Here's a challenge for all you marketing All Stars: What's the best way to reach Red Sox fans in New York City?
Cold-calling 212 or 718 numbers?
Bad idea -- unless you're prepared to endure (and pay for) hundreds of hang-ups from foul-mouthed Met and Yankee fans before finding a Sox fan.
Theoretically you could come up with a good list -- maybe one from the Red Sox ticket office or their web site -- but that would be expensive, hard to measure and ineffective.
TV commercials, radio ads and print ads?
Same problem. Expensive, poorly targeted and low conversion rates.
How about serving beer and showing Red Sox games on fancy TVs?
Bingo! That's the successful inbound marketing approach thousands of sports bars have been thriving on since prohibition ended.
Sports bars are the original inbound marketers. They know you can attract a specific demographic by producing content that appeals to that demographic.
Want to get a bunch of graduates of the University of Wisconsin to your bar? You could spend a lot time and money tracking them down -- or you could just show Badger games.
Don't be distracted by the buffalo wings and Bud Lite. Successful sports bars are marketing operations to emmulate.
You may be serving up webinars about microchip design instead of televised baseball games, but the rules are the same: If you publish content your buyers are interested in, they'll find you.
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