Wii Tennis – that shiny wonder of a game that has managed to consume our after office hours and saturate them with über competitive fun amidst a soundtrack of cheers, jeers, and exasperated grunts.
If Wii Tennis makes so much sense to us as a fun-loving group at play, then would it still make sense when juxtaposed against the nature of our work? Is it really possible to gleam some sort of common ground between B2B marketing and Wii Tennis? Here’s my take on general B2B marketing concepts (particularly those that involve social media) as they hold court under a Wii Tennis light:
Wii Tennis is not a passive game and so is B2B Marketing, especially when using social media. Obviously, you have to constantly return the ball (or at least attempt to) in order for everything to work. So just like B2B marketing in social media terms, engagement is of utmost importance. To serve the ball would equate to putting out content in the hope of generating leads and returning the ball after it is served at you would translate to having meaningful and contextual conversations with your market. It’s so simple it hurts.
Be fast enough to be able to return the serve or volley. In B2B marketing, this would equate to being able to engage with your customer effectively while being able to adapt to the constantly evolving trends and innovations in technology, content consumption and vehicles/media/tools that deliver the content to your target.
Lead nurturing takes time and patience and so does waiting for the computer to sweat and make a mistake. Yes it sometimes gets tedious as the ball goes back and forth in an almost clinical fashion. But it’s the same thing in B2B marketing as well. You have to be patient in order for you to get an “advantage”. Rushing things would only serve to undermine your whole effort. And it’s especially worth it to wait for the computer to sweat profusely because it is just fun to look at.
You have to map out how the opponent will react to your style of play in the same vein as you would map out how a customer would accept solutions that would suit their business context. You must always keep in mind that clients must be handled in such a way that the solution must fit their needs. So, no matter how fantastic your Tim Henman-esque serve is, there is always somebody out there to whom your serve has no effect on whatsoever. So you must learn to adjust accordingly.
Every gamer has a style that mirror themselves and their peers and in B2B marketing, your content is personalized in such a way that they mirror your connection with your audience. Either you are the clinically calculating tennis geek or the über fidgety “Shaolin Tennis!” kind of goofball … both can present compelling styles that would fit you and the way your manner of play (or story in the case of B2B marketing) would be perceived and received. And on both accounts, it is up to you to determine the style of play that would work.
In Wii Tennis you can measure your player progress as you beat the computer everytime you play. In B2B marketing you have ROI and matrices that help you pinpoint what works and what does not. Both are absolutely essential.
So there you have it — general B2B marketing concepts extrapolated from Wii Tennis. Well not that we need to. But it sure beats not engaging with people who might appreciate such eclectic tangents. That and because my right arm still hurts from all the swinging.