A CASE FOR EXCLUSIVITY
It's been just a few days since the closingceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games and conversations around the water cooler have already started to die down. But just this past Sunday evening, Twitter was on fire, with #NBCFail and #closing ceremonies trending worldwide after comments about why NBC cut The Who, Muse, and Ray Davies of The Kinks from their programming in favor of a commercial-free airing of the new NBC comedy “Animal Practice.”
During Olympic coverage, NBC was also criticized for not airing high-profile races featuring Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt live during consecutive Sunday afternoon telecasts. With the outcry on social media channels, it seemed that NBC was faced with the dilemma many marketing and business professionals face… “you can’t try to be all things to all people.”
This mantra is a struggle for marketers on a daily basis, especially those that are responsible for positioning and promoting complex products or services. The tendency is to be inclusive rather than exclusive. To include anything and everything you do in fear that you just might leave something or someone out. Why is it so difficult for marketing and business professionals to stay true to their core and focus on a clearly defined audience? The old adage of “less is more” is definitely relevant in the world of messaging.
Many times this requires going through a disciplined process of elimination (rather than one of inclusion). Tough decisions need to be made with respect to defining your target audience and selecting the messages that stay or go. In the end…the more focused, targeted and relevant your messaging—the more success you will experience.
Now … back to the Olympic coverage. While it appears that NBC may have excluded some events and even excluded some audience segments based on the timing of events covered — they knew they could not be all things to all people and succeed.
They had to make tough decisions on the front end. And from all indications (record high advertising revenue and increased viewership) their strategy worked.