What is Challenge marketing?

About Mits Griffin.

My name is Mits Griffin and I am an Intrapreneur who loves to partner with visionary Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders who are on a mission to disrupt their industries with new initiatives and approaches. Together, we strategize, design and set-up the procedures & automations needed to expedite the launch and scale of innovative projects, products and services, so we can create the greatest impact in the shortest possible time.

What is Challenge marketing?

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Although the concept of “challenge marketing” will be known to many veteran entrepreneurs and digital marketers, this strategy has only really gained any significant world-prominence over the past few years. Pioneered and reinvented by “Kingdom Entrepreneur” Pedro Adao, it has since become a leading modern-day digital marketing framework that has quite literally taken the business world by storm. With “Challenge Events” flooding our social media platforms, it has gained an extremely impression and extensive following of some of the most elite marketers and entrepreneurs of our time… and with a growing impressive track record for business newbies and start-ups too… could this framework really be a do-able strategy for almost anybody?

The story behind Challenge marketing

With a rather insignificant history, many elite marketers will be forgiven for thinking that they already know the challenge framework. Many might understand it set in a traditional marketing context requiring businesses to leverage a large audience or expensive tech setup. Of course, all these things magnify and accelerate results, but the modern-day Challenge approach has evolved into something quite unique and different. 

As with all things that hit the limelight with accolades of freshness and success, you will find “challenge” experts and experimenters popping up everywhere. It is becoming an industry in its own right and those who dare to explore it further, are being heralded as its pioneers. However, not all challenge events are equal. There are vast differences in approach and tactic, with the most trusted version of the Challenge framework – fondly referred to by its pioneers, as the “Crush It” framework – being the framework developed by Pedro Adao. 

As the undisputed No.1 “go-to” industry expert in this niche, the Crush It framework has been steadily blowing away world-renown entrepreneurs like Dean Graziosi, Russell Brunson and Roland Frasier with its innovative, but highly strategic, approach for the past few years. Although its principles are set, its nuances are not – and its this that can make all the difference between a winning formula and a mediocre one.

Marketing's Dirty Little Secret

You know you are on to a good thing when the world begins to duplicate and copy it. In the world of entrepreneurs, it is fast becoming the foundation for other modern-day, spin-off, marketing techniques such as “mini-group marketing” strategies, that carry its overarching concept, but with subtle shifts in approach and execution.

The reason the Challenge framework has gained such prominence is that this strategy has been consistent in outperforming many of the elite marketing tactics out there. It is much faster and can yield unheard of returns on investment. A dirty little secret within the digital marketing industry is that many businesses will lose in the marketing game. It’s not something most guru’s talk about. But to really stand out, marketing strategies require an immense amount of time, dedication and energy – no matter how elite your business might be. With industry expectations setting conversion rates to around 2-3% (aka for every 100 people, only 2 or 3 will actually transact with a business) the race is on, and the race can be dirty. Going further, every strategy out there has been heralded as the No. 1 most effective method by its guru’s, and although it can feel the same for the Challenge framework, there is actually something fundamentally unique and different about it.

Of course, the core elements that make marketing effective don’t change. Marketing will always revolve around human connection and trust building – and it’s a fascinating subject that is steeped in psychology. Sadly as with all things, it can also be corrupted. Although marketing is often associated with the dark undertones of deceit, manipulation and greed – true to its purpose marketing – actually works to open up the way for problems to be acknowledged and solutions found. With a mission that avoids trickier or hype – the Crush It Challenge framework aims to showcase authentic help, from one human being to another. This is where the modern-day Challenge framework finds its strength. 


What does an online Challenge look like?

Challenge events, when implemented correctly, have won some businesses million dollar sales in a SINGLE DAY! Yet many others have tentatively given what they consider to be a “challenge event” a go, only to be left disappointed and frustrated. So let’s dive a little bit deeper into what separates out a winning challenge event from mediocre one as we explore its fundamentals…

The first important distinction to note is that a truly winning Challenge event is always designed to offer REAL VALUE upfront and in advance. Often leveraging the virtual space (though not exclusively so) it enables businesses to solve problems at scale. In essence…

