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Gold Medal Marketing: 5 Lessons B2B Marketers Can Learn From the Winter Olympics

Posted on Feb 9th, 2022
Written by Lane Ellis
  • Blog
  • B2B Marketing
  • Gold Medal Marketing: 5 Lessons B2B Marketers Can Learn From the Winter Olympics
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    Cross-country skiers racing in the Winter Olympics image.

    What can the inspiring athletes of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and their compelling stories teach us about crafting the very best in B2B marketing?

    B2B marketers can elevate their 2022 marketing efforts by taking a close look at some of the powerful characteristics currently on display in Beijing, whether it’s the endurance of Nordic skiers, the swiftness of speed skaters, the strength of downhill skiers, the all-around fitness of hockey players, or the transformative grace of figure skaters.

    Let’s strap on our B2B marketing skis, don our digital thinking caps, and glide along the pristine snow as we take in five marketing lessons from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

    1 — Aerobic Marketing: Nordic Skiing Endurance

    via GIPHY

    The astonishing endurance of Olympic Nordic cross-country classic and freestyle skiers can ring true to B2B marketers, who also benefit when their marketing efforts are:

    • In It For The Long-Haul
    • Always-On
    • Relationship-Based

    Always-on marketing utilizes ongoing relationship-building and the engagement and activation of a specified group of subject matter experts to build the kind of community, content and brand advocacy that’s in it for the long haul, just as in cross-country skiing.

    Always-on marketing is also a key facet of successful and award-winning campaigns according to research from Cannes Lions and WARC, which have increasingly featured campaign duration as an important element in their “Effectiveness Code” white paper research, which examined some 5,000 award entrants and winners.

    “Even at low budgets, campaigns with longer durations and more media channels are more effective,” the Cannes Lions report notes.

    The Nordic skiers competing in Beijing have top-of-the-charts VO2 max levels — the amount of oxygen they can use — yet they also have to know how to best put that mega-endurance to use depending on the distance of the event, the course, and weather conditions.

    Similarly, savvy B2B marketers are keenly aware of the endurance levels their marketing efforts possess, and take into account every small detail in order to achieve maximum success in the long run.

    Learn more about the power of always-on marketing in, “Inside Influence 2: Garnor Morantes from LinkedIn on the Power of Always-On Influence.”

    2 — Anaerobic Marketing: Speed-Skating

    via GIPHY

    With a sprinter’s top-end speed, Olympic speed skaters reach for maximum quickness, delivering the kind of brief top-power surges that B2B marketers can also achieve when their efforts are:

    • Event-Based
    • Short-Term
    • Paid

    Sometimes B2B marketers need maximum timeliness for short-term or event-based campaigns, and Olympic speed skaters show how top anaerobic fitness can produce the sublime speed and control that takes our breath away — qualities that marketers can also benefit from.

    Learn more about event-based marketing in, “In-Person, Virtual & Hybrid: How To Get The Most From B2B Marketing Events In 2022,” and in, “13 Top Strategies For B2B Marketers To Host & Promote Live Virtual Events.”

    3 — Daring Marketing Strength: Downhill Skiing

    via GIPHY

    Possessing an abundance of strength accompanied with a sense of daring that’s nearly unfathomable to most, Olympic downhill skiers — and snowboarders — can serve as excellent examples for B2B marketers looking to make the most of power and fearlessness, with marketing efforts that are:

    • Influencer-Based
    • Subject Matter Experts
    • Celebrities

    The strength of Olympic downhill skiers and snowboarders serves as a great example for B2B marketers looking to energize their efforts, using strategies that rely on the power of influence and subject matter experts. They also remind us to pay attention to the competition, but to ski your own race.

    Learn more about the unique strengths of influence in marketing, in “B2B Influencer Marketing Named Top Marketing Tactic for 2022: What You Need to Know.”

    4 — All-Around Marketing Fitness: Ice Hockey

    via GIPHY

    Many have suggested that some of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics athletes with the widest array of all-around fitness are the hockey players, and their example can serve to remind B2B marketers of the usefulness of well-rounded marketing efforts, such as those based on:

    • Content Marketing
    • Blog Posts
    • Social Media

    All-around marketing efforts can be the bread-and-butter ingredients in many everyday campaigns, and incorporate the tried-and-true benefits of content marketing, traditional blog posts, and social media promotion.

    Unlike skiing events, with Olympic hockey — where you’re dealing with such well-rounded fitness — B2B marketers can see how it pays to remember that you’re most definitely on a team, and if what you’re doing isn’t working, it can be wise to pivot and try something else.

    Learn more about content marketing in, “Best of B2B Marketing: Learn & Refine With Insight From Our Top 10 Content Marketing Posts,” and social media marketing in, “Social Significance: Learn From Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts.”

    5 — Marketing Athleticism & Grace: Figure Skating

    via GIPHY

    With a unique combination of athleticism and grace, Olympic figure skaters represent a gateway to the transformative and the profound — a rarefied space that can move us deeply, and a powerful example to B2B marketers of what the very best that marketing has to offer, in the form of:

    • Award-Winning Design
    • Visual Experiences
    • Immersive Digital Worlds

    Just as Surya Bonaly elevated figure skating to new heights at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan with the back-flip, the very best B2B marketing propels audiences to action in new ways.

    Learn more about award-winning B2B marketing in, “What Cannes Lions’ New Creative B2B Award Categories Mean For Marketers,” and in, “Inside Influence 5: Jen Holtvluwer from Spiron on Award Winning B2B Influencer Marketing.”

    Gold Medal B2B Marketing

    via GIPHY

    The global spirit of connection at the Winter Olympics has been heightened during the 2022 games, yet with the pandemic changing the look of the spectacle, its heart has unwaveringly remained.

    B2B marketers can elevate their 2022 marketing efforts by being mindful of what we’ve explored here, whether it’s the endurance of Nordic skiers, the swiftness of speed skaters, the strength of downhill skiers, the all-around fitness of hockey players, or the transformative grace of figure skaters.

    Our CEO Lee Odden recently explored many of the facets we’ve looked at here, in “Three Steps to Elevated B2B Marketing in 2022: Innovate, Collaborate, Accelerate.”

    Thanks for coming along for our slalom run through a few of the marketing lessons we can learn from the Winter Olympics.

    Crafting gold medal caliber B2B marketing that elevates, gives voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which is why an increasing number of firms are choosing to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Reach out to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, and others.