The OSU Marching Band Magnificent Marketing Analogy

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I hope by now you’ve seen the Ohio State University half-time show from last Saturday’s game against Nebraska. A brilliant move on the band director’s part, the marching band played the tunes of our favorite video games, including Mario, Tetris and Pac-Man, and coupled them with amazing formations where the band morphed into images from the games themselves. Videos were immediately posted to YouTube and went viral across all social media platforms, accruing more than eight million views in less than a week.

This feat highlights one of the most important qualities of marching bands, as well as (you saw this one coming) marketing plans. That quality is: collaboration.

osu moving horseA marching band is at its best when all parts are moving in cohesion. There’s no other way to morph a band into a giant horse that gallops across the field while playing the theme song of The Legend of Zelda.

A marketing plan functions in a similar manner. Just like throwing one flute onto the 50-yard line does not a band make, throwing a website up and letting it stagnate does not make for an effective marketing plan. My “brilliant” analogy will either help you learn how a fully integrated marketing plan can align your marketing efforts with your brand and your goals, or it will show you that I was never in marching band.

Drum Major – Branding

We can’t take a step forward, or at least not a cohesive step, without a unifier. This unifier helps coordinate all the moving parts into a functional unit, keeping the rhythm and the beat. The drum major keeps the band organized and structured, just like branding unifies the entire marketing campaign. Everything we do points toward that established brand and is an essential first step when creating a marketing strategy.

Percussion – Web Development

Because marching bands almost always perform outdoors, it’s important for the percussion section to achieve maximum articulation and projection, lest everything sound jumbled and piecemeal. Marketing agencies, in the same vein, are trying to get their clients to stand out on the web among hundreds or thousands of competitors, so articulation and projection are essential. We need a beat. The website is there to drive qualified traffic and generate leads, and only one that is developed in cohesion with your drum major will have any lasting effect.

Brass – Content Marketing

Trumpets, trombones and flugelhorns – where would a marching band be without them? Functional? Perhaps. But it’s a functionality that won’t last. When percussion and branding are in place, we need sound with more direction. Thus, content marketing. Content lets the band continue to play on without the audience becoming disinterested. It gives your company a competitive advantage in terms of search, authority, and lead generation. B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads than those who don’t. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads. As Bill Gates said, “Content is King.”

Woodwinds – SEO

Pick up your flutes! Ready your piccolos! It’s time to get your band noticed! A website or blog that exists without optimized keyword integration is a woodwind without a reed. Google will barely notice your existence, and the site will be relegated to the 20th page of search results. Integrating targeted keywords based on what your audience is searching in Google is essential to driving visitors to your website and generating leads.

The High Step – Social Media

If your business is not already on social media, you likely cringe at its mere mention. Just like when you see one band member, by herself, doing the high step. You probably feel a little awkward and aren’t really sure what she’s doing. But when you mold that high-stepper in with 100 other people doing the same thing, coupled with instruments playing in time and a drum major at the helm – it looks AWESOME! A solid social media strategy that is integrated seamlessly with all the other aspects of your marketing plan can have incredible results. It enables you to engage with your audience in a dynamic, massive way that can’t be replicated with any other communication medium.

Let Us Help

  1. Branding
  2. Web development
  3. Content marketing
  4. Search engine optimization
  5. Social media

If you want to see what happens when all of these elements come together seamlessly, watch the half-time show.

And when you’re ready for that to happen with your business, give us a call.

Learn more about Dynamics Online internet marketing services.


Jeff-G+-ImageJeff Hirz is the Social Media and Content Marketing Manager at Dynamics Online.
You can reach him by calling (216) 292-4410.