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What marketers can learn from the NFL draft

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Followers of the NFL, and particularly the NFL draft, are aware of a schism in the strategy used to build a winning team.  There is an entrenched old guard that rely on the wisdom of scouts, the experience of coaches and the “gut feelings” acquired during long careers living and breathing all things football to build a team.  Then there is a growing group of individuals that may not know much about football at all, but study statistics until their eyes turn red. They believe the true nature of a player and their success as a professional can be foretold by analyzing data collected on past and present performance.  Thus the age of “analytics” arrived in the NFL.

Marketers can view their discipline in much the same way.  Brilliant marketers like Steve Jobs believed that if you only study what consumers have bought and what they want now you miss the opportunity to make a creative leap based on inspiration that could lead to the successful product of tomorrow.  With the growth, depth and ready availability of data on almost everything, new age marketers believe analysis and industry experience are the most effective tools to use for successful marketing in the future.  So the age of “analytics” arrived in marketing as well.

Which approach is correct?  At the risk of sounding indecisive, early results say both are required for best results.  There is no denying the power of big data and abilities that grow every day to create accurate predictive models that can guide the future.  There also is no denying that some things just cannot be measured.  For a football player it could be heart, persistence and desire.  For marketers it may be cultural changes, worldwide events and elusive consumer attitudes.  Do your best as a marketer to blend both facts and feelings and you have the best chance for future success

At R&A Marketing we are rooted in data and technology and passionate about creativity.  We have worked with retail furniture stores nationwide since 1984 and are steeped in industry knowledge.  We have successfully combined that experience with application of analytical tools to create marketing campaigns that activate sales and increase awareness.

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