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As I prepare for my first league’s draft tonight [that’s right, I’m not only geek enough to be in 3 leagues, I’m also geek enough to prep for each draft], I am struck by some of the similarities between building a quality fantasy football roster and being successful at my day job in web marketing. It is actually uncanny as to level of analysis and prediction that lead to success in both arenas. Truth be told, the following aspects can lead to victory in many walks of life, but I will maintain focus on these two areas that I know a bit about for the purposes of this post.
Build around your cornerstones: Spend your big money on the areas where you truly excel. For fantasy football, this ‘money’ comes in the form of early draft picks. Owners use these picks on players they expect to be stars. In marketing, this refers to using your budget in areas that you own a competitive advantage. Emphasize your strengths! What you do better than the competition is the franchise player of your business – whether that be your product, human capital, customer service, whatever. If there is not anything that you do better than the competition, then you don’t have a franchise player – so do not plan on winning much.
Determine relevant stats: Not all metrics affect the bottom line as much as others. In fantasy football – pass attempts, pass receptions, and rushing attempts typically do not result in any points. A wide receiver who racks up a lot of receptions, but not many yards or touchdowns, is not really that valuable. Likewise, eyes on a website, advertisement, or video do not always result in any conversions. When you are looking through your analytics data, figure out which ones represent your core audience. Traffic that does not lead to conversions (i.e. sales, contacts, destination pages, etc.) is unlikely to be deemed particularly valuable. Determine what the most relevant stats are to your campaign (i.e. click-thru rate, conversions, etc.) and focus on those.
Trend Analysis: Trends are a key part of my industry. Numbers that move in the same direction over time are not only more likely to continue doing so for some future projection, but also may tell us something about certain market segments altogether. For example, increasing traffic from a certain region of the country may identify a significant marketing opportunity in that area. Likewise, in fantasy football, a player who has shown growth in his stats over multiple years may be indicative of a player who is ready to break out for big numbers in the coming season.
Find undervalued areas: Late rounds of fantasy football drafts can turn into a crapshoot of a sort. Once the obvious names are off the board, determining the less obvious players who will be successful can prove very difficult. Anybody can draft production in the early rounds, but it is the players who establish quality depth in the later rounds who often end up winning the league. In order to have success in the later rounds of the draft, one must find players who their opponents undervalue. Marketing is the same way. Finding relevant marketing channels that the competition has neglected or is unaware of can produce huge results.
Finding success requires skill AND art: Do not fear the occasional ‘gut’ feeling. They may not always pay off, but a marketer who is never wrong is a marketer who never takes any chances. Both fantasy football and web marketing involves art in addition to skill. A little speculation and guesswork may not a bad thing so long as it is one aspect of a greater marketing plan and not THE marketing plan.
Was this a reach for a blog topic at a time when writer’s block seemed to be setting in? Quite possibly. But that does not mean that I’m not right! As you are going about your web marketing processes and/or getting ready for your fantasy football league draft, take note of who does the preceding items the best. Odds are that they have been the winners in the past and will be again.