it, they will come”. This post just reminded me to temporarily stop measuring our success by # of subscribers, stay focused on creating valuable content, and just keep digging into the books/blogposts learning every day, examine the winners for their winning marketing and communications strategies and keep the faith.

    Thanks. Glad to be here and an ‘Authority Blogger’ student.

    Alex

  15. Chris,

    Looks like you had a lot of fun! I’ve done F1 racing in Braintree, MA – basically hi-powered go-carts. After a few laps, you learn how to take turns, when to accelerate and how close you can get to someone without smashing into them.

    You wrote “Bring your skills and knowledge up to requirements by taking courses, attending seminars and putting in the study hours.” Taking your blogging course has been central to my recent success with my blog (an increase of 950 subscribers in 30 days).

    Whenever I want to get better at something (business, blogging, marketing, music, raising a son), I try and surround myself with the best “drivers”.

    Thanks,

    John

  16. Chris,

    Looks like you had a lot of fun! I’ve done F1 racing in Braintree, MA – basically hi-powered go-carts. After a few laps, you learn how to take turns, when to accelerate and how close you can get to someone without smashing into them.

    You wrote “Bring your skills and knowledge up to requirements by taking courses, attending seminars and putting in the study hours.” Taking your blogging course has been central to my recent success with my blog (an increase of 950 subscribers in 30 days).

    Whenever I want to get better at something (business, blogging, marketing, music, raising a son), I try and surround myself with the best “drivers”.

    Thanks,

    John

  17. Wow!!! Looks like a lot of fun. I am new to monetized blogging so it very well could be numbers 1, 2, 1nd 3 that are slowing me down. I definitely know that #3 is. I picked a theme that is packed with entries. Now I have to differentiate myself from the rest. And that requires that #2 is strong. Let’s see how well I can do.

  18. Wow!!! Looks like a lot of fun. I am new to monetized blogging so it very well could be numbers 1, 2, 1nd 3 that are slowing me down. I definitely know that #3 is. I picked a theme that is packed with entries. Now I have to differentiate myself from the rest. And that requires that #2 is strong. Let’s see how well I can do.

  19. @Roger – Yes, good point, racing stripes do not a supercar make :)

    @matthew – Thanks, it was a brilliant day :)

    @David – Totally, and it still hasn’t worn off :)

    @Dawud – Another insight is when you look at a supercar it is obvious to anyone what it does and what it is for, perhaps with our design and branding we could do as good a job at communicating those things?

    @Glen – Next week is a SEO meetup at a hotel, kind of tame in comparison! Not sure what will be coming next, I think a bloggers Christmas party complete with santa ;)

    @Dan – Sounds like you are well suited then!

    @Alex – Yup, stick with it and craft the complete package, luck favors the prepared! :D

    @John – Glad to see you are gaining results, I am sure you are going to do brilliantly with your blog and your businesses. You are a cool guy, just need more people to notice :)

    @Tim – It also helps to make friends and contacts, fresh eyes who can help spot things where you can improve or tweak

  20. @Roger – Yes, good point, racing stripes do not a supercar make :)

    @matthew – Thanks, it was a brilliant day :)

    @David – Totally, and it still hasn’t worn off :)

    @Dawud – Another insight is when you look at a supercar it is obvious to anyone what it does and what it is for, perhaps with our design and branding we could do as good a job at communicating those things?

    @Glen – Next week is a SEO meetup at a hotel, kind of tame in comparison! Not sure what will be coming next, I think a bloggers Christmas party complete with santa ;)

    @Dan – Sounds like you are well suited then!

    @Alex – Yup, stick with it and craft the complete package, luck favors the prepared! :D

    @John – Glad to see you are gaining results, I am sure you are going to do brilliantly with your blog and your businesses. You are a cool guy, just need more people to notice :)

    @Tim – It also helps to make friends and contacts, fresh eyes who can help spot things where you can improve or tweak

  21. Ahh, nice pic. :) If we’re serious about our business, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to become successful or to simply get the job done. I’m a fan of learning.. you said,

    # Bring your skills and knowledge up to requirements by taking courses, attending seminars and putting in the study hours.
    # Develop your site, content and marketing campaign to make sure it attracts, retains and converts paying customers.

    I completely agree. Creative analogy, way to use your experience to aid with your blogging and marketing topics.

  22. Ahh, nice pic. :) If we’re serious about our business, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to become successful or to simply get the job done. I’m a fan of learning.. you said,

    # Bring your skills and knowledge up to requirements by taking courses, attending seminars and putting in the study hours.
    # Develop your site, content and marketing campaign to make sure it attracts, retains and converts paying customers.

    I completely agree. Creative analogy, way to use your experience to aid with your blogging and marketing topics.

  23. The bit about developing a “niche” market is very, very true

  24. The bit about developing a “niche” market is very, very true

  25. I would love love love to drive a supercar. It would be so much fun to see how very fast you can go. Looks like you had a lot of fun. When it comes to internet marketing the skill of the operator is a big deal. Good point there. Keep up the great posts

  26. I would love love love to drive a supercar. It would be so much fun to see how very fast you can go. Looks like you had a lot of fun. When it comes to internet marketing the skill of the operator is a big deal. Good point there. Keep up the great posts