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February 4, 2010

4 Ways Search Marketing is Like Super Bowl 44 (XLIV)

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Super Bowl XLIV kicks off in Miami this Sunday, and in the three hours that follow, cheers and jeers will explode across the country as America revels in its favorite pastime. Sure, noshing dip and screaming at a screen can be tiring, but the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints have their work cut out for them as they battle for the NFL Championship.

It got me to thinking that the journey to the Super Bowl is a lot like search marketing. So, in honor of Super Bowl XLIV (44), here are four ways the Super Bowl is like search marketing.

Super Bowl XLIV logo

1. Gotta Have a Game Plan

On Sunday, the Colts will try to take advantage of the Saints porous defense. The Saints, meanwhile, will try to get to Peyton Manning early and often, as they did against Brett Favre during the NFC Championship game. Both teams are going into the big game with a clear strategy — just like marketers need to compete online.

I hear it at conferences all the time. Someone in the audience asks something like: “Should I be posting videos on YouTube or on my site?” to which the panelist replies, “It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. What’s your goal?” Put the strategy in place and the individual plays will practically call themselves.

2. It’s a Team Effort

From big-name quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees to defensive rockstars Sedrick Ellis and Dwight Freeney, there could be no game if it weren’t for each and every vital member of the team. A search marketer, too, is not an island.

While a one-man SEO shop can work wonders in some situations, the typical scenario in Internet marketing requires cooperation and communication within a team. From IT to programming to design to copywriting, all members of the team need to commit to keeping their assignments. Similarly, the end zone might as well be a mile away if the front office folks don’t put together the pieces to win. Remember that you’re not fighting the good fight alone.

3. There are Favorites and There are Underdogs

The Colts will be making their fourth trip to the Super Bowl on Sunday while the Saints will be making their first. There will always be the favorite and the underdog in any game, but you better believe no one’s waving the white flag. The same is true in Internet marketing.

Yesterday I learned that an organization has filed with the FCC, calling for action on what they feel is Google’s bias against minority owned businesses. Here’s the thing. I don’t believe Google is intentionally biased against new entrants to the Web. Instead they’re working with the signals that are available to them. It’s time for businesses (especially small businesses that are late to the game) to study the competition, revamp the offense and beef up the defense. Google may have been on the blind side this whole time, but now it’s time to get into the game.

4. There’s More Than the Organic Field

When Sunday evening at 6:30 Eastern rolls around, America will grind to a halt in front of the nearest HD screen. And it won’t be because everyone in the country is a football fan. No, the Super Bowl has much to offer non-fans as well. There are the crazy advertisements everyone will be talking about around the water cooler on Monday. And there’s The Who’s upcoming halftime performance. The Super Bowl isn’t just about the football — it’s also about the spectacle.

In a way, the football game itself is like SEO, as search is the path that people use to navigate the Web. The million dollar commercials are like the Internet’s PPC ads, contextual ads, banner ads and so on. And maybe the fun of the halftime show is what marketers are trying to leverage with social media. They all meet unique needs and yet they all work together. Marketing is a holistic endeavor, reaching out to its audience in various creative ways.

Although, there’s one important difference between marketing and the Super Bowl that works to a marketer’s advantage. There are no false starts in search marketing so there’s nothing to wait for. Are you in the game?

[…I have no idea what any of that meant. Go team? —Susan]

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5 responses to “4 Ways Search Marketing is Like Super Bowl 44 (XLIV)”

  1. Lisa Barone writes:

    The Super Bowl means one thing and only one thing*: PUPPY BOWL!

    *unless the Patriots are playing.

  2. wheelchair lifts writes:

    Super bowl is real entertainment

  3. Levinson Axelrod writes:

    I agree with Lisa — Puppy Bowl for the win! Can’t wait for intense puppy love and war.

    Enjoyed your post. I agree with you 100%.

  4. Ryan writes:

    Great analogy Virginia.

    Without a game plan, you can’t possibly win the game. That’s where it all starts.

  5. matcut writes:

    Hi Virginia Nussey,

    this story Super bowl is really entertainment.



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