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What Your Digital Marketing Can Take Away From Baseball Teams

what your digital marketing can learn from baseball teams

It’s the heart of baseball season here in Chicago, which means that our team is keeping up with the box scores, munching on sunflower seeds, and spending plenty of long, lazy days rooting for the Cubs over at Wrigley Field, just a few blocks away from our office.

Of course, with baseball on the brain, we’ve also been spending plenty of time debating just how much America’s pastime compares to our field of digital marketing. The answer? Baseball and marketing have more in common than you might think!

No, really! Here are three big ways that digital marketing and baseball are the same game:

It’s OK to Flaunt Your Fashion

For anyone in Chicago, seeing any trace of a bear or a bold capital “S” immediately calls to mind either the Cubs or the White Sox. If you’re in Baltimore, say, any little bit of orange or black immediately screams “Go Orioles!”

We could go on, but the point is that major league baseball teams are masters of branding. From iconic logos to memorable color schemes to distinct font choices, the baseball diamond is dominated by strong choices that immediately create brand recognition and loyalty among fans and supporters.

Branding is just as important for your digital marketing efforts as it is for baseball teams! Having a clear visual palette and distinctive voice for your brand will help you stand out from your online competitors, signifying that you’re unique and a thought leader in your field. What’s more, having a strong visual brand will help unify your online and offline marketing efforts, ensuring that consumers who come across your brand in the real world will be able to instantly remember and find you online (and vice versa).

It Helps to Go “Around the Horn”

In baseball, players routinely throw “around the horn” after a strikeout or a first base out. You’ve probably seen this happen, even if you didn’t know what it was called: The catcher throws the ball to the third baseman, who then sends it to the second baseman, who tosses it to the shortstop, all before the ball makes its way to the first baseman and then back to the pitcher.

There are plenty of reasons why baseball players go “around the horn;” it’s rooted in decades of tradition, and, on a practical level, it helps keep infielders’ arms loose and ready to go.

In terms of digital marketing, this round of catch reminds us of the fact that a successful campaign is made up of many moving parts and strategies, all working in tandem. Just as going around the horn – or making an out on first – involves many different parts of the baseball team working together, so too does it take many smaller elements to add up to one successful digital marketing campaign.

While brands can find success using different marketing strategies, we’ve always found that the best results come from a comprehensive approach, one that includes:

Baseball is perhaps the biggest team sport there is; at its core, it is a game where every team member works like a puzzle piece, fitting their various skillsets together to make something amazing happen. Digital marketing works exactly the same way, and it’s important to recognize that comprehensive success requires a multifaceted approach.

It’s Important to Always Be Listening

“Head’s up!”

“Coming at ya!”

“Let it go!”

*Impenetrable sign language consisting of a bunch of shoulder taps and ear pulls*

Whether in full-throated yells or silent code signals, baseball players are in constant contact with their teammates and coaches over the course of the game.

To the digital marketing pros here at Geek, this style of constant communication is a great reminder that successful marketing isn’t just about talking, but listening.

While putting your brand messaging out there – in the form of multimedia content, targeted ads, and social media shares – is vital to the success of your brand, it’s equally important that your business takes some time to really listen to what your existing and potential customers are saying. This listening can take on many forms, across many different marketing channels!

On the one hand, listening can refer to the simple practice of regularly keeping up with your analytics; knowing your rates of social engagement, email opens, or website traffic can make a major difference when it comes to troubleshooting and refining your approach moving forward, allowing you to reach your ideal audience in as effective a way as possible.

We’re also referring to social listening! It’s vital that you know who you’re trying to reach on social media; once you do this audience research, you can tailor your messaging to their wants and needs. Even better, you can use social media to engage with questions, criticisms, and mentions of your brand or your industry, allowing you to dive into the conversation and show that you’re knowledgeable, trustworthy, and ready for new business.

And, finally, we can apply the concept of listening to the vital practice of online reputation management. If we think of reputation management as your brand’s attempt to guide the conversation about itself on the internet, then it’s easy to see why actually knowing what people are saying is so vital. It’s important that you’re active and accessible on social review sites and industry directories, even to the point of being proactive – by, say, creating customer surveys and encouraging your satisfied users to leave reviews and testimonials for your brand.

Have any more questions about baseball, branding, or any aspect of running a successful digital marketing campaign? While our expertise may be limited on the first, we have plenty of experience with the last two, and we’d love to talk shop – and what it will take to a marketing homerun for your brand.

To start reaching more new customers and retaining more of your existing clients, there’s no time like today to get started with digital marketing! Don’t hesitate to drop us a line, or to reach out on Facebook or Twitter!  

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).