To most people, this was just another cool slap-on-the-back, atta-boy, feel-good, internet story-of-the-moment.
To me, it’s marketing 101 genius.
The story, that ran around the web, soaking up it’s 15 minutes of fame is about a typical high school kid, Connor Cordova. And how he posted 3 YouTube videos asking superhot Maxim pinup model and UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste to be his prom date.
Of course, it’s only a story because she said yes.
The Mechanics of Good Marketing
The 3 step marketing plan I’m going to share with you is actually pretty simple.
But to get to it we have to look at a few of the marketing gems in this story first. This gives us the foundation we need to really understand the plan.
Marketing Gem #1 – What’s in a Name?
First off, it doesn’t hurt to have a name like Connor Cordova. Alliteration (Co-Co) is just good branding. It’s catchy and it’s memorable because it has a ring to it. Find out more about this tactic in my free Branding eBook. It’s the same kind of alliteration/rhyming enjoyed by people like Tila Tequila and Jack Black.
And of course, it’s a technique often used by corporations to build brand names and catchy slogans. Think Coca-Cola, Intel inside, Marlboro man, and Rent-a-Wreck.
Whether you’re born with a great name, building a public persona, or need a brand name for a company, product, or service … making it catchy and memorable just makes everything easier.
Marketing Gem #2 – Positioning and Social Proof
This is the big takeaway.
He would not have had a snowball’s chance in hell of pulling this off without some celebrity endorsements. So he got MMA fighters Eddie Bravo, Miguel Torres, and Frank Trigg to roll video with him and help him pop the question on YouTube.
The power of both social proof and of positioning your brand next to other well-known and trusted brands is awesome. There’s nothing like it, and it is without question the deciding factor in his success in this little escapade.
Marketing Gem #3 – Keep the Ball Rolling
Whether it’s marketing … or anything really … capitalizing on your successes to create more of them is what builds the momentum you need to make big things happen.
And as with most success stories, if we dig a little deeper into this one, we can see there’s more under the hood than simply “high school kid invites supermodel to prom and she says yes”.
And behind the scenes of this story is Connor Cordova’s website MMA Religion.
The power of the internet is anyone can create a voice for themselves. And it’s the website that gave him the platform with which to approach MMA fighters and interview them. Which over time lead to building trusted relationships. And that lead to getting them on board with his sensational date request.
Now you can really start to see the mechanics and how a whole marketing strategy can be built with good old fashioned blood, sweat, and tears.
So Here’s Your 3 Step Plan
Step 1 – Build Something
You need something that other people with strong personal or corporate brands will want to attach themselves to. It might be a website. Or it might be a product or service. Whatever it is, it has to offer real value.
Step 2 – Build the Relationships
Cultivate great relationships with these movers and shakers. And this is a two-way street or it’s nothing at all. A relationship is mutually beneficial and your strongest guiding principle should be this: don’t think about what you can get, but what you can give.
Step 3 – GFTW (Go For the Win)
Dream up some crazy or creative opportunity where everyone benefits. The prom story is great exposure for everybody involved and for the MMA sport as well.
I don’t think this story was some kind of planned marketing strategy, but all the mechanics of good marketing were there. And that’s the beauty of this strategy …
If you build something worthwhile and build the relationships that follow, step #3 will just happen all by itself.
Okay, go build something.