This weekend begins something very special for me. Something that will cause me a lack of sleep, an obsession with statistics and countless “what-ifs.” This weekend marks the start of Fantasy Football and my inevitable anxiety and obsession with all things NFL. And, if you regularly read my blog, you might be asking “What does Fantasy Football have to do with my marketing strategy?” Well, you're in luck, because I’m going to tell you.
Data can be misleading, so look at it from multiple angles
Matthew Berry (The Talented Mr. Roto) recently wrote a column comparing players by sharing "résumés" with a string of facts about their performance. Résumé A: “Over the past two years, of running backs with at least 300 carries, no one in the NFL has a higher yards-per-carry average than this player.” And résumé B: “Last year, he didn't get the ball much at the goal line (eight carries inside an opponent's 10-yard line) or anywhere else on the field (24 percent of his team's rushing attempts).” Many other facts followed each résumé.
Guess what? Both of the profiles were about Darren McFadden. Data's strength is in how you interpret it. Look at every angle of the data: where it might seem that demographic data is telling you one thing, social aggregate scores might be telling you another. Various perspectives on the same data can help give a 360 view of the consumer, as I now have about Darren McFadden.
Trust in the workhorse
Last year, my friends all pointed and laughed at me for picking Maurice Jones Drew (MJD) with my first pick of the year. I said “This guy is a workhorse. He performed well last year, is healthy, and he gets the bulk of the offensive plays for his team.” Guess what? I was right. MJD was the leading rusher in the NFL and helped me win my league.
Direct mail is the MJD of your fantasy marketing team. Not necessarily hyped or flashy, but reliable, consistent and effective. According to the DMNews website, “Depending on how one crunches the numbers, direct mail has a response rate of up to 10 to 30 times that of email.” That’s a workhorse for you. There is something to be said about reliability, and direct mail might be the most reliable of marketing methods.
It’s all about the match-ups!
With any Fantasy week, it’s all about the matchups. A star wide receiver’s projections are heavily impacted by the cornerback he is up against that week (Revis Island, anyone?). Marketing is no different. You must adjust your messaging to be appropriate to the audience. A blanket approach doesn’t always work. Every week, you might have a slightly altered “matchup” of customers to communicate with, and based on the data at your fingertips, might need to adjust your “roster” of channels and messages.
Adjust what isn’t working
If Chris Johnson can’t get in the end-zone, you eventually have to bench him until he improves! Just like a running back with contract negation issues, if a messaging approach isn’t working for your audience, start someone else! Sometimes your social campaign is outperforming your email marketing plan, and adjustments to your “Starting lineup” of messaging mediums needs to change.
Fear not! With the right measurables and a marketing database to track your effectiveness, you can gain an overview of response rates, conversions and ROI statistics. Just because a player was your top choice, doesn’t mean you have to stick with him week in and week out. Diversify your approach if it isn’t working!
Embrace new technology, or at least give it a try
Last year I snagged Cam Newton with my last pick in the draft. For anyone that follows the NFL or Fantasy Football, the rest is history. Newton had possibly the best rookie season for a Quarterback ever. By taking a chance on something new and unproven, I was able to harness a great power before everyone else was on board trying to get a piece of the pie. Think of it this way, if you had Cam Newton on your team, you likely won your league (As happened in both leagues I was in), and if you were an early adopter of social media integration you are likely seeing increased returns than similar companies that were behind the curve. Don’t draft a full roster of unproven rookies, but research and try new approaches!
So as the first games of the season roll around, I feel I have my (3) teams in pretty good shape (despite the trash talking of my co-workers and college buddies). By using the data at my fingertips, choosing reliable sources to complement my emerging stars and continually improving, revising and adjusting my roster, I have a pretty good feeling I might repeat as league champ! Can you?