accenture-cuts-tiger-woods

Over the weekend, Accenture cut Tiger loose. They didn't want to be tied to the new image that Tiger has ‘crafted' for himself. Accenture is a high-end consulting company that works in the business-to-business space and is generally associated with Fortune 500 companies. Accenture used to be the perfect match for someone like Tiger. A similar fate met world famous swimmer Michael Phelps when he was let go by Kellogg's after caught on camera indulging in an illegal activity. An article in the New York Times states it pretty clearly:

"In business, credibility means a lot and honesty means a lot, and Accenture wants to be a company that can be trusted," David Arluck, in independent sports marketing executive said. "Obviously Tiger Woods did some things that betrayed the trust of people who were close to him, and I can see how they would want to distance themselves from that.

Though our readers may never have a shot at having a highly visible (and expensive) person like Tiger Woods representing their company, it's important that you realize the amount of  influence inbound marketers have over their own brands . It takes the onus off of spokespeople and outside agencies who can damage what you have worked so hard to build. Here's a few simple ways to accomplish that.

  • Develop your own content - There is no better way to make sure your messaging is accurate, consistent, and produced on a regular basis than to start developing your own remarkable content. We can hear you saying that you don't have the time to do this, but that is simply an excuse. You need to make the time. The level of control that content creation gives you over your brand image could protect it from collateral damage caused by other's misfortunes. 
  • Be careful of your associations - Oftentimes businesses make a decision to partner with someone or in some way tie their fortunes too closely to those of others. Be picky about which sites you link to and thought-leaders you associate yourself with. Be extremely careful and be sure to completely vet those associations so you don't get caught up in someone else's trouble.
  • Stay aware - If you are consistently generating content that is  keyword rich , news-oriented and on-message it will be harder to be caught off guard by sudden shifts in public opinion. It allows customers to respond more swiftly to perceived changes in your brand and thusly quicker for you to snuff pending problems out. Often the busy-ness of business makes us take our eye off the ball. By staying on top of your business and industry trends you will be more aware by default. As a result, you may make better decisions. You don't want to get blindsided do you? Ask Tiger how well that works in both golf and life.

Though Inbound Marketing gives you  more control of your brand  during a crisis, there still is great responsibility. Social networking and our ever-expanding arsenal of i nstant publishing tools  have all given us the power to influence our own marketing destiny and the brands we represent. Use common sense to avoid pulling a Tiger Woods on your company. Be sure that what you are writing and saying about your company is something that can be backed up.

Oh and if you have some skeletons in your closet, you may never be able to start fresh, but you certainly can  change your methods and the way you do business today . All you need to do is read the papers to see how quickly one can fall from the mountaintop and into the valley. Just ask Tiger.

photo by ATIS547

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Originally published Dec 14, 2009 2:45:00 PM, updated October 18 2015

Topics:

Branding