Marketing, at it’s core, is simply communication between you and the people who want what you can provide. But the less than honorable tradition of shady horse dealers + the nebulous nature of equine-related law has made equestrian industry marketing a bit of a dirty word.
Not long ago, I was chatting with a new military spouse-riding friend about the challenge of finding good boarding facilities each time the Army moved us. Agreeing, she mentioned a barn I had run across in internet searches but hadn’t visited. She cautioned me that she had planned on boarding her horse there until an in-person visit revealed that the website images were years old and outdated, the facility in significant disrepair, and the online description not terribly accurate.
Similarly, online horse shopping is fraught with warnings about unscrupulous sellers passing off injured or unsuitable horses using good photos. South Arabians created a video showing how quickly someone could alter photos using Photoshop to sell you a horse that essentially did not exist. For some, glossy photos and a slick website can raise suspicion that all is not as it appears.
This is marketing gone wrong.
Done well, marketing clearly and authentically conveys to the industry who you are – as a trainer, a breeder, an athlete, a boot maker or any other business. Effective marketing lets the consumer determine if yours is the product they are looking for. It is communication of your goals and your history. More than ads and a website, marketing is the sum of everything you put out to the industry that identifies you are a providers of goods or services.
Have you considered reviewing your marketing? Here are some key points to consider.
- How frequently do you update your website?
- Are there any social media accounts connected to your business that you do not regularly check or post to?
- Have you changed your colors, logo or name without and left an online account or any local marketing with the old branding?
- Do your marketing materials reflect the current status of your business?
- Have you updated your marketing to keep up with the increasingly mobile-first and digital nature of marketing?
Respecting the fact that marketing is simply branded communication, the key to successful marketing is staying authentic and current. Need help assessing or updating your marketing? Shoot me an email and get ready to grow.