Football has been on the collective mind of the nation recently, which is why now is a good time to see what metaphorical value it might have for marketers. No, as a marketer you don’t go around tackling people, throwing balls, or making touchdowns, but you actually have a lot more in common with football players than you might think.
There is no one right way to win the game
After all these years of football, you’d think someone would have come up with the perfect formula for winning every game. But, while the players get stronger, the coaches get smarter, and the plays get more creative, there is no one right way to win every game every time.
It’s the same way with marketing. You can use all the newest technologies, perform hours of background research, and come up with ever more exciting and unique ideas, but there is no cut and dried formula that guarantees marketers with success every time. What’s important is that after every loss, you learn what you can do better, and after every win you don’t get complacent. You always move forward with your eye on the next game.
At halftime, you can change the way you play
The great thing about football is that no matter how bleak the outlook is after the first half, there are still two more quarters of game play, exactly as much time as has already passed. And sometimes, it seems like there must be something magical about these half time breaks because of how frequently teams have come back from the brink of disaster to win the game (i.e. in the playoff game between the Seahawks and the Packers).
As a marketer, you can apply the same principle to a marketing campaign when it seems to be failing. You can make adjustments in real time and see immediate results, so don’t give up on a promising campaign just because it begins poorly. Re-vamp its image or introduce it to a new platform and relaunch it if you have to. Nothing is final until the final buzzer rings.
You can’t forget the reason you play the game: for the fans
Football players get big paychecks, but it isn’t because there is inherent value in football. It would be worthless if not for the millions of people who love the teams, watch the games, and buy the merchandise. So as marketers, don’t forget that if not for your audience, there would be no point to what you do. And the more loyal your customers, the more likely they are to spend more money and do so frequently (no first time fan buys tickets to the Super Bowl, after all).
“Focus on creating lifelong customers by thinking creatively about reconnecting with your most loyal fans,” said Business2Community.com writer Nate Barad. “As exciting as it is to acquire new customers . . . the first place to start is last year’s season ticket holders.”