The 1980’s was an incredible time in which to grow up. We had Atari 2600s and original Nintendo Entertainment Systems, we had G.I. Joe and Transformers, and we had some of the most dynamic wrestlers to ever enter the squared circle. Granted, this was during a time when professional wrestling was more socially accepted as legitimate entertainment, as it was considered the “Man’s Soap Opera.” Of course, there were many female fans, too – regardless of the intended demographic. And yes, we all knew it was fake even back then, but we still watched. Why? Simple – these guys knew how to market themselves to people when they entered the arena. Let’s look at a few and see how they can be applied to IT marketing. And while you’re at it, click each title to see each performer’s entrance.

“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase

Wrestler with expensive beltThat sinister laugh. As soon as we heard it, we knew we were about to get angry at the pompous, scheming Million Dollar Man – a guy who couldn’t win a championship, so he purchased his own belt. While he did have one of those exotic, hard-to-pronounce last names (it’s dee-bee-AH-see, FYI), and while we did detest the guy and his “better than you” attitude as he threw his 100 dollar bills around, we always squealed with delight when he got stomped by the good guy. And secretly, that’s exactly what DiBiase wanted. Remember: the more you hate a villain, the better performer it means they are. And we HATED DiBiase. The lesson here is: sometimes you have to give people what they don’t think they want . . . so they can have something even better later. In your case, however, we hope it’s not a superplex.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Wrestler with pythonThere was just something about this guy. He wasn’t the strongest, he wasn’t the toughest, he wasn’t the most chiseled or tallest. He didn’t even have the most impressive wrestling skills. But the guy played the intimidation game better than anyone. When his music hit and he walked in carrying that wriggling, snakey sack, and he stared down the aisle at his opponent as he approached . . . there was nothing more frightening. From Jake, we learn that you don’t have to be the best at everything in order to be the most memorable. You just have to be really, REALLY good at what you’re best at. And Jake was that. Use that advice in your IT marketing, rather than toting a burlap sack around containing a 10-ft. python.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage

macho man“Oooohhhh yeeeaahhh!” Savage excelled at a time of extraordinarily fierce competition. He didn’t paint his face, he didn’t have a pet, he didn’t have supermodel looks. But he loved what he did, and it shined brightly. His costume evolved to match his personality – eventually wearing his trademark cowboy hats, decorated sunglasses, and flamboyant jackets in every entrance. He became such an icon that most of us who grew up in the 80’s can’t hear “Pomp and Circumstance” without thinking of the Macho Man – which tends to make graduations interesting. He taught us to be who we are – regardless of the competition – and let our own greatness shine through. We’ll do that, Macho Man. And hopefully, we can also retire to be the new spokesperson for Slim Jim.

The Ultimate Warrior

Wrestler with face paintOkay, this guy was weird. We freely admit that. His interviews before matches would consist of grunts, snarls, and strange philosophical metaphors that never seemed to correlate. An example: “Should I jump off the tallest building in the world? Should I lay on the lawn and let it run over me with lawnmowers? Should I go to Africa and let it trample me with raging elephants?” Um. Ssssure. All that weirdness aside – no one got the crowd going like Warrior. When the music hit, he sprinted into the arena at top speed, pumping his fist in the air, circling the ring, then shaking the ropes like a madman. It was INTENSE. The Ultimate Warrior showed us that lack of convention often yields some of the greatest success. Sure, we thought Warrior was off his rocker, but we still thought he was awesome.

Hulk Hogan

Wrestler ripping shirtYou know we couldn’t have ended this blog without mentioning the Hulkster. This guy defined “sports entertainment” for most of the 80’s and even into the 90’s. Even people who said they didn’t care for the guy still saw the appeal. Hogan has always had incredible charisma and confidence. He knew how to work a crowd and get them more excited than they ever thought possible. And, for a wrestler, he was likable. The Hulkster taught us that, even when you’re at the absolute top of your game, keep improving. For a time, Hogan was so popular, no one else could come close. And yet, he continued to build his character and his personal brand. He’s in his 60’s now and can retire comfortably whenever he likes. But he just doesn’t. He’s always in the game, and THAT is a trait to be admired.

TRIdigital is Prepared to Become Your “Manager” and Be in Your Corner.

Now, don’t expect us to be like your IT marketing version of “The Mouth of The South” Jimmy Hart and hit people over the head with a megaphone. What we will do is help you to discover who YOU are and help you build your own personal brand. We’ll showcase what will make your clients cheer for you, and how to build your fanbase. Once you get to the top of IT marketing, however, whether or not you wear a championship belt is up to you.

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