The Stream Creative office is a magical place every spring as the team gears up for March Madness festivities. We complete our brackets and post them for all to see, the kegerator is filled with the beer of choice, Jason brings in his projector and screen, and some family members even join us to “work remotely” by setting up shop in our conference room. While many of our team members root for Wisconsin to go far, this year the majority have the Badgers going all the way. Not surprising considering the talent, heart and impressive stats the roster had coming into the tournament.
In addition to the enjoyment we’ve experienced watching Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes, Josh Gasser and the rest of the team, we’ve also had time to reflect on some of the amazing takeaways they’ve provided that we can learn from and apply in our work / day-to-day life. Here are a few that have stood out:
The UW men’s basketball team is not made up of the fastest, flashiest or crowd-pleasing players in the country. However, real Badger fans know that what truly makes them an intimidating force on the court is their patience. Their techniques are frustrating to other teams because they know if they don’t score against Wisconsin – it’s going to be a while before they get the ball back. The team is so patient with every possession and they place a high value on waiting for the right shot. Patience is the foundation for the team becoming ranked #1 for offensive efficiency and puts them on track to set a new record at 1.20 points-per-possession.
Just like many of the teams we’ve seen play throughout the NCAA tournament, marketing campaigns can also be complicated and involve a lot of moving parts. The key is to be patient and look for the most efficient and affordable way to acquire new leads. Some of the “plays” that you may want to be sure to include in your game plan include blogging, social outreach, search engine optimization, webinars and workflows.
One of the great things about watching the Badgers play in the tournament is that they are all a bunch of really likeable guys. Watching them play so competitively and aggressively during a game, then follow up with friendly banter about their shared love for video games in a post-game interview, is part of what makes us want to continue to follow their story. This type of team representation is fairly consistent from year-to-year - partly due to coach Bo Ryan’s recruitment and coaching style. He looks for prospects that can play the game really well, mesh with the personalities of the other teammates, and possess the type of attitude that is consistent with the team’s overall philosophy. Not only do these hardworking and dedicated personalities impact performance, they also make a strong impression on fans, media, sponsors and more.
In addition to being a knowledgeable resource, being relatable and personal builds credibility for a brand. It makes you likeable and gives your brand a personality. What is the one thing you hope your customers get from your product or service? This is the heart of your story, and you should wear it on your sleeve.
When you allow your customers and prospects to see behind your walls, it connects them with the human component of your brand. And the best part about sharing your story and allowing a glimpse of your brand’s human side, is that it shows you are approachable, credible and believable.
Like many other teams, early season techniques and mechanics for the UW men’s basketball team are made up of systematic sessions and fundamental drills. The difference is that the Badgers may be the only team in the country still running these fundamentals into March. In fact, it has been said that every Wisconsin practice is an infomercial for basketball’s basics. It is this type of discipline and consistency that has helped some of their best players get even better… mediocre players become great… and together, beat teams like Arizona.
Not unlike basketball, understanding the importance of consistency in your marketing campaigns will help you provide more customer experience wins. There is no doubt that you will increase conversions if a consistent and relevant online experience is provided. Areas of consideration include:
- Keep website and online content messaging consistent with what has been identified for buyer persona engagement.
- Maintain consistency through the customer’s journey by mapping out a program that will trigger actions, and additional opportunities for a prospect to convert.
- In regard to content, don’t just consider consistency in the area of quality, but also consistency in frequency, timing, length, CTA offers and imagery.
Once you have a clear and consistent strategy – stick to it, be persistent and always keep your end goal in mind.
Over the course of this year’s tournament, it has been interesting to see Bo Ryan become visibly irritated when his team has been referenced as underdogs or weaker than some of their opponents. He quickly corrects the person making the inaccurate comment and references stats that prove the strength of his team. Perception is a tricky thing and has always been an advantage and disadvantage for Wisconsin.
Regardless of past failures or successes, marketing performance really comes down to the statistics and analytics. Setting strategic goals and measuring business metrics will give you the clear picture of where your efforts stack up compared to other initiatives. A few important metrics to consider include:
- Website traffic
- Lead conversion
- Returning visitors
- Social metrics
What role does patience, personality, consistency, and statistics play in your marketing strategy? Maybe you have an unconventional style like coach Ryan, extensive experience or super powers in the area of strategy and statistics. Regardless of your bracket or who you root for, the most important takeaway from this year’s tournament is that these players have shown a tremendous amount of dedication, personality and heart – and that is something we can all apply to not only our professional, but also our personal lives.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong