What Marketers Can Learn From Four Packers Players

Not many people like Mondays. But as a Green Bay Packers fan, my football season Mondays are made significantly worse or better depending on how the team played over the weekend.

A lot of my coworkers know that I’m a cheesehead. So, whenever I walk into the office Monday morning during football season, I receive compliments or condolences depending on the Packers’ performance. And even though we had Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, my colleagues didn’t miss a beat; they started Tuesday off by commiserating with me over the Packers’ overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Although the season is over for green-and-gold fans, there’s already a lot of talk about next season—specifically, which of the 18 free agents the Packers will sign.

Building a strong football team is comparable to creating an effective marketing mix. You want to have dependable players, but you also have to make room for fresh new talent. Looking at which players led victories and which one dropped the ball can help coaches and CMOs alike build their rosters.

To help marketers boost their bench strength in the year ahead, here are a few lessons they can learn from four Packers all-stars.

Aaron Rodgers, quarterback

There’s no denying that Rodgers is one of the Packers’ key players. Besides having a powerful arm that puts points on the board (did you see his two Hail Mary’s this season?), he’s extremely agile in the pocket and a strong leader.

Impactful power, agility, and leadership are all qualities that marketers should aim for in their marketing mix. After all, marketers need to prove that their efforts are driving results, and they have to be adaptable to ensure that their messages reach the right customer at the right time no matter where that customer is. And while some channels may play a more dominant role than others, it’s important that all of their channels act as leaders in the customer journey, guiding customers on what action to take next.

Then again, Rodgers wasn’t always the leader of the Pack. Number 12 spent a lot of time on the bench during Brett Favre’s reign; yet, he put in the hard work and proved to be a wise investment down the line.

Marketers should think about their technology the same way. Instead of just purchasing the next new shiny object that can fulfill a short-term goal, marketers should buy technology that can be a long-term investment and continue to produce results down the road.

Jordy Nelson, wide receiver

The old saying is true: You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Packers fans know wide receiver Nelson is an integral part of the team; but it didn’t hit me how essential he is until he was out for the season with a torn ACL.  

Marketers are always going to face setbacks, whether they’re unexpected budget cuts, fleeting team members, or breakdowns in technology. What’s important is how they adapt. Preparing for unforeseen challenges should be part of every marketer’s strategy. In other words, having a backup plan should be part of your game plan. Check in with your team regularly to see if there are any problems on the horizon. And if you have a new campaign or initiative coming up, outline everyone’s role and responsibilities, including who is responsible for what if things go awry. The main thing to remember is don’t rely too heavily on a single person or single piece of technology. Always have your James Jones in place.

Mason Crosby, kicker

Let’s face it: The kicker generally isn’t the most popular player on the football field. When fans envision athletes scoring points, their minds generally trail off to the quarterback or wide receiver (see above). However, Crosby, the kicker for the Packers, is the all-time leading scorer for the team, and, according to his stats on Packers.com, he had an 85.7% field goal success rate in 2015.

Put simply: Crosby is consistent, and he gets the job done. Marketers should leverage channels that do the same. Email and direct mail, for instance, may not be the flashiest channels, but they deliver ROI time and time again. It’s not about investing in the most popular player; it’s about investing in the one who drives the most wins.

Clay Matthews, linebacker

Matthews is a beast (and I mean that in the best possible way). Not only is he a dominant defenseman, but he’s also proved that he can play multiple positions, as shown by his move from outside to inside linebacker. However, during the 2015 season-ending press conference, head coach Mike McCarthy said that he’d like to move Matthews back to outside linebacker.

Matthews’ change in position embodies the importance of test and learn. Like the Packers, marketers need to be able to experiment with different scenarios, analyze their success, and adjust accordingly. It’s also vital to remember that changing course does not indicate failure; it indicates an opportunity to optimize.

Along with exemplifying the importance of test and learn, Matthews proves the value in investing in players who can serve multiple purposes. For example, an email program can assist with customer acquisition and retention. Similarly, social can encourage engagement and awareness. Only when marketers play each channel to its fullest potential in all areas will it truly pulverize the competition like Matthews does. 

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