Multichannel Marketing Lessons From the NY Giants
As a longtime, big-time New York Giants fan, I'm on cloud nine and will be for a long time. After hearing and reading about how the Giants' coaching staff and players overcame adversity to win the biggest game, I realized we marketers could learn from the way Coach Tom Coughlin and his staff won six "do-or-die" games in a row to capture the crown.
If you've watched any pro football game, you probably realize how hard it is to get 53 players on the same page, performing at their best, dealing with playbooks that change every week and making adjustments throughout the game.
In our world, we probably have at least 53 advertising and media tactics to get on the same page. We need our ads to perform in marketplaces that change pretty regularly, and we need to read results in real-time and make adjustments on the fly.
Coach Coughlin preached and practiced a number of key tenets—here they are, along with analogies for multichannel marketers:
- Create a well-thought-out game plan and stick to it. The Giants game plan included a long list of offensive plays, defensive schemes based on what how the New England Patriots lined up and strategies for every conceivable situation on the field. Coaches are masters of odds, calling certain plays based on field position, yards to go and numerous other factors. Analogy: Spend the time to craft your marketing game plan. Think about the potential outcomes for all the tactics you consider. Get input from colleagues and savvy people you trust. Finalize the plan and stick to it.
- Pay extreme attention to detail. Coach Coughlin and his assistants know that "the devil is in the details." Whether it's sports or business, leaving nothing to chance is the way to go. When one or two plays can determine the outcome of the Super Bowl, you can't afford to overlook anything. Analogy: Using paid search as an example, we recognized a long time ago that SEM was so complex that it required us to design processes in order to make sure that we leave nothing to chance. You can do everything right, but one small mistake can derail your SEM campaign. The same holds true for DRTV, display and other ad tactics.
- Finish—finish plays, finish practices and finish games. By this, he means that you can't take off the last two minutes of a close game, or you can't stop executing a play until you hear the whistle blow and so on. Finishing in this context means never letting up until the game is over. Analogy: If you've spent a lot of time creating a multichannel marketing game plan, and you believe in it, finish it. Complete everything in your plan and don't take shortcuts.
- Make adjustments in real-time. You may have seen coaches talking to players, showing them photographs soon after plays occur. While it's fresh in their minds, they review how the other team is lining up, what's working and what isn't. This gives the quarterback the ability to understand better what the other guys are doing and, thereby, be more effective. This constant adjustment happens literally on every play. Analogy: In the digital age, we can evaluate responses to campaigns in real-time, and we have the tools to make rapid adjustments. We can test numerous offers, price and copy and identify winners quickly. Make sure you have a process to do this before your campaigns launch.
- Don't panic. The Giants had a mediocre 7-7 record this year, but they didn't give up. Players stepped up and became leaders; the coaches made major changes to the game plans. Instead of tossing in the towel, they won six games in a row. Analogy: A campaign may not be successful right out of the gate. Don't panic. Learn from the data you have and tweak your programs so that they become successful. Get rid of what doesn't work and build upon what does.
Even if you're not a Giants fan, or not even a football fan, you can certainly take these lessons from the Super Bowl 46 champs and apply them in your business.
Irv Brechner is executive vice president of corporate communications at St. Petersburg, Fla.-based advertising agency Acquirgy, which specializes in customer acquisition. The creator of the Customer Acquisition Intel Center can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.