Marketing is like football. (Note: this is American football I’m talking about; not FIFA football). At least, football before the spread or Air Raid offenses of Texas Tech and Oregon became so popular.
Back in the days when a game in which an NCAA quarterback passed for over 300 yards was a memorable occasion (now that threshold is 500+), there was a saying that you ran to set up the pass.
By gaining yards successfully on the ground, you forced the defense to pinch in to increase its chances of stopping the next running play. Linebackers would play closer to the defensive linemen. Safeties and corners would play shallower so they could be closer to the running backs if they were successful getting past the line of scrimmage to the level of the linebackers (the so-called second level). Once the defense begins playing closer to the line of scrimmage, it provides more space to throw the ball. That’s how a successful ground game increases the chances of success through the air.
What’s Marketing Got to Do With Football?
Instead of running to set up the pass, your marketing helps to set up sales. It’s something far too many companies overlook. Without marketing, you can sell. Sure you can. But a sales process unsupported by a marketing program will be longer, more difficult, more expensive, require more skilled sales personnel, and most likely produce far less.
Market then Sell
You can play football and hardly ever pass. Some teams try that. And you can try to sell your product, service, or app without marketing. Some companies do that. They cold call and pitch and push prospects without having invested anything in marketing. Neither scenario is optimized for success.
You need marketing to sell. You need to shape the opinions of others before you engage in one-to-one sales contact. You need a good website. You need customer testimonials. You need to demonstrate whatever you’re selling. You need to present your product to people whose problems you can solve. You need to find customers and nurture them into interested prospects (often referred to as a Marketing Qualified Lead). You need to produce sales tools for the sales force. You need to produce FAQs and reseller kits if you use a channel. All of this is marketing.
Marketing is Like Football
Good marketing makes sales so much easier. Just as an effective ground game makes passing yards easier to come-by. Those teams that pass way more than run? Well, Texas Tech has probably led the nation in passing for at least ten years and has never won anything of note.