EM 167 Great Marketing in Uncertain Times with Jesse Cole


In this week’s Executive Minds, Jeff Henderson sits down with Jesse Cole, the owner of the Savannah Bananas — a minor league baseball team known for always selling out games. Jesse Cole is also the founder of Fans First Entertainment which made the INC 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing companies in America in 2018. Along the lines of putting the fans first, Jesse talks about the radical decision by the Savannah Bananas to creat the first ad-free ballpark experience and how they’re navigating business during the pandemic. Jesse released his first book “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out” in January of 2018. The book launched #1 in three categories on Amazon and has been sold in 18 countries.

Links + Resources

Savannah Bananas

Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out

Jesse Cole

Three Takeaways:

Keeping the Fans First

People always want to know what’s the secret to great marketing. The key is sharability. Great marketing should be sharable. Is it about others? Is it remarkable? Do people want to talk about it? When marketing is sharable, then it creates a ripple-effect that exceeds your initial sphere of influence. Secondly, great marketing keeps the fans or customers first. By constantly thinking of the needs of the customer first, you’ll ensure that your products and services meet people where they are and anticipate where they want to go. Be fearless. It doesn’t mean that you’ll always bat 1000, but you’ll fall forward and learn in the process. Keep swinging and looking ahead.

How To Navigate the Pandemic as a Team

Positive vibes only. We’re living in challenging times, but it’s important for companies to approach this era of uncertainty with an optimistic outlook. First, focus on the group culture of your team. How can you maintain team cohesiveness and connectivity. Perhaps everyone still eats lunch together via Zoom. Or maybe there’s a book club that has everyone reading together and scheduled times to discuss. Or a happy hour at the end of the week where people blow off steam. In addition to the group culture, you can continue to focus on the customer base. Now is a perfect time to clarify what you do well and be the best at it. Don’t try to solve everyone’s problems. Find your offering that is consistent with who you are and what you want to be. Your customers will remember that personal touch.

Return On Purpose

Most people are familiar with ROI (Return on Investment), which measures the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. Jesse posits that we should be more focused on ROP (Return on Purpose). What are you doing that is bringing more purpose to your people. When you’re able to see the impact being made on fans and customers, then that’s providings significance, meaning and motivation for your daily work.