Looking for Lemonade: Leverage Logic, Not Magic

David Lazarenko

IIn this content series, we aim to help marketers and agrimarketers alike find opportunity in these trying times, without looking overly opportunistic (no hoarding of hand sanitizer here). As such, we’ll look at some of the common challenges (the Lemons) we are all collectively facing and highlight potential solutions/opportunities (the Lemonade). 

The Lemon: It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Hit Home Runs

The Lemonade: Focus Your Efforts Towards Getting On-Base

I recently had the opportunity to watch the movie Moneyball and, while I may just be seeing everything through pandemic-tinted glasses, I found it exceptionally relevant to the current state of marketing/agrimarketing.

There is no denying that current market conditions have compounded the difficulty of hitting game-winning home runs that significantly move the sales and/or market-share needle. Furthermore, while these “big wins” are the stuff of marketers’ dreams, it’s also a very risky time and inherently foolish to continue swinging for the fences every time you’re at-bat. Instead, try thinking about the strategy taken by the 2002 Oakland A’s in Moneyball as difficult times often require novel thinking and an approach that favors consistency over chance and logic over magic.

For those unfamiliar, the movie focuses on the 2002 Oakland A’s and one of the most famous and successful seasons in all of Major League Baseball history. Driven by an innovative, data-centric approach to talent acquisition, their system placed greater value on lower-salaried players with better on-base percentages over the home run power of higher-priced offensive stars. As the first team to fully embrace a philosophy of analytics = consistency = success, the A’s were thought foolish by most, until their team, with the 3rd lowest payroll and the youngest GM, rolled off a 103-59 play-off-making record, topped by an astounding 20-game win streak.

For us marketers and agrimarketers facing reduced budgets and difficult playing conditions, the Moneyball philosophy is akin to focusing on tactics that consistently deliver traffic, conversions and leads. By changing our approach, we slowly and surely hit our targets, versus wasting time and energy on the big, splashy, awareness-based efforts that may or may not drive enough interest and/or engagement to convert revenue opportunities and sales.

At the end of the day, marketing and agrimarketing have long-been a mix of magic (creative, big ideas, etc.), and logic (analytics, insights, etc.), and, until now, we’ve gotten away with relying on the ‘magic’ to do the majority of the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, as our current reality can attest, magic is hard to consistently pull-off. Even the greatest marketers in the world can’t hit home runs every at-bat and that’s exactly why we now need to leverage logic more than ever before. This isn’t to say that we should do away with magic, but by leading with logic and applying magic on top of it, we simply have a more reliable way to replicate results.

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