Friday, June 5, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box

Brains are pattern recognition systems which allow us to recognize objects and situations very quickly. However, pattern recognition can work against us and make us fixed in our thinking - making it difficult to be creative. The good news is that we can use lateral thinking techniques to break out of old ways of thinking and boost creativity…i.e. “Thinking Outside the Box.”

The customary model of attracting new buyers is through means such as “word of mouth”, being written about in thoroughbred publication, or even advertising in said publications. This has worked well and if continued will be an adequate method of attracting new business. But there’s and old saying “if you do the same thing, expect the same results”, if you’re happy with adequate results then - stop reading. However if you would like to learn how to, by using demographics and technology, discover the potential for dramatically increasing buyers – read on!

By using demographics to pin point the type of individual who may be attracted to becoming Thoroughbred owners and then technology to attract them I have found an untapped market which could be akin to a literal gold mine. But before you read any further you may want to reread the first paragraph because in order to fully grasp the following concepts you’re going to have use “lateral thinking.”

According to (1) around 16 million Americans play fantasy sports across major online fantasy sports sites. From a financial stand point, “64% of fantasy football consumers make over $75,000 and 10% of fantasy football consumers make over $150,000 per year - demonstrating financial wherewithal to become syndicate partners. From an intellectual demographic stand point 73% of fantasy football consumers hold a college degree or better – demonstrating the intellect to understand the intricacies of horse racing and betting. From an age standpoint, 76% of fantasy football consumers are between 18 and 49 years old – demonstrating by their relative young age their income has the potential to show large increases. According to a study by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, "the people who play fantasy are more into sports, more hard-core than the average fan” – demonstrating they would be more likely to be interested in Thoroughbred racing. These people fit the demographics to potentially become owners the trick is how to we turn them from fantasy owners into real ones.

Three words, “Behavior Targeting Marketing” which as the title suggests literally targets individuals based upon their behavior. In this case as the 16 million previously mentioned individuals search for fantasy information an ad pops up directing them to click on it. The ad campaign is only limited to the imagination to those who write it – but lets say it’s something like “turn fantasy into reality.” Current market trends show a three percent rate of return on this type of specialized advertising. Using these figures a full blown ad campaign designed to reach all 16 million individuals would generate a hit rate of 480,000. If then there by 1% of these individuals decide to become owners that would mean 4,800 (ok I know that math was easy) new Thoroughbred owners (what would that do for your bottom line), the potential result would be an unlimited and uncapped end number. The determining factor would undeniably be the marketing campaign and if the individuals by same were enticed to become owners.

This type of campaign would be expensive and in hard economic times you’re probably asking yourself can I afford to do this, the reality however is you should be telling yourself I can’t afford not to do this. Here are two examples of how marketing and more specifically a quality marketing campaign will generate sales.

One: General Mills vs. Post – during the years leading up to the “great “depression these companies were neck and neck in sales, both advertised heavily and were always looking for new ways to attract new customers. However when the depression began Post pulled back on their marketing reasoning money was tight and to survive they would need as much of it as possible. Inversely General Mills plowed ahead with their marketing campaigns and put as much money as they could into them, the result are obvious to this day!

Two: The infamous Pet-Rock, in 1975 millions of people, during tough economic times, spent money to buy a “rock.” Why, because of marketing, their commercials targeted a specific audience and were broadcast at times to maximize same such as the Saturday Night Live viewers. The campaign itself then caught people’s attention; it excited them and drove them to buy the product. The end result being that within six months the inventor, Gary Dahl, became a millionaire.

The moral of the story is this keep doing the same thing and receiving adequate results (and take the risk of becoming a Post, or worse), or “Think Outside the Box” and take the chance to reap the rewards.

If anyone would like help in any capacity to devise this type of campaign I would be glad to consult with you in any manner, simply email me at

1 comment:

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