Football season is finally here and I’m excited.  A big topic of conversation this offseason has been how the running back position has diminished in value.   This doesn’t mean they’re not a crucial member of the team. The big money is now just moving to wide receivers.   The game has evolved.   Competition requires new strategies and ways to beat ever-more complex defenses.   Teams can’t simply do the same thing and become predictable. It’s not an option.

The same holds true for your marketing.  Digital is critically important, but you can’t break out and win if you’re doing the same thing as everyone else.

There are multiple studies that show layering media is better than only doing digital advertising.  Recall and retention can improve by almost 90% when your message is seen and heard from multiple angles.  The problem?  Digital alone provides clear, quantifiable data.  A layered approach is harder to measure.  It’s complicated and the easiest thing to do is just double down on what everyone else is doing.  There’s comfort to seeing digital data. I’ll be the first to admit that.

In marketing, we all know the adage: “if you are not testing and failing, you are not improving.”  That doesn’t mean simply tweaking your keywords and crossing your fingers.  Now more than ever, you must find a way to stand out.  Highly targeted digital placement and impactful creative is the norm.  We are inundating everyone’s best customers over and over and over and over again. 

You know what works in your digital strategy.  You focus on the longer tail of the spend to improve response. 

So does everyone else. 

What can you do with the last underperforming 20% of your digital spend?  How about events?  Product placement?  Traditional media?  Aerial ads?  Shockingly interesting billboards?   Earned media actions?   Sports?  Sampling?  Direct mail?  Free branded merch?  Trade shows?  What may seem like “old marketing” can be powerful layers to a digitally focused marketing strategy.

How do you measure all the layers working together?   Focus on what you’re really trying to accomplish.  Not simply CTR, CPC, or CPL.  Those are digital metrics, not necessarily success metrics.  Is it sales, or a line at front of your store?   Pick a market, a store, an event, a timeframe.  Set it up as a control.  See what happens. 

Will running backs continue to decline in football?  Probably not.  Someone will figure out a new way to use the position.  

While everyone focuses on the passing game, a new way to move the ball will be developed making the running back the game-changer. 

This is what we do at The Zest Lab.  Contact us to learn more.  And Skol, Vikings.