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Tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day here in Australia, and it’s a big deal. The entire nation stops what it’s doing for four minutes to watch this great race, and businesses begin leveraging off this event weeks in advance. So what can organisations learn from the Cup? Here are 5 key lessons.

The best horses, the best jockeys and the fanciest hats are out for public enjoyment and a number of savvy brands have been leveraging this unique event over the last few weeks, reminding us of their involvement on billboards, TV ads and product packaging. We’ve seen countless pre-events, hat purchases and plenty of marketing… Incredible! And all for something that’s over in less than four minutes.

All of this means that leveraging a significant event such as Melbourne Cup is a fabulous marketing strategy for your small business, as people are already paying attention to the event.

I’d like to share five key lessons Melbourne Cup day teaches us:

1. Focus on the win:

Every single horse trainer is putting in everything they can to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup. They are very much focused on winning – placing second or third really isn’t an option.

In business, it’s not always easy to stay focused and motivated when things get tough. But if you have a big goal, something that keeps you motivated and positive, it’s much easier to push through challenges or get up again fast after a setback.

2. Work with the best:

The trainer and jockey have a huge influence in how well the horse will do in the race, so the owners hunt down the best people in the world to work with.

In your business you should do the same. It pays to work with the best and create a team of amazing people. Your mentors, employees, suppliers and customers are all part of your team, working toward your business success.

3. Believe that you can win:

If they didn’t believe they could win the cup, why bother spending so much time, energy and money? Business isn’t a race, but you must believe in your business so that you’re happy to put in 110 percent and give it a really good go. It helps to visualise your success and put solid plans in place.

 4. Get fans behind you to cheer you on:

Every year I’m stunned to see how many supporters Melbourne Cup has. Pretty much the whole nation shuts down for four minutes to support their favourite horses. Imagine if you had the whole nation cheering you on! It might take a while to get the whole country behind you, but at least start building a community of supporters and raving fans, because a little encouragement makes everything worthwhile.

5. Marketing

Melbourne Cup is one of the most leveraged events in terms of marketing in Australia. Brands are talking about the event weeks before Cup Day, so think about how you can leverage similar big events in your own business. Now is a good time to think about how you can promote your business around Christmas.

What do you think?

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Franziska Iseli-Hall

Franziska Iseli-Hall

Franziska Iseli-Hall is a marketing strategist, speaker, author and the founder of Basic Bananas – Small Business Marketing Made Simple. She's passionate about helping small business owners grow their businesses through innovative, sustainable and proven marketing strategies. Franziska is on a mission to help small business owners grow their business, live the life of their dreams and give back to community. Her success is in her clients’ results.

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