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6 Brand Monitoring Lessons from an NFL Pick-6

6 Brand Monitoring Lessons from an NFL Pick-6

The NFL “pick-6″, where a defensive player intercepts a pass and returns it for a touchdown, is very rare. I managed to see two pick-6s in the Broncos/Redskins game, and they prompted me to come up with these 6 brand monitoring lessons.

So here is my own “pick-6″…

1. Steal momentum

When the offense is marching down the field, it has all of the momentum. A pick-6 is the perfect remedy to steal the momentum from the opposing team because your offense doesn’t even have to step on the field for you to score points!

Brand Monitoring Lesson: Sales and Marketing teams frequently focus on outbound messaging. However, brand monitoring allows you to see what your customers are saying about your brand and your competitors. Skip the cold calls, and the low conversion rates of expensive traditional marketing channels, and engage these customers and prospects who are already passionate enough (warm leads) to discuss your brand or keywords associated with your brand.

2. Inject doubt in the opposing quarterback’s mind

The window of opportunity for a completed pass in today’s NFL is very small. Quarterbacks frequently have to throw the ball while their receivers’ backs are still turned. After a pick-6, the quarterback starts questioning whether he and the receivers are “on the same page” when reading the defense. Or he simply feels that the defense is disguising its real coverages until after he throws the ball. Doubts can lead to more interceptions, incompletions, or your defense sacking the quarterback for a loss.

Brand Monitoring Lesson: NFL quarterbacks start second-guessing decisions when faced with an innovative and opportunistic defense. Brands can lead product and process innovation by taking advantage of the opportunities in social media and review sites every day. Leave it to the competitors to wonder why YOU are dominating mindshare with great consumer sentiment. Brand monitoring finds the opportunities through brand and keyword mentions – which are opportunities to win new customers, satisfy existing customers, or perhaps make product innovations based upon near real-time customer input.

3. Put points on the board

We already discussed stealing the momentum in point #1, but some NFL teams rely on their defenses getting turnovers and putting points on the board. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, and a pick-6 puts points on the board fast!

Brand Monitoring Lesson: I was recently on the market for a big screen TV. I felt certain I would buy from one of the big box stores, but I did a Foursquare check-in while checking out a local electronics store. The local store immediately responded to me via Twitter. They won my business with their courteous and CONTEXTUAL social media response. Their active brand monitoring IMMEDIATELY put points on the board and revenue in their pockets.

FYI, as I’m writing this, Babolat is actively engaging me and a friend (Jayme Soulati) who is play-testing tennis racquets. Perhaps they will “win the match” before this day is over due to their active brand monitoring?

4. Provide a cushion to execute your game plan

When your defense is putting points on the board, it allows your offense to stick to the game plan. In today’s NFL, teams want to have a balanced offense of rushing and passing. The leader in the game dictates the style of play and forces the opponent to panic and abandon their running game. That makes the opponent’s offense one-dimensional, so your defense can blitz and go for sacks and more interceptions!

Brand Monitoring Lesson: How much are you spending on traditional marketing channels and sales activities based upon the anticipated number of impressions? What’s your conversion rate on that awesome number of impressions? How much would you save by using a good monitoring solution that finds consumers who are already interested in your products or services? That savings provides a cushion to invest in people resources to increase your engagement with warm leads. Keep reinvesting those savings into this new monitoring strategy – I’d also suggest funding a content marketing strategy that brings prospects and customers to you based upon their interests and your expertise.

5. Electrify the crowd

When you go to a scary movie, you go for the “jump scenes”. You want an experience that is going to give you that adrenaline rush when you least expect it. We watch sporting events to root for our favorite teams, but we still want that unexpected adrenaline rush. Scoring plays provide a rush, but the DEFENSE scoring provides the unexpected rush that jolts the crowd into jumping up and down and high fiving the fans around them.

