Friday, September 25, 2015

Go Deep and Score the Game Winner With Your Marketing

Football player carries the ball
When it comes to automotive marketing, football is king. Some of the best campaigns got their 30 seconds of fame in the Super Bowl spotlight, while Hyundai's coup to snag the NFL automotive sponsorship made big headlines in June. With even preseason games bringing in 11 million viewers, it's easy to see why the automotive industry loves football.

We love football too (especially our hometown Houston Texans), and we're pretty excited that the season is finally underway. While Texans linebacker J.J. Watt can probably teach us a thing or two about marketing — seriously, the guy is everywhere these days — we wanted to take a look at what we could learn about dealership marketing from the game as a whole.

Have a Smart Strategy

Football is a strategic game. Coaches spend years developing offensive plays that can exploit all kinds of defenses, and the players have to execute them at a high level to be successful. On running plays, everybody from a lineman to a receiver has a blocking assignment, and just one missed block can turn a big play into loss of yards. Passing plays are similar in that three to five receivers are running designated routes, trying to find gaps in the defense.

Just like football, good marketing boils down to having a smart strategy. Gaining a new client is like scoring a touchdown, and your competitors are like the defense trying to block it. You need to come up with a strategy that finds gaps in the defense, such as an under-served segment that can be targeted, or closes some of your own gaps, such as getting your campaign seen by the right people. Find the right strategy, and you'll be the Vince Lombardi of marketing.

Evaluate Your Performance

A football coach's work doesn't end after a game or practice is over. Every week there are still hours of film from games — theirs and their opponents' — and practices to pore over and evaluate. Coaches watch film to find the strengths and weaknesses of both their team and the opposing teams. Watching film is a crucial part of building a sound strategy and being prepared for any given game.

You need to evaluate your marketing campaigns in much the same way that coaches evaluate their teams by reviewing what works and what doesn't. While you're not exactly filming every customer's reaction to a marketing campaign, you can find the value of a marketing campaign with the help of a call tracking program. Using dynamic toll-free and local numbers for your marketing campaigns and tracking the resulting calls allows you to see where you're having the most success.

Be Flexible

Omaha! Omaha! If you're a football fan, you know Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning isn't just a fan of really good steaks. Manning's ability to read the defense before the snap and call an audible to change the play is well known. The reason he shouts "Omaha" varies depending on the game or the situation, but it usually means something is changing. Manning's flexibility when it comes to play calls has helped him become one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history.

Much like how Manning's pre-snap routine has helped him become a winner, being flexible with your marketing can help you put up impressive statistics as well. There will be times where a well-planned campaign just isn't getting the job done. That's when it's time to tweak your strategy to cover the gaps in your marketing that you didn't expect when you launched the campaign. Don't be afraid of change.

Indoor sports are still a few months away, but if you're already excited about the upcoming NBA season, take a moment to review last year's amazing championship and read our post "What the NBA Finals Can Teach Us About Marketing."

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