I am a full time marketer and a part time football coach. Polar opposites, right? What could coaching and marketing have in common? A lot.
Marketing is learning to communicate effectively with groups of people in a way that causes action, much like coaching. If you want to accomplish a goal, buy-in from your audience/team is essential. To create this buy-in people must be emotionally invested. A study by McCombs Today showed, in general, consumers make buying decisions emotionally and then use logic to justify it. If you can’t get your audience/team emotionally invested, you won’t get very far.
Once an audience is invested, you need to communicate your expectations in clear ways. And after a win or loss you need to evaluate what happened to ensure future success. And to truly evaluate success, of course, you need statistics. Am I talking about football or marketing now? I forgot.
The quickest way to lose someone’s attention is talking about yourself. If you want your audience to buy in, make them the hero of your story. The value available to your audience needs to be communicated very quickly.
One thing I learned very quickly, not all players respond to the same type of communication. Knowing the differences in your team personalities is key to being successful. Likewise, knowing how your marketing audience engages is paramount.
Nothing instructs a football player more quickly than visual elements. Whether it is watching a video or getting out on the field and showing them, something visual communicates more efficiently than talking. The marketing equivalent of talking too much is too much text. People don’t want to read endless marketing copy. Use icons, graphics, and videos.
If you don’t exhibit conviction in your attitude and speech, players or audiences will pick up on that. If you don’t believe in your message, then no one will. Within marketing, conviction can be shown through verbiage and design. If you’re lackluster in these areas, the audience will tune you out in a hurry.
Frequently throughout game play, I will ask individual players what they are “seeing out there?” This lets them know I value their opinion and expect them to be mentally involved in what is going on. In the same way asking questions of your audience sets the expectation of involvement and encourages interaction.
Before the start of a week of football practice, I sit down for a couple of hours and watch film of the upcoming opponent. It is imperative that I know what we are up against. But I also attend coaching clinics to find out what teams I don’t play are doing. Within marketing you need to stay ahead of your competitors, but it is equally important to attend events and seminars to find out what peers outside of your industry are doing.
I never say “lets just go out there and win, team!” I create measurable goals within the game to accomplish. I say “if we do these “things” then we will win.” Once the game is over we can review each metric or stat and see where we succeeded and failed. It is never wise to set a goal such as “raise brand awareness” or “create demand for our products” without defining expectations within smaller metrics such as likes, shares, and website traffic.