Powerball vs. Moneyball Marketing: Part I

February marks the slow transition from pro football to Major League Baseball, and while dissecting Superbowl advertising and Theo Epstein’s off-season maneuvers, my thoughts gave way to a new view of marketing in 2009. I’ll characterize it this way, "There are two kinds of marketing executives in the world — Powerball marketers and Moneyball marketers.

Powerball marketers cross their fingers and hope for great outcomes
Take the Denny’s Free Grand Slam campaign, an effort to drive trial and traffic for the restaurant chain. The number of people who visited dennys.com increased twenty-fold immediately after the Superbowl, but consumer interest since then has receded all the way back to pre-advertising levels.

Can a single Grand Slam be so remarkable that consumers remember to choose it over closer, more familiar alternatives? This seems like a big bet with Powerball odds.

Moneyball marketers start with data and then engineer the outcomes they want
Moneyball is the opposite of Powerball. The basic concept is that the conventional wisdom about creating championship-caliber baseball franchises is patently wrong and that several less familiar statistics can be used to predict success.

Want to see how Hulu has become the moneyball advertiser of early 2009? Check out the first of Compete’s monthly posts on MediaPost.

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