World Cup Lessons on Building A Strong Marketing Team

At first glance, it may be difficult to see the parallels between marketing and the 2018 World Cup, but there have been crazier comparisons (like Game of Thrones). It’s doubtful there would ever be a scenario where the top 32 companies in the world spend months, years even, practicing and then facing-off in a month-long tournament, dribbling a ball for 90 minutes on a turf field to determine an eventual winner. When it comes to marketing, however, that’s exactly what a well-prepared and effective marketing campaign should look like. Let’s break it down and who knows, by the end of this post, you may become a world-class soccer fan.

In soccer, the game does not start at the World Cup; it starts years before. Coaches will set their eyes on the world-spanning championship game and then prepare their players for a marathon of drilling, studying, playing, and hopefully, securing a place in the coveted World Cup. A great team will look over hours of past game tapes analyzing and strategizing a way to make their presence felt on the field. They’ll work as a team, with each member playing to their position of strength and a team captain tasked with making sure the team runs like a well-oiled machine. After winning smaller national tournaments in their regions, each team will be able to put years of hard work on display and play a series of games to qualify for the World Cup. Learning from their wins and losses allows each team to grow and progress to make the next game better. In the end, the best team relies on what they know: each other, a solid strategy, and their love of the game. So, how does this relate to marketing?

The best marketing teams will study their own and their competitors past and current campaigns; they’ll study the latest trends, markets, audiences, tools, and become dedicated to learning about their industry. Whether it’s brainstorming ideas, testing out different scenarios (A/B tests), or collecting data, you learn, study, and apply. This phase is crucial to a successful marketing team because it’s here, like a soccer team studying their strategy, that allows you to become a world-class team.

Know the strengths of each member of your marketing team and put them in roles that allow them to excel. Who are your brainstorm wizards, the team captains, problem solvers, the design champs, SEO masterminds?

We all can’t be France out the gate (grab a croissant to celebrate!) BUT your marketing team can take what they’ve learned from their losses and come back stronger and more prepared. You’ll make the adjustments quickly and move forward. Observe, collect, learn, grow!

Hopefully, at the end of the campaign, after all your hard work, patience, and perseverance, your marketing team can claim glory not only for a beautifully executed and impactful marketing campaign but also pride in knowing that all of you contributed to the end result and that…is the glory of the game.