The Olympics are almost gone. For two weeks every two years, the Olympics are the most discussed thing around. Even a Mars landing took back seat to the worldwide athletic competition. It was only appropriate to bring you this edition of the Benchmark 5: things the Olympics taught us that you can apply to your business.

  1. Know your audience. I had an argument the other day with my brother and another friend about whether or not Men’s Soccer was an Olympic sport. This is because, despite watching countless hours of coverage, we’d seen no talk of it. I kept telling them it was, because I knew it was a big story that David Beckham hadn’t made the English team. It turns out NBC hadn’t been showing coverage, because the USA men’s team hadn’t qualified. Plus, let’s be honest…too few care about it otherwise. NBC gets that we’d rather see swimming, gymnastics, track and basketball.
  2. We’re a sucker for a good story. The Olympics are like a documentary mini series. You get wrapped up in the saga. The excitement of victory. The disappointment of defeat. Olympians such as Missy Franklin become known as America’s sweetheart. Your marketing efforts need to tell a story that your audience can get behind.
  3. Nothing is a forgone conclusion. More than once, I’ve heard announcers talk about how it’s a given that a specific Olympian would be the winner. Then they aren’t. You could do all the preparation, work harder than everyone else and for one reason or another it just doesn’t happen the way you planned it. Make sure you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
  4. Everybody loves a winner. Michael Phelps is once again the biggest story of the Olympics. This go-around, he became the winningest Olympian of all time. Share your successes with your customers. It may make them feel a part of it, or at the very least, like they made the right decision in trusting your company for their needs.
  5. Frequency is key. Do you think the Olympics would be as popular if they happened every year? Not at all. It would lose much of its excitement. It wouldn’t be as special. Plus, knowing that the Olympians train four years for one moment makes it all the more important. Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with email campaigns and marketing messages. Make the ones you do send count.