Always good for a laugh, Yogi Berra helped marketers stop and think not only about creative and copy, but strategy. The hall of fame baseball player known for his malapropisms is credited with helping shape social media and content marketing strategy. The creator of the phrase "It ain't over till it's over" passed away on Tuesday of natural causes. He was 90.
Most of the quotes credited to him did come from Berra, including the one Time cited on Wednesday that joked about the ones that didn’t: “I really didn’t say everything I said,” Berra once said.
— Rags Srinivasan (@rags) January 19, 2014
Still, Berra’s intelligence continues to influence social media marketing writes Alex Rynne in a May 2015 post on LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog.
- “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” This Yogism shows, according to Rynne: “In social media marketing, it’s important that you have a strategic purpose in mind for every interaction.”
- “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Seek new venues to reach newcomers who may be intimidated by too much content, also known as noise. [Editor’s note: Another way of interpreting this quote is to think about whom marketers are trying to reach — are influencers here, or non-interested crowds?]
- “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Social media provides an opportunity to listen to customers, she says.
- “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.” This one irks Rynne: “There are few things in marketing more cringe-worthy than seeing a brand try and fail to capitalize on a trend. In the fickle world of viral content, you’re better off going your own way than chasing others’ success.”
- “Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.” Rynne cites a LinkedIn finding that “74 percent of buyers choose the company that was first to add value as they are defining their buying vision."
Content marketing isn’t new, it’s a new way of viewing creative, notes Jim Burns of Avitage. Burns’ post about this in 2012 far predates the Berra homages on Wednesday.
“ ‘Deja vu all over again,’ also has to do with the mindset shift and process changes required to engage customers at a lower level of detail,” writes Burns. “Creating content for multiple buyer personas, buying stages, buyer roles and problems requires an exponential growth in content over traditional efforts. Almost all marketers would agree that this conceptually makes sense, just as most merchants conceptually agreed category management made sense. The challenge is in developing the vision on how to do it. Traditional approaches to content production don’t scale to the new volume and relevance requirements. A new operating vision is required.”
Here are a few more Yogisms to inspire marketers, courtesy of BrainyQuote:
- A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.
- It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
- When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
How do marketers use Berra’s sayings in everyday life?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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