  • An online Challenge is a time-bound social learning journey, with Live daily trainings set within a group context. This might look like thousands gathering in a private social media group in real-time, or a more intimate experience hosted by a few interacting more deeply on Zoom. Irrespective of the tech, sessions are created in real time, with each session specifically constructed and designed with a particular purpose in mind.
  • Participants are led through a process that is aimed at delivering a singular, but truly meaningful, win to a particular pain-point they recognised and know. This is an important fundamental to hold onto – because a great Challenge event is not designed around hype, empty promises or manipulation. It is a complete course and training in its own right. A great challenge event is designed around results and outcomes – with a clearly defined through-line that takes people from zero to hero in the most direct manner possible. Seeming very much like a workshop or masterclass series, it’s actually quite a different beast since knowledge (and signature insights!) as activations and assignments are a crucial ingredient. 
  • Challenges lead by taking as much risk off the table as possible. This makes Challenge events highly accessible with an extremely low barrier to entry (free or low-ticket.) As a word of warning – Challenge events can actually feel HIGH RISK for the business at first. But through leveraging participant involvement and action through a carefully crafted series of “Challenge” assignments it activates micro-commitments and micro-wins along the way. When executed correctly – it can be a powerfully transformative event bringing about real change. This can create a most compelling gateway for participants to be ushered into their next bold (and much more significant) steps…
Church Challenge

Why are Challenges effective?

Although you might already have a sense that an expertly executed challenge is an experience in itself and a “win” for participants, in the world of digital marketing it is also a “win” for the business. At its heart, it creates a real bridge between those with a problem, and those with a solution… Challenges remove the distance between buyer and seller with a “taste and see” approach that is vulnerable and authentic, and it can be extremely appealing and powerful because:

  • It simplifies (what can be a hugely complex and intricate) digital marketing process.
  • It works for almost every business type, stage and industry.
  • It expediates the sales and marketing process by enabling a enterprise to generate sales from cold traffic at scale.

Challenge marketing simplifies the digital marketing process

Digital marketing has created a vast industry filled with specialisms and expertise. For digital marketers, it can feel like an adventurous land full of delights and glorious nuances… and yet for almost everybody else, it can feel like an utter nightmare – intimidating, confusing and frustrating. Here, entrepreneurs must create and test, create and test, (and then) create and test (some more) – it is an art and a science – and if its not your realm of expertise, it can be daunting. But sadly to succeed in business, you must not only have an expertise in the field of study you chose to dedicate your life to, but you MUST have enough marketing and sales, skill otherwise your business will die. Simplifying the process is one of the greatest appeals, and strengths of adopting a challenge marketing approach. Since challenge marketing can very elegantly simplify what is often a complex and time consuming process.

Challenge marketing combines multiple tactics into a single framework

In essence, the Challenge framework combines multiple tactics (often separated out and split in traditional marketing) into a single comprehensive framework that can accomplish all core marketing objectives in one go. For those who love marketing:

  • In itself, it is a highly effective lead magnet enabling a business to build an audience and list, by offering a LIVE engaging event that is energising and informative.
  • Through carefully crafted content, it enables cold traffic to be nurtured and ensures content is consumed and all in a way that is highly personable, engaging and fun.
  • It converts lead into buyers, through front-end tripwires/low tickets/one-time-offers OTOs/up-sells… and back-end offers/down-sells. This gives rise to multiple opportunities to serve at different price points, while also having the opportunity to present an offer without the need for hype or a perfected performance. 
  • And because of this, it can quickly ascend buyers by providing a pathway to higher tickets without delay or complicated follow-up sequences.

To write is human, to edit is divine.

And so the great marketing edit begins… By implementing the Challenge framework, it reduces the urgency to create (and test) lead magnets in order to capture email opt-ins. It removes the urgency to create an email nurture sequence or to publish vast amounts of content from social posts to website blogs so a business can be positioned as an authority figure. And it removes the expertise required to powerfully execute sales calls and webinars, by minimising objections and resistance without it being weird.

Challenge marketing focuses energy and reduces time spent on marketing

Perhaps one of it’s most powerful simplifications, it how it enables a businesses to focus on a time-bound active marketing strategy. This can help businesses cut through and prioritise their workload as it creates a sense of urgency for both the business and its target audience due to its time limited nature. Instead of time spent constantly marketing – clear dates can be allocated. 

When in the flow, only a matter of hours, spready out over a few days a month, are all that is required. A business can then scale and grow, adding marketing complexity as they see fit – but with the decision coming from a place of clear intention and not a poverty mindset or FOMO (fear of missing out). Always remember to KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid (WINK).

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Challenge marketing is effective for almost every business type and industry

Because the framework is founded on authenticity and connection, it also equalizes the marketing arena. There’s less of a need for expert salesmanship, flawless execution, and high upfront costs. It is inherently simple for a business to understand, though instead it requires authenticity and vulnerability instead.

To date, an ever expanding range of businesses have found success with the Challenge framework, and specifically the Crush It approach. The format has worked for affiliate businesses, brand building businesses, service-based businesses, eCommerce businesses, and brick & mortar businesses.

