Football & Marketing: The Uncanny Similarities – Part 1

With World Cup fever in full swing – comes the passion, the late nights, the high bar taps, the exhausting next morning at work and of course, the endless debate of who the GOAT is.

From underdogs like Iceland to strong contenders like Brazil and France, the World Cup is filled with excitement and uncertainty, and that is what draws people, both fans and casual viewers alike to watch this amazing game.

Through watching these games, we’ve found that behind every match, there are uncanny similarities & lessons between the game of football and marketing that we can all learn from.

So here starts our football & marketing series, a series of articles that will cover what we can learn from the game of football & our analysis of the upcoming world cup matches to get better at it (we hope!) and how they are also key points to a successful marketing strategy!

Have you ever had that friend who doesn’t get the game and thinks it’s just 22 guys chasing a ball?
Like how hard can that be right?

But the game of football is much more than that. It’s a combination of

  • Understanding your opponents
  • Understanding your team
  • Having the right people for the right positions,
  • Employing the right strategies
  • Every player properly understanding their role
  • A great team of coaches & staff ensuring everything goes properly

The same goes for marketing. Most people think that marketing is about creating random content, throwing it out on platforms on social media & third party sites and boom, SALES.

However, marketing is much more than that. Much like football, successful marketing requires:

  • Understanding of your target market & competitors
  • Understanding your own business and where you stand
  • Having the right people for the right jobs
  • Employing the right strategies
  • Everyone understanding that they have a role to play and play it well
  • Having a strong support team

Our first article today touches on understanding your competitors and how it plays a crucial role in winning!

Understanding your competitors

Teams prepare for their upcoming matches by watching tapes of their opponents and understand as much about them so as to draw up a strategy to counter their opponents.

Understanding their opponents’ strategies, finding out who their main threat and weaknesses are some of the things in general that teams go through scouting reports & videos.

It gives them time to prepare and adjust if necessary to come out of the match with one thing in mind, winning the game.

And in the same way for marketing, understanding your competitors is key as well. Learning about your competitors’ strategies, platforms, and target markets can help you understand the market better, spot gaps and target them, yielding far greater results. Below are some ways that you can do some research.

How can we understand your competitors?

Time to start some investigative work and roll those tapes because we’re going to teach you how to understand your competitors and hopefully spot gaps.

  1. Find out what platforms are they on

Understanding what platforms are they on are a good way to find out their digital exposure and also a brief insight into their target markets.

  1. Use sites like socialbakers for social media, semrush or ahrefs for google search and google trends to find out more about your competitors

Ask questions like:

  • Where are they posting content on?
  • Where can their products be found online?
  • How frequently do they post?
  • What are their following numbers like?

For e.g., a skincare company would most likely post on Instagram, 2-3 times a week and they have 2031 followers.

  1. Check out their content strategy

Understanding their content strategy allows you to see if what they are doing is receptive, successful and welcomed by their audience, and grants you some insight to your own.

Ask questions like:

  • What type of content are they posting?
  • What is the engagement levels like on average?

For e.g., this tuition centre posts content about their

  • Class schedules, class snippets
  • Giveaways
  • Testimonials of students
  • Their engagement levels on average are 60 likes. Their most liked post is 150 likes for a giveaway.
  1. Understand their business

Understand what their business is about, what they sell and their strengths and weaknesses and spot gaps, target them, and increase your chances of success.

Create the following:

  • STP Model (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning)
  • SWOT analysis

Here are some examples of STP modeling & SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis example

STP Model example


Understanding your opponents is the first of many steps towards winning in football and also in marketing. Though simple steps, they provide you with a strong overview of where your business stands and how you should navigate the platforms and come up with a very targeted strategy that maximizes results.

Our next article will cover about understanding your target market! Stay tuned for it and do join our mailing list if you want to stay updated for more articles & lessons like this in the future!

(Disclaimer: Our analysis of matches are based on our own opinion of the game and also similarities between marketing & football and may not be entirely correct.)

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