March 07, 2017

5 things B2B marketers can learn from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™

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Not only is Houston the energy capital of the world, it is home to one of the world’s largest rodeos—and Fifth Ring’s Houston office has its very own rodeo insider. Account executive, Stephanie Black, is a rodeo volunteer and has kept an eye on the yearly marketing tactics used by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeoto become one of the flagship events for the city.   

Here are five things Stephanie thinks B2B marketers can learn from the Houston event:

Create a strong logo – The Rodeo logo is unmistakable here in Houston. The little orange “H” with a cowboy hat and boots is synonymous with the month long event. While the logo captures a snap shot of what the event is, they have let that little H do all of the talking for them. Lets face it, “Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo” would be too long to fit on a lot of marketing collateral. At the end of the day you want your logo to be recognizable with or without your company name attached to it.

Get everyone involved – Make sure your employees back your brand. Engaged employees become your ambassadors and promote your company with you. Each year, more than 107 committees and 33,000 volunteers come together to make the Rodeo the success it is. These people not only ensure the event runs efficiently each year, but they are also the face of the event to attendees, just like your employees are the face of the company to your clients. Volunteers from all over Houston join committees that match their talents and personality, allowing them to contribute their skills to the overall mission of the event.

Partnerships – From the Bar-B-Que contest to Houston-area personalities, the Rodeo knows how to integrate local support. These opportunities provide B2B marketers with a few different benefits. The first is to raise brand awareness and introduce your company to a group of people that might not otherwise come in contact with your brand. Secondly, this can also increase brand recognition and open doors down the road. Finally, partnering can generate new leads, which in turn could develop into customers.  

Branch out, strategically – Looking to take your company into different markets or expand your offering? The Rodeo started as a local Houston livestock show and exposition, and grew into a national phenomenon. Now, it incorporates carnival games and food, a wine garden, educational activities for kids, world famous musical acts, and (our office favorite), an alpaca costume contest. The Rodeo has taken its core service and expanded its offerings to match the needs of its audience.

Pro-bono work – Did you know the Rodeo is a non-profit? Since 1932, the month long event has raised more than $430 million for youths, not just in Houston, but also all across Texas. With this, the Rodeo has been able accomplish two things; raise money and raise awareness, while at the same time creating a positive brand image. What can B2B marketers take away from this? Firstly, it shows the human side to your company. Secondly, it’s an opportunity to increase brand awareness. While you might not gain new leads immediately, it can open doors down the road.

On the surface the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo can seem like a typical “southern” event, but deep down it is a well-oiled multi-million dollar marketing machine that uses out-of-the-box marketing tactics to keep audiences coming back for more year after year.

That’s something all businesses could learn from.

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