Calling an Audible in Your Marketing Plan


Many would agree that there’s a huge difference between a strategic marketing plan that allows time for results to develop, versus one that constantly chases attractive opportunities that pop up.

With that in mind, and because it is football season, I’m going to ask how often you’re calling audibles in your marketing plan? For those who don’t follow American football, an audible is when the quarterback makes a last second change to the play that their coach had previously decided on. Usually this is because the quarterback thinks there is a better option.

There are many good reasons why you should call an audible in your marketing. The biggest one is that you’re prepared to take advantage of a trend that has suddenly arisen. You have the assets in place to move quickly to get some extra yards or even score a touchdown.

So why wouldn’t you call an audible in your marketing? You may see an opportunity, but realistically, may not be prepared to take advantage of it.

And to borrow another term from football, when you burn a down, you burn a down. When you put unexpected effort into one thing, you’re taking effort away from somewhere else.

There is not a single tactic in the world of marketing — especially in PR/media relations — that’s guaranteed to deliver results. Ask yourself if the risk justifies the reward.

For example, with your gym you plan your workouts in advance. But, there may be a bodyweight or barbell complex that all of a sudden received massive attention in the media and your members, along with potential members, are screaming about it on Facebook. You may opt to incorporate it and then share it on social media through a boosted post or ad, which could bring in new members who have seen the same news elsewhere.

In that instance, it’s probably a low risk. You’ve spent some time revising your programming, but it could be worth it.

But what if that new complex involves equipment you don’t have, or don’t have enough of? Will diverting X dollars from the fund you reserved for replacing broken medicine balls or taking your coaching staff to dinner be worth the added expenditure? It very well may be worth it, but you need to keep short and long term gains in mind.

Another reason to consider not calling too many audibles is the wear and tear they can create on your team — and in the case of many Boxes, that team is also the facility owners.

Look at it from the perspective of the Coaches in your facility. If moments before a workout begins, you rush in and tell them you’re changing that day’s programming, you’re going to throw them off. Do it too many times and you’re going to piss them off. Why would they bother preparing for class if you’re just going to change the plan later?

Unhappy team members are unmotivated team members.

Treat your marketing plan like your training regimen. It’s good to shake things up, but if you’re constantly changing your marketing plan, you’re going to receive constantly changing results.

Bill Byrne is a director at San Diego’s Remedy Communications, a PR and social media firm with clients ranging from action sports brands to leaders in finance, technology and business-to-business solutions. His short-term goals for the last year included getting a new headshot for work and increasing his max pull-ups to 21. He’s failed at both, but is happy to note he is making progress in the pull-up department. More info on Bill and Remedy Communications can be found online at