Cubs’ Way…A Valuable Marketing Lesson

cubs way

OK, let me start by saying I am a huge, life-long @Cubs fan and couldn’t be more excited that we are FINALLY in the #World Series. Along with the great season, there is a tremendous lesson to be learned on how they achieved this success. This approach should be incorporated into how you view and execute marketing in your organization.

When the time the Cubs hired Theo Epstein to transition the team from “Lovable Losers” to perennial winners, he started by created a culture of the “Cubs’ Way.” With this strategy, the entire organization, from their Minor League teams to the Major League team, would teach, execute and perform with the same rules and expectations. This allowed for a consistent understanding, belief and execution for the executives, managers, players, etc.

Today, we see the success on the field. This was not an overnight success story. In fact, the transition for the Cubs started with Theo’s arrival in 2011. He defined and incorporated the “Cubs’ Way,” achieved organizational buy-in, stayed the course (even under some difficult, losing seasons) and now enjoys the success and talent that grew into the World Series team you see today in 2016.

So how does this apply to and affect your marketing? Well (and unfortunately) in many organizations, marketing is viewed as a “bunch” of promotional activities and communications that a group of marketers executes in a vacuum. Even within a marketing department, it is common for siloed activities between the various groups (i.e. social media, PR, web, promotions, etc.). When you see this type of marketing approach, you know this is an ineffective method to promote a product or brand. Yet as I’ve seen first-hand many times, this happens more times than not. Be honest, how do you view and execute marketing within your organization? It is a company-wide, cultural advantage or just a list of disjointed promotional activities?

To make your brand a true strength, marketing should drive your “brand’s way.” You should define a consistent meaning of your brand, products, channels, methods, etc. This consistent message needs to transcend your entire organization and culture. Your ownership/top management should help define and approve this direction, your mid-level management should communication and train your organization and all team members need to be brand ambassadors.

A few advantages to this approach:

  • Clients understand what you stand for and what you do.
  • Your sales team communicates a common message.
  • Increase brand awareness within and outside your organization.
  • Improve ability to hire best job candidates that match your approach.
  • Develop consistent strategies and content to represent your company’s brand, product and services.

With the approach of the “Cubs’ Way,” the @Cubs were able to #FlyTheW over 110 times this year, a great measure of success. So, go out there, develop your “Way,” stay the course, achieve organizational buy-in and move towards sustainable success. With this strategy, you too can #FlyTheW!!!

Rich Sowa is a marketing strategist and a founder of Marketing of Things, a marketing agency specializing in strategy and content creation for brands and businesses.
LinkedIn: RichSowa & Marketing of Things
Twitter: @MoTPros

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