Strategic Marketing Explained Through Football Strategic Marketing Explained Through Football
Every team wants to win the premiership. Whether they think they can do it this year or next doesn’t really matter too much – winning premierships is part of their mission (the vision being to create a robust, desirable, consistently successful football club, or something similar).
KPIs and Metrics
The coach, the manager, or a data analyst will determine a set of basic metrics that need to be met for the best chance of winning the premiership. The working may look like this:
- Over the last five years, the highest number of the fewest wins required to make the final series has been 14. If we win 14 games, we should make the final series.
- Over the last five years, no team has made it to the final game from positions five through eight. Unless we can defy history, we need to finish in position four or better.
- Over the last five years, the highest number of the fewest wins required to make position four or better has been 18. If we win 18 games, we should find ourselves in position four or above.
In other words, if we use history as a guide, we need to win at least 18 games in the regular season to be in a position to win the title.
Strategic marketing is forensically planning out how marketing can be utilised to reach an outcome in line with time, budget, and resource expectations through expertise, research, and experience.
The next step is to identify which 18 games we think we can win.
We know we match up well against eight teams specifically out of the 16 teams we compete against. We play six of them twice, and the other two once, which equates to 14 probable wins.
We also know that over the last five years, we typically have two bad loses (unexpected loses) and three good wins (against historical trends) per season. This is a net probable win of one, bringing our probable wins to 15.
Before we address the three remaining wins we require, we need to understand what the day-to-day performance of our own team should look like that gives us the best chance of attaining our probable wins.
In victory, our team averages the following metrics:
- ≥ X metres in coverage.
- ≥ X time in possession.
- ≥ X points scored.
- ≤ X number of errors.
- ≤ X points conceded.
We can then break these metrics into metrics for offence and defence. In victory, defence metrics may be:
- Defence must achieve ≥ 70% of X metres in coverage.
- Defence must achieve ≤ 20% of X number of errors.
We could go a step further and break these metrics down per player, for example, in victory:
- Player Y is responsible for 8% of ≥ 70% of X metres in coverage.
- Player Y is responsible for 10% of ≤ 20% of X number of errors.
Historically we know that if these metrics are met, we should reach a probable 15 wins. But we still need to find three more wins to give ourselves the best chance of winning the premiership.
In this case we could:
- Rely on good luck. Luck is real and could yield the results we need if we have good luck more often than bad luck (note that this is hard to sell to team owners and officials).
- Hope that our opposition has a bad day, and our typical performance will be good enough for victory (also difficult to sell to team owners and officials).
- Consider tactics to temporarily increase performance above the typical sustainable maximum output against the eight teams that history suggests our standard metrics are unlikely to achieve victory against.
All options are possible, but option three is the only one we have control over. Additionally, option one and two will occur without our intervention, so essentially all three options can run simultaneously.
If we consider option three above, the obvious question is why not operate at this standard or intensity at all times? This is because we will be redlining our assets temporarily for an immediate gain, which is feasible. Sustained redlining is likely to lead to damage and an overall decrease in sustainable maximum average output.
[There are numerous other tactics that could be utilised here such as an unpredictable and untested game plan (element of surprise), utilising techniques to increase the likelihood of option two above (psychological or PR strategies for example) or attempting to inflict an unusual amount of damage on the most influential opposing assets to corrupt the opposition’s metrics. But for the sake of keeping this article brief, I will move on…]
Performance Tracking and Milestones
The pre- and post-match reviews will determine if metrics and milestones align as they should.
The biggest challenge is if probable wins become unplanned bad loses. We then need to increase our unexpected good wins from two, to three, or more, which means a greater requirement on options one, two, and three above; we are either requiring more good luck, more poor performances from our opposition, or a longer stretch of redlining. But regardless, if we are monitoring and reassessing after each game, we can at least give ourselves time to adjust the strategy while there is still time to do so without needing to put our assets through a critical redline schedule (or relying on shitloads of good luck).
Equally, we may determine that an individual or asset can no longer perform at the expected standard or may be performing significantly above the expected standard. Identifying this early allows us to feed this reality into our metrics for future planning. An asset may need to be replaced or may need to be accentuated.
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We have a mission (to win the premiership), we understand the metrics we need to meet to give ourselves the best chance of achieving the mission, teams and individuals have been set metrics that they need to reach in order to contribute to the overall success of the mission, we have mapped out the basis of what our strategy is going to look like, and have a schedule for reviewing milestones. But…
We May Still Miss
A strategy is a start-to-finish plan that considers our own capabilities, those who we compete against, what metrics we need to reach if we are to attain our mission, and what we can do if we start heading off course. The strategy is the best possible well-researched and planned forecast for how to attain an outcome. But it’s not a promise.
This is Marketing Strategy
This is how marketing strategy works. We utilise the skills and research of the right people to map out a forecast for how marketing can help reach a target (or goal, objective, or mission). Strategic marketing is forensically planning out how marketing can be utilised to reach an outcome in line with time, budget, and resource expectations through expertise, research, and experience.
Marketing for more sales, more growth, or for more of anything without a defined target is not a strategy. It’s just marketing.