Real Madrid success in soccer. A lesson in patience.
If you are a sports fan or, better yet, a soccer fan – this blog is for you! As business owners we, at some point in time, want to expand our market. It would be prudent to do so and not remain in a market that could dry up or saturate. If you started a campaign and are wondering, “When are my leads going to show up?” or “How come my phone is not ringing?”, the secret is in the sauce. Let me explain.
To put things in perspective, however, I am going to draw similarities with a sport I have played all my life – soccer. One of the most successful soccer teams in Europe this year is by all means Real Madrid. Even though they are a powerhouse club, they have been recently struggling to make it to the big stage – until now. How did they do it?
Let’s look at their investment strategy:
During the 2009–10 season, Real Madrid made €150 million through ticket sales, which was the highest in top flight football. Real Madrid had the highest number of shirt sales a season, around 1.5 million.
For the 2010–11 season its wage bill totaled €169 million, which was second highest in Europe behind FC Barcelona. However its wage bill to turnover ratio was the best in Europe at 43%, ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal F.C. at 46% and 50% respectively. (Wiki Leaks)
But what generates this profit? What drives people to convert as loyal Real Madrid fans? Their content, of course – team success. In 2009, Real Madrid invested €80 million into the transfer of power forward Cristiano Ronaldo making him, at the time, the highest paid soccer player in the world. However, after his signing the team struggled in tournaments and failed to win a title. The team did not convert to earn a league title until 2011-12.
So they decided to sell a few of their assets, like form River Plate Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain, midfielder and German national team player Mesut Özil, and Brazilian midfielder Kaká. The club also purchased another Argentine midfielder Angel diMaria to develop into the club. Soon after, results started coming. The club then made another risky investment in a rising star from Whales, Gareth Bale, for a record €100 million, making him THE most expensive paid soccer player in history!
With all new playing assets on the field, still success was lagging so a change in management was called for. In June 2013, former Milan and Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti signed to be Madrid’s director tecnico for a 3 year contract. The stage was set and soon, in just less than a year at the helm, Real Madrid won the league title this past week and have qualified in the semi-finals round of the prestigious EuroChampion’s League.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Many times, business models need to be broken, remodeled and engineered to bring about a desired outcome. Above all, the organization needs a vision and a leader who can communicate that vision to the team.
Content marketing works in much the same way. Aside from being a start-up, many businesses have a proven business model. But for some reason, you start seeing dips in your profits. You then discover that the landscape has changed, your customer habits are not the same, or your target market has shifted.
Some of the things to keep in mind with content marketing ROI is the process involved. Don’t get fooled into thinking people will read your article because you think it’s GREAT CONTENT. Your method and tools are fundamental to the success of a good inbound marketing strategy. By this I mean, you need resources and software that can pull-off the inbound product. It is helpful to know your content but more resourceful is connecting with someone that can steer you in the right direction such as a consultant or experienced marketer. Other than creativity and experience, you will want the right software in place that have proven metrics.
It will take time and persistence. Content marketing is a lot like investments in your key players – just because they are individually great players doesn’t mean they can get on the field and produce results. Content needs time to talk to the search engines, rank for keywords, the design has to reach your audience, the platform has to integrate well with your analytics, and your website has to have good content flow connected to your campaign.
All of the implementation is worth it but the results will not appear over night. One thing is for certain, you will be seen online and you will attract your audience and convert leads. Both are a worthy goal of reaching. If you don’t have a list of subscribers on your blog or have been contemplating starting a content marketing campaign ask yourself these two questions. “Where are my consumers learning the most about what I do?” “Are they learning about how to resolve their issues from an independent source or my competition?” Your investment in content marketing will pay back the dividends and more if you work it and have a good plan.