It’s the time of year when office copiers are made into illegal gambling machines. These copiers spit out the infamous NCAA brackets, those copies are passed around the office, and everyone has a chance until the first tipoff.
Something I’ve always noticed about these friendly gambling pools are the types of players:
1) The non-sports fans who maybe haven’t seen one college game all year. Their choices are determined by the rankings and records printed on the brackets and the interesting-ness of the school names. (Go Gonzaga!)
2) The die-hard fans who deeply analyze stats and put in three hours of research for each pick.
The odd thing is, each type of player seems to win about half the time. Businesses sometimes conduct their Marketing in the same way that people fill out NCAA brackets.
NCAA Bracket – Filling out a bracket doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what you’re doing
MARKETING – Placing an ad in the paper or a spot on the TV/radio doesn’t necessarily mean that you are marketing.
NCAA Bracket – Luck sometimes gets you as far as the stats do
MARKETING – Marketing research is only good to a point. There comes a time when you have to make decisions based solely on your knowledge of the market.
NCAA Bracket – Deep statisical research and obsessing over each choice in the 1st round makes your Final Four picks worse.
MARKETING – What is the final goal of your marketing? Are your early decisions positively influencing this final goal?
NCAA Bracket – Each year, a “Cinderella story” team overcomes the odds and wins in the first round. Conversely, a top pick sometimes falters and loses early on. Both these scenarios throw off everyone’s brackets.
MARKETING – Marketing must evolve with market changes and surprises. Brackets can’t be adjusted after the first tipoff…your marketing plan can.
NCAA Bracket – Previous office pool winners (either non-fans or die-hards) will double their bets next year thinking their old picking style will work again. Usually, they lose the second time because the teams have changed
MARKETING – The marketing plan that worked last month will not work this month because the market is constantly changing.
NCAA Bracket – After you fill out the bracket, pay into the pot, and tape your bracket to the wall, you no longer have any control. The teams will make or break you.
MARKETING – You can develop a great marketing plan and set it into motion, but in the end, it’s your good/bad choices and the mindset of the market that will determine how it turns out.
This is an inexact analogy…(and forgive me for including a sports analogy)…but I’m sure there are more lessons to be learned here. Anyone have any ideas?