by Matt Hunckler
For Indianapolis natives, few things can match spending a day at the Indianapolis 500 track—the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Many of us here at Slingshot SEO grew up watching the race. We can recite the names of numerous winners and recall the years when it went down to the final turn.
So how does racing relate to marketing?
Well, a Slingshot group recently spent a day at the track and observed some of racing’s most deserving brands. Our founders got a up-close look at the pits and reflected on the race’s 100 years of history.
In the midst of all the excitement and adrenaline we found five Indy-500 principles that are guaranteed to move the needle on your marketing:
Creatively explore and innovate.
Race teams test themselves and each other to constantly evolve. As in marketing, there is no rest, no leveling off, no “established experts in the field” – there is only how hard we push today and how well we anticipate tomorrow’s twists and turns.
As internet marketers, we’re dedicated to continually exploring new ground, staying in front of the pack, and producing such impressive results that—at times—we look like magicians to outsiders. Like the best marketers you know, a winning race team works hard, stays late, and has absolutely no time for negativity or passivity.
Measure twice, cut once.
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, our team had the opportunity to meet some of the most underrated members of the race teams—the DAGs (Data Acquisition Geeks). These number crunchers monitor real-time data streamed from the racecars and download enormous amounts of information.
DAGs are the unsung heroes of their teams. Few outside of the racing teams know anything about them, yet their ability to monitor data is crucial to their teams’ success.
You’re not going to win if your racecar runs out of fuel on the last lap. Do you have a DAG on your marketing team? Are you going out of your way to enable them?
Use the 20% that gets you 80% of the results.
The DAGs at the track download such enormous amounts of information that it takes a data cable the size of a fire hose to transfer everything to their laptops. The amount of information is overwhelming.
Laser focus on the most important data produces the best results. By employing a marketing strategy to block out the noise and allow yourself to focus on the main thing, you’ll develop the ability to see around corners. And that’s tough to compete with.
Test, measure, repeat.
Progress is a process. When you’re racing cars at over 225 miles per hour, the most consistent way to move the ball forward is to make small, calculated maneuvers while always keeping the end goal in sight.
Drivers are constantly monitoring the performance of their vehicles – from the handling to the acceleration and braking. They know how to communicate the smallest of problems to their crew chief, and the crew chief knows what exactly needs to be done when it’s time for a pit stop.
The difference between first and second place is often miniscule. Great drivers know when to make a bold move and when to remain patient. They have a sixth sense that allows them to avoid high-speed collision as they move their way to the front of the pack.
What incremental changes have you made with your marketing lately?
Practice, practice, practice.
There’s no substitute for experience. Whether it’s Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves or Scott Dixon, the great ones know how to get the most out of their racecars every single year. They’re able to execute their team’s strategy perfectly, or adjust it according to whatever challenges may develop.
And the great ones are relentless. Tony Kanaan has yet to win the 500, but he maintains an unshakable confidence. You can bet there’s no one in the field who wants to win it more.
After our day at the track, we came back convinced that these five Indy-500 principles will absolutely put your marketing at full throttle.
What about you? Have you been to the track? How do these principles resonate with your marketing efforts?