When most people think about marketing, they don’t think of NASCAR right off the bat. Being the fanatic that I am, it’s the first thing I think of. But when most people think about NASCAR, they think about left turns or it being a sport. However, if you’ve spent any significant time around the sport, you know that it’s run by marketing geniuses.
From marketing individual personalities to building some of the largest shrines to branding the world has seen, NASCAR knows how to market. After all, the cars are essentially rolling billboards. This multi-billion dollar sport also offers us a useful marketing framework analogy.
The body of the car and the driver together can be viewed as a company’s brand. This is what aesthetically and emotionally sets you apart from the competition. This is where character, voice, and personality become overtly evident.
When new customers first come into contact with a company (or fans to a new team), this is the first thing they’ll experience. To use a few specific examples, when I think of DuPont I think of Jeff Gordon. When I hear Target I think of Kyle Larson. A good brand, over time, should become synonymous with the company or product it represents.
They should be indistinguishable from each other.
There is so much more to marketing than a brand, however. Just as a car has no power without an engine, a branded company can’t move products as efficiently without a website. As the digital storefront, the website is likely the first point of contact a customer will have with your brand. A website is the center of content marketing, and should be a natural expansion of the brand itself.
The brand and its marketing should be so closely tied together that you can’t tell which is benefitting the other more.
- Does the brand exist to live within the website, or does the website live to serve the brand?
- Is a car built to house the engine, or is the engine built to fit in the car?
The answer is both. They coexist.
The user experience of the website has to be on-point. The performance of the site has to be monitored at all times, by as many tools as possible. Only then, through an iterative process, can it perform at peak perfection. At Steadfast, we lean on Google Analytics, CrazyEgg, Lucky Orange, and SpyFu (among others) to guide decisions when creating every piece of a client’s website.
So now that you have the body and engine of your car, it can’t really go anywhere without wheels. This is where search engine optimization and unpaid social media come into place.
Keyword and competitor research will help you figure out exactly what you should be optimizing your website for, or in NASCAR terminology, will give you the insight as to what tire pressure and wedge you should be using.
Organic search and inbound marketing are great tools to maintain your presence in the marketplace and help you gain initial traction.
Now all you need is fuel for your car and you’re ready to hit the track. The fuel for a brand is utilizing paid advertising. An advertising budget and strategic media buys are what will give you the extra boost in the online marketplace. This can be executed in traditional, digital, or a healthy mixture of both media types. Your target demographic will help guide you to which advertising medium best fits your brand. But as we’ve said, without the fuel to spend, the car will be as beautiful as it is ineffective. After all, what good is a perfect piece of machinery that can’t execute?
Lastly, you have your pit crew. These are the people that work day in and day out, making sure that the car and all other contributing factors are at peak performance, all while staying in budget. Just like the pit crew, the crew here at Steadfast Creative all have different duties, but work closely together to strategize and create great marketing vehicles for our clients that are both visually appealing, and functionally elite.
Without all of these pieces, we wouldn’t have racing, and we wouldn’t have successful marketing strategies for our clients. We strive for performance and live for iteration. Most of all, we can’t wait to hoist up our clients after their inevitable success.