Brand Monitoring Lesson: When you engage consumers WHERE they want to be engaged, WHEN they want to be engaged, they get excited (Jayme is using her #RockHot hashtag for Babolat right now). Engaging on social channels allows other consumers to get excited about the discussion and invested in the outcome. Use active brand monitoring to find those conversations – then win some fans with your engagement.

6. Pad the stats

NFL defenses like to lead the league in turnovers and points off of turnovers. They want to strike fear and doubt in opposing offenses before they ever take the field. Individual defensive players want to increase their notoriety and financial rewards by being play-makers. Free agents look at those stats, before making contract decisions, because everyone wants to play for the winner.

Brand Monitoring Lesson: Choose a good monitoring tool, with built-in analytics, and watch how your statistics trend over time as you increase your responsiveness and engagement. Look at the stats over time, by topic, by social platform, or even in comparison to your competitors. You still have work to do, by producing good products and services, but you will now have a tighter feedback loop with your customers. And here is the extra bonus: when you are the most talked about and liked company in your industry, with a steady history of revenue growth, the top talent wants to come work for YOU!

So there is my pick-6, but we still need the 1-point or 2-point conversion. Seal the deal by offering your comments below! Then start working on your own pick-6 brand monitoring strategy by scheduling a Mantis Pulse Analytics demo.

Photo Credit: Mario Haggans celebrating his pick-6 by rburtzel, on Flickr

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. Two things: I love using football to share information about communications, so thank you for this post! Also, this has some great insight for branding.  Cheers!

    • susancellura Thanks for stopping by with the two things, Susan. You just converted on the 2-point play after the pick-6!

  2. Woo-hoo! Doing an end zone dance!

  3. I love this, and as a Salud! to our Twitter engagement with Babolatyesterday, I wrote an intense blog post featuring YOU and my new, adored brand, Babolat, today.
    I wonder when @Livefyre is going to fix its “last-blog post” feature? I hope soon, as that’s a differentiator for me! 
    Meanwhile, Brian, I’m itching to own my new Max Drive, weight it with some lead tape (is that safe?) and add some natural gut soft string or synthetic gut softer string with a hybrid mix of monofilament. I’ll try 55 or 56. How does that sound to you?

    • Soulati | Hybrid PR Babolat I knew you would be writing a more in-depth blog post on your interactions with Babolat yesterday. Great example of a brand monitoring social channels and then engaging customers/prospects with both courtesy and an educational approach.
      I haven’t played with the Max Drive. If it is too light, you can definitely use lead tape. If you are concerned about your arm, I’d put it at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions, or even lower on the throat. If you make it too head-heavy, then it is going to have a higher swing weight…making it less maneuverable. That sets you up for catching the ball late (especially on backhands and backhand volleys), and that sets you up for tennis elbow.
      If you have longer swing strokes, and can generate your own pace with no issues w/the elbow, then you can put the tape in the 12 o’clock position. You will notice more pop on your serve with a racquet that has a higher swing weight.
      Regarding string, I experiment with different synthetics. I look for a balance between spin and durability since I break strings enough to justify my own stringer. As a result, it also costs less for me to string, and it allows me to experiment with different strings. I never mix strings between the mains and crosses, but I know folks who do go with the more durable string for the mains. I don’t like the “dead feel” of most durable strings.
      55 or 56 is a good starting point for stringing the racquet because it is right in the middle of the range.
      Welcome to the Babolat family. ;)

  4. Brian,
    You’ve made another conversion analogy that really works for me. Its simply brilliant. Sometimes people just keep “talking” aka more marketing and out bound messaging and mega-bucks spent and just forget to listen “social media engagement.” Maybe that’s because we all like to hear ourselves talk. ;) 
    Your fan,
    Susan Fox

    • gagasgarden And good engagement can definitely steal the momentum from your competitors if “all other things are equal” regarding products and services.
      Personally, I’m not gifted at the outbound marketing, but I do enjoy the value-add of a good inbound marketing strategy.