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Smart marketers understand that organisations need to adapt for the changing nature of online marketing.

But how can they best articulate this internally for earned and owned media?

Time for a good old sporting analogy...

I’ve always been a big advocate for the “un-siloing” of organisations in the era of the social web.

The rise and rise of content marketing, aided and abetted by social media omnipotence, a fragmented media scene and Google’s pro-content algorithm shifts, has caught many organisations unsure of what to do next.

The analogy I use with clients and those I train is to think of a five-a-side football team. All the players are playing interdependent roles and none can work effectively alone.

Companies who continue to silo these disciplines limit their own effectiveness and potential, thus wasting budget.

So, let’s take a look at the starting line-up.

Goalkeeper

Search engine optimization. In between the posts to catch all those relevant search terms – both paid and organic – it’s SEO. Depending on how the user found you the ‘keeper will bowl the ball to either player on your side to build the engagement further.

Defence

Public Relations. In defence, we have PR acting as a Beckenbauer-esque libero. PR plays a dual role here: Firstly, a defensive role to stop or defuse any negative buzz around your brand online.

Secondly, an offensive role, bringing the ball out and create awareness, drawing people to your content, social networks or website, building links and influencer relations.

Midfield

Social media. The luxury player, ever so talked up and hard to make work, social media can deepen the engagement but needs to cover both defence (social customer relationship management) and attack (content outreach and engagement).

Midfield 

Content. The real creator, content has developed a good relationship with SEO, PR and social media to maximise their potential on the pitch and draw people to the website.

Forward

User experience (UX). Once the rest of the team has done its job in getting people to the brand’s website by drawing traffic in, it’s UX’s job to drive the conversion (i.e. score).

So, is your site a Messi or just a mess?

Coach

The player-coach on the sub’s bench is the veteran Analytics and Measurement, making tactical switches and coming on from time to time to improve things.

In a nutshell, digital marketing is a team effort, so all departments should be talking to each other and pulling in the same direction if they’re not doing so already.

Anyone for a kick about?

Chris Lee

Published 1 February, 2013 by Chris Lee

Chris Lee is a freelance digital consultant, trainer and copywriter. He is also @CMRLee on Twitter.

9 more posts from this author

Comments (18)

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John Callaghan

John Callaghan, Digital Marketing Consultant at CTI Digital

I was intrigued by the title of the article and how you were going to form a compelling analogy. Not only did you do an excellent job, I agree with the sentiments. Well played.

almost 4 years ago

Chris Lee

Chris Lee, Founder at Silvester & Finch Ltd.

Thanks John.

almost 4 years ago

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izzonet

Thanks jhon,you really give such a helpful information.It will help me.

almost 4 years ago

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Nick Ali

Hah, nice analogy!

almost 4 years ago

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Gail Walker,

Brilliant!

almost 4 years ago

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Martin Hamilton

This is a simple breakdown for both clients and professionals of how to approach/understand online marketing. Thanks.

almost 4 years ago

Philip Allen

Philip Allen, Studio Director at D. Agency

Chris

A masterpiece of analogy and questioning whether "your site is a Messi or just a mess" capped it all.

almost 4 years ago

Simone Kurtzke

Simone Kurtzke, Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Robert Gordon University

Hey Chris :)

I don't 'get' football (= just some folk kicking around a ball) so this analogy doesn't do it for me (though I do get the sentiment / idea behind it). Also, who should lead overall and provide direction? I love data so in my view, data and actionable insights based on data rule and should inform the decision-making process throughout. So perhaps Analytics / SEO? As long as there's a geek in the driver's seat...

almost 4 years ago

Chris Lee

Chris Lee, Founder at Silvester & Finch Ltd.

Hi Simone - thanks for your comment, but you'll see Analytics is already the team manager. Decisions should be made on data, of course.

almost 4 years ago

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Mark Tillison

Nice to see a football analogy used well - I did something similar a few years back purely for AdWords to illustrate the relationship between keywords, ads and user experience.

I think this will help some clients achieve greater perspective of the sales/marketing mix, though we could do with a "football haters'" version too. Any takers? ;)

Good job Chris.

almost 4 years ago

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Dave

Nice one - on me 'ead, son!

almost 4 years ago

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Carl Kemp

Succinct and useful - thanks Chris. Had the players been in Man City kit, the image would have been perfect ....!

almost 4 years ago

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seofirst

Nice blog. Such an interesting read. Thanks for the information.

almost 4 years ago

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Robert

Great information put forward a way a great teacher does. Easy!

almost 4 years ago

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Dan Kemp

Saw you run through this in your training in Bristol. I love the analogy!

almost 4 years ago

Chris Lee

Chris Lee, Founder at Silvester & Finch Ltd.

Thanks Dan - hope you enjoyed the training.

almost 4 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at Econsultancy, Centaur MarketingStaff

Analogy holds up pretty well! It's not unlike the idea of agile/programmatic combo I talk about in http://econsultancy.com/blog/62082-how-far-should-programmatic-marketing-go

One question though - what about email?

almost 4 years ago

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Paul Chappell

I think Proofreading should definitely be on the team too! Apologies from my iPad

over 3 years ago

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