If you’re a fan of football, you’ve probably heard the TV talking heads and sports experts claim that “Football is a quarterback-driven league.” In other words, a team can’t win unless they have a top-tier heroic quarterback. Yet, the opposite has been true.
The last two football championships were won by teams who did NOT have a good quarterback. For example, Peyton Manning played terrible in this year’s Super Bowl, but the Denver Broncos still won the game. Likewise, the University of Alabama won the NCAA National Championship with a mediocre quarterback, Jake Coker, who graduated and has already been cut from the NFL after one season.
Denver and Alabama won championships even though they didn’t have a great quarterback. How did they win? They didn’t play “hero ball” and put all their hopes on one person. Instead, they developed an effective system that works regardless if the quarterback plays great or not.
There’s a marketing lesson here. You don’t win at marketing by occasionally trying to be “heroic” and do something big. Instead, you win at marketing by developing an effective system.
Hero-ball marketing looks like this:
- Let’s just focus on trying to get on The Today Show.
- Let’s put all of our money into one 30-day advertising campaign.
- Let’s try to make a Facebook post to go viral.
- Let’s try to get an endorsement from Oprah or the President.
- Let’s try to game the system on buy our way onto the bestseller lists.
- Let’s hire a washed-up Peyton Manning to do a commercial for us.
An effective marketing system looks like this:
- Send out an email newsletter once a week.
- Blog weekly and post interesting content 2 – 3 times per week on social media.
- Pursue consistent speaking engagements each quarter, regardless of size.
- Advertise consistently during the year, rather than every now and then.
- Ask all customers for referrals at least once a quarter.
- Follow-up on old customers and prospects twice a year.
- Send a value-laden freemium twice a year to everyone you know.
- Create your own news and send out a press release once a quarter.
Hero-ball marketing is an inconsistent, naïve approach similar to the belief that you can catch lightning in a bottle. It’s the football equivalent of the “Hail Mary” play. In contrast, effective marketing is based on creating a system of repeatable activities that you do on a regular basis. It’s like slowly moving the football up the field into the end zone.
Don’t listen to the talking heads on TV. Most have no idea what they’re talking about. Likewise, don’t listen to misguided advice about “hero-ball” marketing. Create an effective system, and you’re marketing will be in the best position to win.
Having trouble scoring points with your marketing?
Ask Rob to be your coach.
Award photo by AscensionDigital via FreeDigitalPhotos.net