September 14, 2016

Differences Between Game Management and Campaign Management

Packers coach Mike McCarthy, in his eleventh year as Head Coach, employs a modern version of the West Coast Offense adapted for today's Spread Offense reality ... with Packaged Plays that give individual players and the Quarterback individual choices on each play.

His play sheet (click here) has several hundred plays that are installed for each game. Say his Packers are trailing 24-20 late in the fourth quarter, with fourth down and ten at the opposition fifteen yard line. Coach McCarthy has maybe a dozen options that have been practiced for this situation - and maybe three or four options that align with the tendencies of the opposition. His team may not succeed on fourth and ten, but his team already succeeded by being prepared for this situation.

In football, you have an overriding philosophy (West Coast Offense with modern Spread Offense adaptations). You have a General Manager and Scouting Team that draft players (merchandise) that fits into the overriding philosophy. You have a coaching staff that train players how to integrate game situations with the offensive philosophy. The team practices often. And then, on game day, the team is prepared for myriad situations.

Game Management is, in many ways, the outcome of choices made days / weeks / months / years ago. Yes, choices are made in-game, but there is a strong interaction between past and future.

How about Campaign Management?
  1. What is the process you, the marketer, utilize to develop merchandise? Yes, you, the marketer? If your answer is "that's their job", you are already multiple steps behind the competition.
  2. If sales decrease by 10% on Monday and Tuesday, how many campaigns/strategies do you have on your worksheet to address the problem? If your answer is "deeper discounts and promotions", you are already multiple steps behind the competition.
  3. Do you have a process in place to allow your staff to practice? In other words, is your staff executing campaigns in real-time, all the time? Or do you utilize simulations so that your team can practice situations that they are likely to experience in the real world at some future point in time? If your answer is "we don't practice anything", you are already multiple steps behind the competition.
Game Management and Campaign Management are essentially the same thing. And when viewed similarly, we quickly learn just how far most of us are behind the competition.

What do you plan to do to catch up? Discuss. And the right answer isn't "the right discount to the right customer at the right time" ... that's how you know you are way behind the curve.