What baseball can teach you about being a better marketer!

I’ve heard many people say “baseball is so slow” or “baseball is boring.” If I know them, I'll ask why they feel that way. Usually the answer is similar to “there is so much standing around.” I’ll admit I was practically born on a baseball field and I love the game. Certainly not everyone has that same experience. However, there is a lot the game can teach marketers if we see what is really happening with every pitch.

Baseball is a game of fundamentals and planning. So is marketing.

Baseball is a game of strategy and patience. So is marketing.

Baseball is a game of subtlety and adjustments. So is marketing.

A fundamental example: if a base stealer’s footwork is bad, he will need to be one step faster than someone with perfect fundamentals to steal a base. If a marketer doesn’t engage staff early by asking questions and using their feedback, your campaign/promotion won’t be as successful as if you had.

A strategy example: there are (at least) 5 more ways to score if a runner is on second or third base, so you will see team sacrifice an out to move a runner up. It is basic baseball strategy, based on numbers. As a marketer you need a strategy and then you need to follow it. Too often I see a lot of wishing and hoping. Have a well-considered strategy. Use it patiently. Judge it carefully.

A subtle example: professional baseball players are great defenders too. They make hard plays look easy. Why? Because they were positioned correctly or they anticipated where the ball would be hit based on the pitch thrown or the hitter’s tendencies. They or their coaches notice small things and adjust accordingly. Baseball is a game of constant change. Marketing is exactly the same. Your ability to adjust in the short and long term is what will make your success.

See, baseball is not slow or boring when you know what to watch. Enjoy!