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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistFri, Feb 5, 2016 10 min read

What Inbound Marketing Would Do Instead Of One Super Bowl Ad

How Inbound Marketing Leverages $5 Million To Drive A LOT Of Leads

Inbound Marketing's Alternative To Super Bowl AdsSticking with our Super Bowl theme today, I thought I would show you how an inbound marketing pro would spend the same $5 million dollars that advertisers plan to spend on a single 30-second Super Bowl ad.

While it’s too late to help the advertisers in Sunday’s game, it’s not too late to share an alternative inbound marketing approach with all of you.   

Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Expecting a single event to propel your business to new heights is unrealistic. The data in yesterday’s article shows that even the most watched TV show in history is not going to guarantee business results from advertising.

What you should be considering is the creation of a marketing system or Marketing Machine that sustains itself over time, allowing your business to scale and grow according to your plan. More importantly, an inbound revenue program DOES produce measurable business results.

What We Would Do With $5 Million

The first step would be to return $4.6 million to your bottom line – because you can run a 12-month campaign that delivers many more leads for a small percentage of the cost. Nice, huh?

Next, you have to invest some of that money into a comprehensive messaging strategy and marketing plan. Strategy before tactics, right? Whom are you talking to? What are their pains? How does your product/service satisfy those pains? How do you do it remarkably? A lot of businesses think they have the strategy down, but upon undergoing a deep dive, they find their stories are not interesting enough to drive interest.

Instead of one 30-second ad, you would get 12 months worth of marketing, creating a more sustainable, repeatable, scalable marketing effort that delivers leads every day, instead of just for a few days in early February.

Before we tackle the tactics, let's match the audience expected from the big game. It’s estimated that 120 million people will tune into the game. Note that I didn’t say watch the game or actually see the ads in the game. In yesterday’s article, there was a data point that estimates 30% of the viewers will be on their phones during the game, especially during the commercials. Now, you’re down to 90 million viewers.

I’ll go on to estimate that about 50% of the remaining viewers will actually miss the ads because they’re on a bathroom break, eating or talking to people during the commercial. Now, you’re down to 45 million people. So, my task is to touch 45 million people one time over the course of the entire year if I want to match the impressions from a single Super Bowl ad. No problem.

That means I need to drive 3,750,000 visitors to your website each month for 12 months. If I can do that, I’ll have generated around 37,500 customers per month. If I’m selling Doritos, that might translate into bags sold. If each bag is $2.50 per bag, that’s $1,125,000 in revenue. But, because I know exactly who all these people are, I can continue the conversation with them, driving even more direct sales with almost no cost of sale. If I can convert 25% of those people each month into buying more bags, that’s another $281,000.  

The monetary return on this hypothetical marketing exercise is $1 million on an investment of $430,000. Not bad. But, consider that with a system like I described above, you would never need to invest the millions of dollars required to maintain the revenue. By continuing to feed the inbound marketing machine and stay connected to your customers, you outmaneuver all your competition for far less than ever before.

What We Would Do – The Inbound Way

Video Content

First, we'd create a video series. This would include 60 one-minute snippets with just a piece of the show. Each segment would air on the web every day at the same time, 8:30 a.m. and then 9:00 p.m. Thirty days, 60 segments. I’d start 30 days prior to the Super Bowl and then interrupt the Super Bowl with the final episode, airing during half-time. That segment might be five minutes in length. If we’re going to challenge the establishment, go big or go home.

The content has to be remarkable. I’m talking Breaking Bad-level content. Highly creative, well produced and highly engaging to our target persona. We’re going to need $100,000 for this effort.

Website Experience

I’d take another $100,000 and build out a corresponding website that goes along with the video content. Think Dharma Corp website from the Lost series. A website that is perfectly connected to the airing video content. The website would be positioned to promote the product and the content while capturing contact information for all potential customers. Of course, the site would be SEO-optimized and fully supported by similar social properties. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat and Instagram would be required.

Social Media To Fuel Conversation

We identified most of the essential social media accounts to execute a program like this. That’s going to require graphics for those sites and a high degree of updating, monitoring and engaging with fans. An investment of around $20,000 would probably be needed to maintain these sites and keep them fresh.

Apps Connect Us With Mobile Users

We’re going to need an app. I’d want a downloadable app to keep the community connected. This would send text message and email alerts when new episodes are going to air. We would include secret information on the story plot to people who have the app. Special promotions would be available to app users. The app would be integrated with the video, web and social media experiences. That’s going to cost another $100,000

Traditional Content Marketing Keeps Us Connected

In addition to the video content, we’re going to need other content. We can create scripts from the episodes, chronologies, character profiles, back stories and more – all downloadable from the website and promoted on social media. These content offers provide the opportunity to get even more profile information from the fans and followers. This is all useful information for targeting and future promotions to sell more product. Let’s budget $50,000 for this content.

Email And Text Messages For Easy Sharing

Email marketing and text messaging are going to require a budget. I’d think $5,000 a month, or $60,000 for the year. Most of this is automated, but the content planning, build and send would require some level of investment. These tools are important because if the content is good, it’s easily shared, which brings more people into our community.

This is a fun, hypothetical example, and we made a lot of assumptions to prove our point. In case you missed the point: There are much more effective and efficient ways to reach your audience other than advertising.

These other options offer you the opportunity to engage with your target prospects the way they want to be engaged. Instead of interrupting them, you’re giving them content that they enjoy. They either get educated or entertained or both. We love the term “edutainment” because it encompasses the best way to get prospects involved in your business.

Hopefully, you found this fun and entertaining article educational in a few of the more creative inbound marketing options available to all businesses. Remember, inbound marketing is about the power of your brain, not the size of your wallet.

Free Guide: The Inbound Marketing Metrics You Need And How To Track Them Start Today Tip – Nothing is easy when it comes to creating a sustainable way to drive leads for your business. Advertising might seem easy, but it requires constant investment to rent an audience. Most of the old-school tactics involved renting audiences and interrupting them along the way. Today, your prospects don’t want to be interrupted. They want to be educated. Take a step back after you’ve watched the Super Bowl commercials and don’t be romanced by the glitz and glitter of seeing your company on television. Instead, go for the much more systematic approach and build a sustainable, repeatable, predictable lead-generating machine for your business.

Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.