North Carolina is the mecca of college basketball. As you can imagine with the kickoff of March Madness, the atmosphere in the Southeast is tense. I’ve seen basketball arguments on Twitter that rival Kanye West’s diatribes, and that’s just one social network. Being a Floridian myself, football reigns supreme. Clearly, I’ve encountered a learning curve now that I reside in the Tar Heel state. I may not have created a bracket this season, but upon further investigation I found marketing and basketball have plenty in common. Don’t believe me? Keep reading. Here’s my imaginary, yet realistic take on marketing's Final Four:
#4 Social Ad State
Ah, Social Ads. If you’re the betting type, it’s effortless to funnel money into this team. Marketing professionals and DIY Marketers alike may find themselves doing the same. We see their bursts of impact on our feed almost every day. The problem with Ad State is that without constant support and testing they’re not effective in the paint. Unless they have a clear strategy laid out for before the game begins, they’re a wild card that isn’t necessarily a good thing. However, we’ve seen them play with a high level of strength and execution when prepared correctly. You don’t want to count them out or let them slip through the cracks. This is my team I can count on to see a great return when I strategize correctly.
#3 SEO Strategers
You’ve probably heard about SEO more than you’d like throughout the year. (Myself included!) This team is mysterious because rarely do we know the algorithm behind its ever-changing style of play. Be wary of those who claim to have figured out the method to their madness. Many say you can learn this style of play and become an expert. However, picking this team may prove to be a bracket spoiler. Not every Joe-smoe can pull shots off like a true SEO player. You’ll need a coach and team who understand how the intricacies of this game works.
#2 Inbound Marketing University
Here comes a fairly new face to the Marketing Conference. Inbound U and the #1 Content Marketing Mavens have both have risen to the top in the past ten years. Of the two, Inbound Marketing is what we might call the new guard. Although it’s been around for a while,Inbound Marketing still feels like its in a rookie season. The most appealing thing about their team is the recruitment process they have to go through in order to make the team. In fact, it’s probably one of the most grueling tryouts in the league. You’ll have to make it through multiple rounds of cuts to even be considered for their B team. That’s what we call qualified. Inbound Marketing is the only team in the world able to operate like this with success. Did we mention they generate millions of dollars of revenue every year? Must be one happy campus.
#1 Content Mavens
Content Marketing Mavens are a force to be reckoned with, and that’s the reason why everyone will be watching this matchup. “Content is king” as the old saying goes and this year’s team is no stranger to ruling the marketing landscape. There are good and bad content players, and like Social Ads they have to come prepared to play. There are moments when, as a marketer, I see Content Mavens that simply are not as strong as others. Yet, basketball enthusiasts are calling this team one of the most diverse of the modern era. Slide shares, blogs, infographics and videos - you name a style of play and Content will deliver. It brings together virtually every other team’s successful tactics and uses them to their own advantage.
What I’ve seen this year is that the old style of free play is obsolete in the game of digital marketing. Just as the sport of basketball has evolved over time, so has marketing. Unless you’ve got the time and effort to dedicate to learning the marketing game, chances are your bracket will be mediocre. If you want to win you’ll need to choose the right team with a strategy that makes sense for you.
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