Triple Crown Winners
- 1919 Sir Barton
- 1930 Gallant Fox
- 1935 Omaha
- 1937 War Admiral
- 1941 Whirlaway
- 1943 Count Fleet
- 1946 Assault
- 1948 Citation
- 1973 Secretariat
- 1977 Seattle Slew
- 1978 Affirmed
- 2015 American Pharoah
- 2018 Justify
With April winding down, anticipation is building for the great springtime tradition of America’s Triple Crown horse races. Hundreds of thousands of spectators will jam the tracks and tens of millions more will watch on television to see if one horse can win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
Do you think there is an equine champion-in-waiting that could win all three races as Justify did in 2018? History says “no,” as only thirteen horses have accomplished the feat in more than 140 years and there have never been Triple Crown winners in consecutive years.
Running your own race
Just as every horse and jockey attack a racecourse based on a well-thought-out strategic plan, companies have analogous missions and goals in achieving growth and ongoing bottom-line success. So, let’s take a look at elements of a solid marketing plan using Triple Crown winners as our inspiration.
Right out of the gate … you need to justify development of your plan by conducting research to:
- Evaluate your overall market and industry segment
- Identify and prioritize your audiences
- Determine the buying behaviors, preferences and motivations of your highest priority prospects
- Evaluate your competitors
- Determine the best avenues for success
- Understand potential impediments
- Assess messaging in the marketplace vis-a-vis your own messaging
- Observe how competitors are reaching out to their customers and prospects
- Honestly assess your own team’s abilities
As you round the first, second and third turns … set your goals and objectives. Obviously, you want to win your proverbial race, but to be affirmed that you have plotted the right course, you need to be “SMART” about it. Not unlike the way in which a jockey uses his or her intelligence and skill to guide a horse most effectively to the finish line.
SMART is an acronym for the elements of an effective marketing plan that stand for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely:
- Set specific outcomes for each objective (e.g., “increase revenue by 20%,” “add 10 new customers by year’s end,” “sell 1,000 units per month,” etc.)
- Clearly define the measurable results you want to achieve. Make certain you have an effective way to track your progress toward goals with real numbers that accurately reflect the results.
- Make your goals attainable. Nothing can kill a marketing effort quicker than setting goals that are onerous and ultimately unachievable.
- Set realistic targets understanding market conditions, your team’s capabilities and your company’s capacity to deliver desired results.
- Set deadlines that are timely. For instance, horse racing teams know they need to reach the half-mile post on a particular track within a specific time interval to win a race. Similarly, you should set goals for your own mile posts along the way (e.g. “we want to be halfway to our targeted sales figure by January 1, 2020.”)
Down the stretch …
Follow your plan. Win your own Triple Crown race. Reap the bottom-line rewards … and … get ready for the next race!