Fantasy Football and the Nuances of Marketing

By | October 1, 2012

This season 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.

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. Digital print offers the ability to adjust the message to every recipient, with tailored transpromotional messaging and personalized design and copy. Think of digital print as the Redskins running back corps, you might see a different back every down, whichever one fits the situation best. 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! Data-based messaging and variable data print allow a pitch to be adjusted throughout the campaign, and the message made to cater to what is working for each audience.

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!

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 to tailor every step of my approach, choosing reliable methods 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?


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