May 12, 2019

Marketing Spacing

I've been a big fan of "Marketing Spacing" since joining Lands' End back in 1990. That's when Bush 41 was in office. That's a long time ago.

What is Marketing Spacing?

Let's look to the sports world for an example ... in this case, last week's Bucks / Celtics game. With the Bucks clinging to a 5 point lead in the 4th quarter, the Bucks inbounded the ball. The Celtics defended well, messing up the play.

Finally, Milwaukee begins the play, three seconds later.

It's often a good idea to get the ball to your best player ... and that's exactly what Milwaukee did. Look at the Spacing ... five players all 23 or more feet from the basket, all spaced out equally across the court.

Milwaukee's best player drives toward the free throw line. Look at how the defense collapses around him.

When multiple Celtics collapse to stop Giannis, somebody is open. That somebody is Brook Lopez.

Do you see what Giannis did there? He traded a 50% chance at 2 points for a 40% chance for 3 points.  0.40*3 = 1.20 points expected.  0.50*2 = 1.00 points expected.

The result?  BANG!!

A couple of things to think about.

First, the marketer would try to attribute credit for the three point shot. The marketer would spend endless hours debating whether the act of shooting (bottom of the funnel) deserves credit or whether the inbound passer (top of the funnel) deserves credit ... or whether Giannis gets credit for drawing two defenders. Naturally, the marketers spend days talking and analyzing and go absolutely nowhere. Yay, Marketers!!

Much more important, however, is the concept of Marketing Spacing and Optimizing Purchases. The concept is identical to what you observe above. Most marketers are pummeling customers with contacts. Not smart. And most marketers are not optimizing anything properly. Think of it this way ... you have an email marketing program ... do you want Giannis shooting a double-teamed 2 point shot or Brook Lopez shooting an open three pointer? You want the latter. Same thing in email marketing. You want the customer to get an email campaign that hasn't been crowded by three other email campaigns in the past thirty-six hours ... and you want to increase the odds of a purchase by personalizing the merchandise assortment to the customer.



Marketing Spacing is critically important. In our modern digital age, we bathe customers in a slurry of marketing contacts. It's not the right thing to do, we all do it, and we've got to install sports concepts into our marketing programs to avoid pummeling the customer.

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