It’s November so it must be Movember, right?
Throwing caution to the wind, men are growing moustaches with various degrees of success. Regardless of the final “product”, it is all for a good cause – raising awareness and money for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health.
From humble beginnings in 2004, Movember has become one of the world’s top-100 non-government organizations.
It is a phenomenon that offers a variety of marketing lessons for B2B marketers and startups. Here are some of the key themes:
An important part of Movember is being able to stick it out, particularly when things get tough and, sadly, itchy. For some, especially people not used to facial hair, it can be a challenge to keep going. Now’s the time to stay focused on the task at hand. This is a key lesson for B2B marketers and startups that need to keep in mind that success can often be a long-term proposition that requires patience and a willingness to not get discouraged or impatient. At times, the business life can get irritating but managing stress and hurdles is just how the game is played. While, at times, marketing can seem like a marathon, success comes from staying the course.
While individuals or brands can operate solo or in a silo, there are major benefits to being part of the community. It provides everyone with a valuable support system to handle challenges and embrace new opportunities. Being part of a community makes it easier integrate into something bigger and better. It is a mechanism that allows you to give and take when and if needed. Movember has thrived and gone global because it is a growing and vibrant community. And as the community grows, it is easier for more people to get involved. For marketers and startups, a strong community has huge benefits by bringing people together around common interests and goals.
A willingness to take chances or look downright silly
Let’s face it (pun, absolutely intended!), Movember can be embarrassing for many men. Not everyone has the ability to grow a Burt Reynolds-like moustache. Many of us struggle to grow something of substance, which makes us fodder for a month of sad commentary and good-natured teasing. For marketers, success often comes when you are willing to take risks. Attracting attention means doing something that is different of unusual. When it works, you look like a hero – much like growing a luxurious, bushy moustache during Movember.
Having a vision and setting goals
Success comes in different shapes and size. For Movember, it is not just about the money to support cancer research but raising awareness about men’s health. People participate in Movember for different reasons, and there is a sense of satisfaction when the campaign is over. For marketers and startups, it is important to define success. For some, it might be brand awareness. For others, it could be media coverage, leads or sales. While the goals may be different, it is important to have a well-defined roadmap that leads you to success, whatever that might look like. (And part of that planning comes in organizing strategic meetings effectively, which B2Bnn wrote about here).
Over the next two weeks, you will see many men gamely embracing the Movember challenge. As much as we may laugh at those who struggle and applaud those who can actually grow a moustache, it is important to remember that they are in the midst of a campaign for a good cause.
For marketers and startups, the key takeway is that success doesn’t come without a lot of effort, hard work and risk taking.
Main photo via Flickr, Creative Commons
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