A marketers guide to the Melbourne Cup

A marketers guide to the Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is a great time of year in Australia. Expert punters are a dime a dozen and everyone has a tip for a sure thing. At 3:00pm we watch the horse race that literally stops the nation.

So a race that has captured the hearts of a whole nation? There are some great marketing lessons to be learnt here! 

3 marketing lessons from the Melbourne Cup

Don’t bet everything on the favourite

Melbourne Cup history tells us the favourite doesn’t always win. And so is the same in marketing. There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing solution for business. The “industry favourite” may not necessarily connect with your specific audience.

Instead, spread your risk. Put your money each-way on a range of different marketing tactics. A mix of roughies and favourites make-up a well balanced marketing mix. 

Never underestimate your competition

While the field is set only days before the race, jockeys and trainers spend months preparing in anticipation they will ride the Melbourne Cup. They know their market. They research potential horses’ and their jockeys. When the field is set, their race plan is set with their competition in mind.

And that’s a lesson for small business. Don’t take your eyes off the competition. Your game plan should consider competition, no matter how big or small – never underestimate what they may have up their sleeve. 

Growing threat from internationals

In the early days it was rare to have international horses feature in the Melbourne Cup. But as the world grows smaller, internationals are commonplace. Just like in business, we have to fend off local and global competitors. Thanks to developments in e-commerce and the Internet, it’s easier than ever for global competitors to take a piece of our local market.

Have fun and be fabulous

Business doesn’t have to be cutthroat. Have fun and your customers will love you for it. There’s nothing more endearing that a business owner with a smile that shows their passion for their business.

And if you were really reading this to get our tips for the race… here they are:

1. Admire Rakiti

15. Precendence

19. Lidari

Good luck and see you next week,


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