Euro 2016 kicks off on 10th June with hosts France facing off against Romania. We at Netleadz are getting in the mood for the tournament and couldn’t help see the similarities between managing a football team in the Euros and managing a Digital Marketing campaign. Take note Roy Hodgson, this is how it’s done.
At Netleadz, the first thing we do when managing digital marketing is to undertake a full audit. We take an in-depth look at the analytics, current search rankings, content performance, social media channels, reputation and any other key issues. This is like our pre-tournament phase. Roy Hodgson has been doing this for many months now. He began a full scale review of the team and attempted to resolve its issues. Players who are performing poorly or lack regular match play will inevitably be left out of the final announced squad. At this stage, an element of competitor and market research will also take place. Roy Hodgson will judge England’s opponents in a similar way to how we conduct a competitor analysis. Are England capable of beating Germany, Holland, Turkey and Portugal in the pre-tournament friendlies? What formations and strategies are working for other teams? Can we adopt any of the competition’s successful tactics and improve on them?
Strategy & Planning
So, England have made it to the tournament and it’s time for a plan. Once Roy Hodgson has decided what players he’ll be taking to the Euros, the team will undergo several weeks of training together. The manager will look at the players he has at his disposal in the same way that we would view a brand’s assets. This is where the strategy and planning stage takes place. What needs to happen to achieve the desired end result? England won’t win the Euros without a plan, the same way that a brand can’t generate results without the right strategy. Each training session, Roy Hodgson will be looking at what will work well and how to approach the tournament. Jack Wilshere has been declared fit to play, this is a strong asset that can be utilised in the upcoming tournament.
Set Up & Optimisation
This is a crucial part of the process. If Roy Hodgson doesn’t optimise his squad for success and choose the best formation, the team won’t perform to its true potential. This is replicated with a brand’s touchpoints; its website, blog or social media. If the content isn’t fully optimised then it won’t perform well in search rankings, additionally if the call to action isn’t strong then customers are less likely to convert. Roy Hodgson will be looking at what positions players are best suited to and what key links need to be utilised. For instance, tailoring a piece of content to the relevant audience or channel will have far better results than a piece which isn’t.
Arguably the cornerstone of Digital Marketing and in football terms the starting 11. Each player who is selected for a game represents a piece of original content and ultimately should offer value, be on brand and resonate with the audience. This isn’t always easily achieved though. If we were to make the comparison to both Leicester City and Chelsea in this season’s Premier League. The content of Chelsea’s team is arguably superior to that of Leicester City’s, the reason why Leicester finished in a far superior position is because the team was so perfectly optimised by Claudio Ranieri. Timing is important, releasing the right content at the right moment can make a huge difference. This is similar to how playing the right players, at the right time, in the right positions/channels, whilst making the correct substitutions can greatly affect the outcome of the game. Each channel requires a different style and tone of voice akin to the variations seen between each position on the football pitch. A central defender will play in a completely different way to how a winger would. This is comparable to how the style of content of a LinkedIn post will be different to that seen on a consumer blog.
Reach & Distribution
In Digital Marketing, content would be ineffectual without an audience and the appropriate distribution channels. To be successful, you need to build an audience through various activities, such as outreach, social media and audience engagement. When we discuss this in relation to England at the Euros, Roy Hodgson needs to get the fans and media on side. Recruiting allies in the media corresponds to successful outreach activities which enable a brand to reach out to influencers or an affinity partner’s relevant audience. Social media plays a large part in bridging the distance between the team and their fans. This can help keep everyone updated on team news and other relevant information. This is the equivalent to how a company will announce news, its latest releases, products or activities. Roy Hodgson will speak to the press before and after each game just as a brand will update its audience with newsletters, PR or social media posts. This doesn’t only end with the press conference either. Pundits, fans, commentators and the media will all be discussing the team. This is what a company wants to achieve, conversations about the brand will raise awareness among consumers and stakeholders. If the content is correct and the performance is worthy, this will be positive and result in better brand equity.
No matter how well or poorly a team performs, it needs to be regularly monitored. Every player will have a role to do on the pitch, as every channel in a campaign will have KPIs. If the KPIs are on target and the player fulfils his duty, then the performance in that area will be positive. The monitoring process in Digital Marketing is the during and post-match analysis. If Roy Hodgson notices that a certain player is not performing well during the game, then he’ll make adjustments. This is the same as judging the performance of campaign areas. Eventually the end result of this is the ROI (return on investment) – whether England wins the game and ultimately brings home the trophy.