I’ve been a football fan for over 30 years (forgive me, I’m an Arsenal fan) but, about 10 years ago, I decided that my heart needed even more stress, so I started playing Fantasy Premier League. What started out as a passion soon turned into an obsession.
But this isn’t FPL Anonymous, so let me move past acknowledging my problems and tell you more about the now global game and why it’s closer to marketing planning than you might otherwise think.
What exactly is Fantasy Premier League?
Fantasy Premier League, more commonly known by players as FPL, is a free-to-play game that involves you picking 15 players from the Premier League to make up your squad during the season.
The players you pick will score you points based on their performance during each match, with goalkeepers and defenders scoring additional points for clean sheets and all outfield players gaining you points for any goals scored or assists made.
This can often lead to FPL players asking friends the infamous question of “who got the assist?” If you’re sitting in the pub and watching a match, listen out; it’s highly likely you’ll hear someone ask this very question!
These players can be transferred in and out at your mercy throughout the season and it’s down to you each week to choose the starting line-up and which players have to warm the bench. This can often mean you benching the wrong players and looking at all their points waving at you from the side lines without any hope of them counting towards your weekly score.
So, what can this game teach you about marketing? Read on to find out why FPL is more similar to marketing planning than you would think.
FPL is all about planning for the future – just like developing a marketing strategy
Before each football season starts, you will have weeks to prepare your fantasy team. Any FPL players will know just how agonising it is to select a team with absolutely no current data to base your decisions on. But you can still use historic information to enhance your decision-making.
Look at how the players performed in previous seasons; who overperformed, who perhaps underperformed, and who plays for a top side that will be hoping to mount a title challenge and therefore be a strong choice?
If there’s a player that has good stats but nobody else seems to be going for, picking them could give you a massive advantage over your mini-league rivals or colleagues if that player starts the season well. Likewise, you will make decisions throughout the season that are based around previous and current form.
Creating and following a marketing strategy is no different. Look at what’s working for your competitors and see if you can do the same. Conversely, is there a gap in the market or an area of marketing that your competitors aren’t doing that could give you an edge?
Similarly, it’s also important that you carry out due diligence and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the different marketing options available to you. You can use historic information to assess whether hiring a particular marketing agency is the best option for you. Check whether the company has plenty of positive reviews and if they offer you absolutely everything you will need. It’s also important to know if they are always available to speak to, either in person or over the phone.
This is the same with picking players in FPL; are people flocking to a particular player in their droves, and has that player been performing incredibly well recently? If so, it could be worth putting them into your team.
It’s essential that you are flexible and aware that things can change at any time
Just like in FPL (and football in general), outside factors can affect your marketing at a moment’s notice. All your planning can go completely out of the window if the player you spent the entire week agonising over and then brought into your team gets injured five minutes into his next game.
Likewise, in business, your company focus could suddenly have to change if you spot a gap in the market that you quickly need to exploit.
Planning is absolutely essential but so is being flexible and adaptable. It’s one of the main reasons why it’s important to work with an experienced marketing company that knows how best to implement strategy changes or adapt to changing markets quickly.
Maintaining a fine balance is key
When picking your team in FPL, it’s important to have a nice balance between the exciting and big-hitting players (the likes of Erling Haaland, Mo Salah, and Harry Kane) and the more “boring” picks that will slowly but surely rack up points for you over the season without looking as flashy or impactful (think Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope, or Ben White for instance).
Choosing the right marketing strategy for your business is no different. For example, your website is the big flashy player that you spend a huge chunk of your budget on because it’s exciting.
That said, your regular monthly content may seem less exciting but it’s just as important as this can quietly and regularly generate you interest and potential enquiries too.
Don’t rage-transfer a player out of your team – or cut out certain marketing without giving it a chance
Many FPL players have been in the situation where they transfer in a player, said player performs badly for two gameweeks, and they then “rage-transfer” that player out; all that planning and thought process thrown away after just two weeks. While it’s important to not do this in FPL, it is just as important to utilise the same strategy with your marketing.
Just because a certain aspect of your marketing strategy hasn’t worked yet, it doesn’t mean that it won’t. After all, there could be any number of external factors that have played a part in any underperformance.
It’s important to think clearly about your marketing and not to make hasty decisions; again, this is why working with a professional marketing company is vital as they can advise you and help guide you towards the best solution for your circumstances.
Get in touch
While we certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone to take on the obsession-creating beast that is Fantasy Premier League, we would advise you to speak to us if you are looking for high quality written content that’s proven to capture the attention of readers, as well as bringing real value to your business.
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