Marketing as a Game of Chess

Edan Gelt

What is marketing strategy and what do strategists do? I feel like I’ve answered this question so many ways but defining it through the game of Chess is my ultimate favorite.

Marketing is the act of taking a look at your business from a 500-foot level. In comparison to Chess, the board is your marketplace (or your business) depending on how you want to play, and the goal is to either capture your clients or maybe it’s to remove your competitors (depending on your 500-ft view).

So how is Chess like Marketing Strategy?

Goal: Checkmate an opponent’s king

Strategy: I’ll open with “X strategy of opening moves” and attempt to control the middle of the board. Protect my king.

Tactics: I will move my knight here to respond to you moving your pawn.

Do Opponents Moves Change Strategy?

Like Chess, even with the ultimate strategic plan, you can’t always control your opponent’s moves so your strategy needs to be nimble enough to account for the unexpected.

Referring to the above example, I’ve created a mock client. Assuming, I am the owner of my own football stadium (don’t I wish) and I’ve set my goal, objective, strategies and tactics as below:

Goal: Increase NOI

Objective*: Increase attendance and food sales

Strategy: Offer promotional prices for pre-season buyers

Incorporate a ticket/food combo plan

Tactics: Send email newsletter to attendees of last seasons games

Create social media ad for my target audience (research zip codes of prior attendees to establish list)

Create special offer of ticket/food and send out postcards to existing attendee database to upgrade ticket to combo

Place media on X,X,X radio stations promoting pre-season prices and food combo.

Buy bus backs and billboards in markets whose demos match fans.

Looking at the above – the marketer creates strategies and tactics that match the goal of the company (increase NOI) and coordinates the mediums and professionals that will go into making the plan a success.

Going back to the game of chess, imagine the plan is in the implementation stage and the weather has been rainier and cooler than expected leading up to pre-season. Ticket sales aren’t moving. Food sales are no longer important – it’s time to change the strategy and tactics.

Move queen, reevaluate strategy and adjust the tactical plan.

Goal: Increase NOI

Objective*: Increase attendance and ancillary gear sales

Strategy: Offer promotional prices for pre-season buyers

Incorporate a ticket/gear combo plan

Offer rain or snow gear with ticket prices (branded umbrellas, rain sticks, hats, gloves, etc)

Tactics: Send email newsletter to attendees of last season’s games

Create social media ad for my target audience (research zip codes of prior attendees to establish list)

Create special offer of ticket/gear and send out postcards to existing attendee database to upgrade ticket to combo

Place media on X,X,X radio stations promoting pre-season prices and gear combo.

Buy bus backs and billboards in markets which demos match fans.

Once you have your marketplace set up and you enter it, time to play!

The Social Experiment -Social Media 101

Two weeks ago, I tried a social experiment.  I attempted to brand myself as a fitness expert.  I’m 40 years old (maybe 41 but who’s counting), I can’t run worth anything and I would not be considered athletic by any stretch of the imagination.  Regardless, I wanted to try my hand at building a brand and using only organic ways to do it.

Edan Gelt

In the corporate world, I was never truly trained in social media.  I mean, I went to social media conferences, I attended a certification class at U of I  (I’m certified in digital marketing) and read countless articles on the importance of brand building in the social environment.

When I went off on my own, I sold social media as a skill but did I really know what I was doing?  I kept up on the social changes but honestly, I didn’t have a clue.  I posted on FB daily like any social gal should do but my impressions sucked.  Even when I linked the social content across multiple platforms.  I would have 500 followers on a page and get like 30 impressions – blah.

Thankfully I had a friend who spent countless hours with me showing me the importance of linking, building unique content, introducing me to new platforms and convincing me to lose all inhibition and go “all out” – (which later included publicly pole dancing but you can only find that on my social platforms – take a peak).

I set up a Tumblr blog on edanjoygelt.com and began visiting studios and writing opinions on each visit.  Because the content was unique, it was already a win.  But once it was posted on Tumblr – then what?  It was going nowhere unless someone knew it existed.

I then curated the content through Scoop.it to social platforms I had set up, which gave me a little more power but still, nothing to write home about.

The biggest key was Facebook – I started a Joy of Fitness page https://www.facebook.com/edanjoyfitness/, then I tagged everything with my name #fitnessmom #joyoffitness and then also with my name Edan Gelt and Edan Joy Gelt (so it would share across my personal content as well).

I invited everyone I knew, I added friends and asked them to do the same.  This exercise landed me 200+ followers.  Pressure was on!

I started a twitter page, a google plus page and more and began curating my original content on tumblr, sweeping it up through scoop.it to and sharing it across the platforms.  I’m still struggling with tagging on scoop.it so I some times just post direct for my own unique content.

The fitness locations I would write about would also share my facebook page posts – and why wouldn’t they, it promotes the studios too.  The result – the Facebok fitness posts and reviews would sometimes get up to 1700 views!  But wait – I only had 200 followers, how could this be?

This is how organic social works.  The content was unique, the sharing told FB it was interesting and the engagement confirmed it with some sort of top secret FB algorithm.  This shows up organically in people’s feed without paying for ads.

I’m still learning and I’m only on my 11th post but I thought I would share my first ever social experiment.  Stay tuned for more!

By:  Edan Gelt CMD MBA

Originally posted on http://edangelt.com/post/157502587301/social-media-training-101