Though it is particularly suited to businesses that love to teach and share their expertise, it has not mattered which industry, or stage, they are in. It has enabled start-up and launch businesses to validate and test ideas and audiences fast, and through paid ads, enabled businesses without an audience to build one effectively. It opens up a way for businesses to directly capture the voice of the consumer. With immediate feedback it can enable a business to pivot and match the market without guesswork or time spent on lengthy market research projects, and for build-up and scaling businesses, it expediates customer acquisition (the prize behind any business). As an active marketing strategy, it  can be implemented throughout a business’ lifetime. “One ring to rule them all” does have a certain appeal… And of course, more can always be added as wanted…

Challenge marketing is fast, enabling a business to generate sales from cold traffic, at scale, in a matter of days

For any digital marketing strategy, one of the most important metrics and indicators is the level of revenue generated. And although its true that money isn’t everything – for a business, cashflow is it’s lifeblood. Without finance, a business will die. This is perhaps where the Challenge framework shines the brightest, since it fuses together multiple tactics that build affinity and trust, enrolling cold traffic into clients at scale. Perfect for digital course creators and group coaching programs, and powerful for transitioning clients into high tickets.

Markets by building Know, Like & Trust

Here are a few of my observations on how Challenge marketing can powerfully expediate the “know-like-trust” process:

  • It puts people and connection at the center. Through LIVE DAILY trainings, the framework showcases a business’ consistency and commitment to an audience, evidencing that they really care in a very tangible way – even to the point of delivering value in advance. And due to its training bent, Challenges inherently positions a business as a thought leader and authority voice within their industry, irrespective of the business’ audience size or fame.
  • Through crafted Challenge Assignments, participant can experience their own micro-successes and wins, evoking congruency where completed tasks re-enforce their “yes” to finding a solution to their problem, while increasing people’s belief in themselves that they can actually do this and achieve the outcomes they are truly after.
  • The Challenge framework inherently triggers reciprocity by taking almost all the risk off the table, and enabling a business to lead first with value and results.
  • Without a smoke-screen for a business to hide behind, it enables a business to present a real face behind the brand, boosting likeability. Through the process struggles and weaknesses (e.g. live-streaming tech disasters!) can be authentically shared, and this can contrast hugely with the competition where a perfect image is a must. However, this enables a business to effectively stand out and gives a competition edge. I recently came across a quote though sadly I cannot remember its source which said “If you want to impress others, share your successes – if you want to create impact, share your failures”. The Challenge framework creates space for both to be done in a very personable way.
  • Facilitated within a group setting, the challenge experience inherently generates a diversity of of social proof, from posts, comments and assignment shares, to live interactions and appreciations. And because social proof can snowball, this increases perceived value and demand for the business even before an offer is made. 
  • Also, the group setting leverages a sense of community, accountability, and peer-to-peer support that in turn builds brand culture and cultivates an audience of “raving fans” fast (as well as have the scope for direct mentorship and one-to-one hot seats.) A beautiful thing about the Challenge experience, is that peers and participants, can connect and comment on their shared experience, building new friendships that are meaningful and deep.
  • A point often missed, except by marketing experts, is that Challenges are most effective when targeting a micro-niche audience. This allows for affinity to be built fast and for a business to generate an even impact by delivering an audience specific result in an extremely short space of time. In addition, Challenge marketing gives businesses direct access to the consumer. With direct access to the consumer and the consumer’s voice, businesses can pivot fast and effectively.

Sells by presenting a Crafted & Highly Targeted Offer

Finally, the Challenge framework enables a businesses to maximise their revenue through the timely presentation of a sales pitch, leveraging the transformation already begun through the challenge experience itself which significantly reduces buyer’s friction. Combined with the principals of offer creation, businesses can craft an audience-specific value-based, backend offer that is superior, irresistible and a no-brainer – completing the sales cycles in a way that truly serves and captivates their audience.

Challenge marketing is fun

Perhaps the most important attribute of all… 

For businesses that have a flair for teaching and training, and a boldness to work directly with their audience, the Challenge framework can be extremely fun to execute. It is flexible and adaptable and can accommodate low-tech and high-tech businesses alike. It’s execution can be as simple as going LIVE within a social media setting or connecting via Zoom, to extravagant presentations using multiple video-conferencing technologies and Summit Style Conference experiences. 

However, at it’s core, the Challenge framework is an authentic heart-driven venture that leads with open communication and interaction. With learning opportunities for the business and growth opportunities for the participants, it’s a win-win. And for entrepreneurs who hate to “sell” but love to teach – it’s the perfect opportunity to sell just by training up others in the subjects you love the most. Genius.

Prefer to explore the challenge framework at your own pace? DIY with the official Challenge Secrets course.

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