How Moneyball Can Improve Your Marketing Efforts

It’s late October and the World Series has the Astros and Braves vying for the title (not our collective favorite teams, but that’s a different story).

You may have already seen where our own Vic Sun has referred to OneLeg’s philosophy as being akin to Moneyball—that’s the nickname for Sabermetrics, which is the empirical analysis of baseball statistics that measure in-game activity. For more than a century, fans have been reading box scores and following batting averages and ERAs as a way to further try to understand and enjoy the sport.

While statistics have been a part of baseball since its inception, the premise of Moneyball is now often cited in business as a differentiator (and marketing efforts in particular).

In baseball, there’s a statistic that defines a “Quality Start” — when a starting pitcher pitches at least six innings and allows three earned runs or fewer. The quality start statistic helps quantify results.

Ultimately, the statistic that matters most in business is sales, just as in baseball the goal is wins. But understanding how you get to sales/wins is important, especially when you’re reporting to a client or owner. Our contention is that it’s about incremental improvements to each element of the campaign that leads to success. 

We get better, day-by-day, by making incremental improvements to the elements that make up our campaigns. What is the best time to run ads? What’s the best time for posting to Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? Does content “A” work better than content “B”. We look at the data to tell us why, then we make the changes to improve the posts or ads. We continuously monitor and adjust these factors not only by looking at results, but also the elements that cause certain actions and reactions.

Can we improve results by one percent per day? This Moneyball philosophy lies at the heart of much of what we do. While we are a creative bunch, we also test the hell out of everything. This A/B testing takes patience and focus. Not all business owners are comfortable with the approach. But, in case you don’t have unlimited resources and personnel, it may be your best way forward. This tweaking and testing allows us to focus on incremental improvements, which lead to greater improvements overall. 

We know it’s hard to not be solely focused on results and goals. But, you need to enjoy the small wins so that you do not get side-tracked. While your “goal” may have been to set 10 appointments per day, you were able to grow from one to three per day in the last month. That’s improvement that can be built on.

We believe it’s a much better approach to obtain sustainable and consistent results. It’s good to have goals, but we think it’s marrying those goals with elements that you can improve upon and focus on and get those quick wins that lead to goals being achieved.

Continuous improvement is nothing new. The Kaizen concept of continuous improvement, helps define the Toyota brand. They engineer and test things for years and years before it is deemed acceptable for customers. We don’t advocate taking years to test and re-test tactics, but looking for incremental improvement to the elements that go into a strategy ultimately pays off in the long run.

It really is about focusing at the element level and incremental improvement. As an example, Vic tells the story from his childhood when he was learning martial arts. He was a big Bruce Lee fan and even back then his Taekwondo coach would tell him he didn’t need to learn 52 kicks—just the three kicks that he could perfect. This made him a formidable opponent to larger foes who may have known way more kinds of kicks. “You look at the element that you can improve and then you just keep hitting on that,” says Vic.  

This incremental improvement and focus on the elements you can continuously improve upon is at the heart of Moneyball, in both sports and marketing. Of course, these are not the only areas of focus when it comes to your marketing efforts, but it’s a great place to start. Just like in baseball, we believe in statistics and how to use them to improve your marketing efforts.

Want to learn more about how OneLeg can put Moneyball to work for you and your business? Contact us HERE to start a conversation.

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