Over the past five years, a seismic shift has occurred in the world of marketing. Companies no longer get tasked to push a message to customers in hopes of selling its product. Instead, companies need to be part of the customer conversation. If it isn’t driving that conversation, it must be fully immersed in it; speaking with customers rather than at them. Brands leverage social media to appear organically in the newsfeeds of our day-to-day lives, whether they are Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, or even Snapchat messages. All of the aforementioned tactics stem from ideas, not best practices. When a shirtless man appeared on a horse holding a bottle of Old Spice, do you think that was something advertising executives had seen as successful? No, it was instead an opportunity to go viral and make people talk about a certain product. If customers aren’t talking about a product, they don’t know about it. And, if they don’t know about it, they won’t buy it.
Callaway Golf admits it’s acting more like a media company than a golf brand right now, and it continues to increase engagement and conversations in hopes of driving revenue (which is, essentially, what marketing is for). It has its own media productions team, and a social media manager who pilots a drone that houses his GoPro camera (a small device capable of taking videos and photos from places once unimaginable). They talk to the golfing public like they were on the tee with them, not like they were in the boardroom with them. Other brands are taking note and are following the leaders. Callaway is re-writing the rules. It's a niche player in a niche market, but Callaway’s marketing prowess could be recognized alongside Taco Bell’s Snapchats, or Volvo’s Epic Splits YouTube video. The constant pursuit of messaging going viral is the objective. The only rule to get there is, well, there are no rules.