January 13, 2015
Football, Strategy and Marketing. How Football can teach us about Online Marketing Strategy
Recently I was watching the first college playoff championship game with my team, The Ohio State Buckeyes. Before the game, I knew that the Oregon Ducks were a phenomenal team, and beating them would take some serious coaching. It was then that I started to think about how online marketing strategy and football coaching can be very similar.
Urban Meyer knew that the Ducks were a fast team. To treat them like every other team he faced would be a mistake. Meyer knew that to be successful, to win, he needed to change his strategy and his tactics. Winning in any sport is based on understanding your opponent, then changing your strategy and tactics to beat him. As I watched the game, I saw that Meyer did not try to beat the speed of Oregon, nor did he try to keep up with it. His strategy was to slow them down to the speed he wanted. Tactically, this meant using his defense to play tough, hard-nosed football to slow down the Duck offense. He also used his offense (and Ezekiel Elliott) to play old school football, running the ball time after time after time and wearing the Duck defense down. It may not have worked against another team, but in this case, it did. Resoundingly.
Online marketers can sometimes get stuck in the complacency of the same strategy and tactics with each client, year after year. However, just like in football, every client, every industry, every year, every customer deserves and demands a new strategy. For example, a tried and true marketing mix of PPC, SEO and Social Media can be easy to implement with little effort. But, are they effective for This client? This customer? This year?
Online marketing, and marketing in general, should be a custom fit. The tactics and strategy must change for each new opportunity. Just like in football, the marketers gameplan needs to be fluid and adapt to the challenges of the client and the customer.