Using Moneyball Strategies to Win the Content Marketing Game

by Tim James

In a recent article published on Marketing Land, an author used the famous concept of Moneyball and applied it to content marketing. If you aren’t familiar with the Moneyball concept, it began when Billy Beane became manager of the 2001 Oakland Athletics. Mr. Beane hypothesized that a team doesn’t necessarily need a superstar to win games. The key to winning in baseball is scoring. To score runs, a team must have players that can get on base. Rather than allocate millions of dollars (which the organization couldn’t afford) for superstar players, Mr. Beane used data and algorithms to identify players who may have been considered sub-par, but had high on-base percentages (i.e.: they could hit and get on base consistently). Using this strategy, he was able to put together a team that went on to win against stacked teams of superstars.

The author of the Marketing Land article went on to explain how successful content marketing paralleled the Moneyball strategy. Marketers shouldn’t be spending tons of money in an attempt to hit homeruns with one great viral video as their only piece of content. What they should be doing is building better “team members” by consistently creating high quality content of interest to its audience. In the automotive space, many dealers believe content creation is anchored in their inventory. While inventory is certainly the most important asset a dealer has, there are many other types of content that dealers can produce easily and with low expenditure.

Car buyers are seeking different types of information at different points in the buying cycle, whether that information is about a new vehicle, the reputation of a dealership, or if a used vehicle is a good value. Dealers that consistently produce a variety of high quality content have more opportunity to get on base. Using the analogy of Moneyball, think of a blog post or walkaround video as being “at bat”. The more times you’re up to bat, the more chances you have of getting on base with a consumer. Success in content marketing begins with eyeballs on your content. Peaking a customer’s interest enough to submit a lead gives you the opportunity to advance them around the bases. Dealers don’t need to hit homeruns to score. They simply need to get on base through a lead submission, phone inquiry or dealership visit. Get on base enough, and the runs (sales) will happen.

You cannot score runs, however, if you never try to hit the ball. Content marketing can be simple and affordable but it’s a long-term commitment to taking as many swings at the ball as possible that will yield the greatest return on investment. Instead of allocating large amounts of money in an attempt to hit homeruns, consider changing your focus to one of getting on base more often through the consistent creation of content. You never know which piece of content will produce the homerun for you but I guarantee that you’ll never hit one if you don’t swing the bat. The sooner you step up to the plate and start swinging, the sooner you will begin to see shoppers moving around the bases and your runs starting to increase.

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