I’m not a huge football fan, but I love a good hero story. This season, I’m captivated by Peyton Manning and his amazing performance. Put aside team allegiances and the current results of your fantasy football team—it’s hard to ignore that in his season opener Peyton became one of only six players in NFL history to throw 7 touchdowns in a game. And shortly thereafter he broke the record for most touchdown passes in the first 3 games of a season after throwing 12. He’s on fire. But this isn’t a story about overnight amazing-ness. Peyton is one of the hardest working quarterbacks in the league, and is a natural-born leader.
So, let’s take a bit of Peyton Manning inspiration to help us improve our online marketing. His wisdom may lead us to success in the red zone and a record-breaking season of results.
Call the play at the line, not in the huddle
Let’s start with his pre-snap routine, which uses the hurry-up offense. Rather than calling the play in the huddle, Peyton maximizes time and efficiency by calling the play at the line of scrimmage with gestures and verbal commands.
Hurry-up offense translates to more plays (which increases the odds of more scoring!) because they are using their time at the line more efficiently. Sounds like a cousin of agile marketing to me. Don’t sit from a distance and plan your strategy. Get in close, use your time efficiently, and run your marketing with an agile approach. You’ll get more done.
Peyton has said, “You want to stay fresh”, and you can see this in how he manages himself in the game. His constantly evolving approach helps him win games. Is your marketing fresh? Are you experimenting? Trying new things? Brainstorming ideas, big and small? Practicing new skills? It’s extremely easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to online marketing (“we spend this much, we get this much, we do this here, we do that there”), but you must be fluid. The days of annual marketing plans are over—marketing is moving at a pace that requires us to observe & respond in an instant. When we do this, we’ll stay fresh. And in today’s world, fresh is good—fresh is how we stumble on great results.
Be serious about improvement
Former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell said of Peyton, “He’s been such a highly accomplished performer year in and year out. Just when you think you’ve seen his best, he improves upon it.”
Are you resting on your laurels? Are you pretty comfortable with your cost per lead, cost per acquisition, cost per click, conversion rate? If you are—what the h-e-double L???? Why? Life is about progress. Tap into your passion to be the best and let it fuel you to do better. Got a 10% conversion rate? Great, why not shoot for 12%? Got a $20 cost per lead? Great, why not drive it down to $18? Never. Be. Satisfied.
Have a singular focus on conversion
Passes don’t win the game. Completions do. Coming off of a loss into a winning game Peyton said last season, “We had a good execution today. We had a real mindset to execute down in the red zone…that was the mindset, to finish drives into the end zone. We did that today and that was really the difference.” Finishing in the end zone won the game.
The marketing red zone is where conversions happen—it’s what happens after you win the click. So what if you are getting click throughs? Who cares if your bounce rate is low? What does it matter if your average time spent is 5 minutes? Conversions are the only thing that matters—are your visitors taking action? Stay focused on what you want visitors to do and do not waver in that focus. Everything else is a distraction.
Be the comeback kid
After a totally successful 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton underwent two neck surgeries in 2011 (one of which was a pretty serious level 1 cervical fusion—ooh, I get chills just thinking about that). After never missing a game in his career he sat out the entire 2011 season while he recovered. The Colts released him, and the football cognoscenti thought his career was over (well, maybe not over, but definitely on the down side of the hill, gathering speed in the wrong direction). But within two weeks of being released by the Colts, he signed with the Denver Broncos. Five years. $96 million dollar contract. Boom—how’s that for retirement?
Peyton came back from two serious neck surgeries and a season off with a vengence. He led the Broncos to the playoffs with strong performance throughout the season, leading up to his current record-breaking 2013 season games.
So your marketing is stale? Your processes are inefficient? Your conversion rate sucks? Your landing pages are boring? Your cost per click is too high? SO WHAT. Reinvent. Go conduct that marketing surgery you so desperately need and come back strong.
Even though I can pass the entire football season without watching an entire game, Peyton inspires me to strive to be the best. I’m looking forward to some fantastic wins from him this season, and some even more exciting marketing scores here at ion.