One Nil To The Marketing

Last week, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil took one of the worst penalties we’ve seen for a long time. Arsenal then went on to lose the game (against Bayern Munich) by two goals to nil.

Now anybody who knows anything about football knows that when you take a penalty, the last thing you want to do is change your mind where you are going to shoot as you are running up to the ball.

If you do, the result will most likely end up somewhat similar to the Ozil attempt.

As sport so often provides lessons for the wider world and, in particular, business, so too does the penalty analogy when applied to marketing.

Deciding how to present your brand, define your products and promote them to maximum effect are decisions that are not usually made on a whim. Much thought and discussion usually goes into making them.

Once made, much like the penalty kick, it’s absolutely crucial that you follow through with the plan. The big difference in the business world is that you don’t see the results of your decision in the space of a few seconds, as you will with a penalty. Sometimes it can take months or even years to see if you’ve made the right choices.

In the early weeks of a marketing campaign, it can be very tempting to start tinkering with the marketing strategy, because the instant results that were hoped for haven’t yet materialised.

But if you tinker too much and change the focus of what you’ve been doing for the past few months, all of that effort will be wasted and you’ll effectively be starting again with your marketing campaign.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t frequently analyse the results you are getting - look at the messages you are sending out, look at the marketing vehicles you are using. Tweak where necessary, but if you make wholesale changes, you’ve got fundamental problems.

You are effectively saying that all of that discussion and decision making at the outset was wrong. Was it? In our experience, this isn’t usually the case.

Also from experience, chopping and changing your marketing strategy, very rarely reaps rewards. The whole picture becomes confused, brands lose their identity and, consequently, sales start to decline.

Place the ball, pick your spot… and shoot.

And one more thing that good marketing shares with a good penalty: when you shoot, it helps if you give it a bit of oomph!


Categories: Opinion Marketing