If you don’t know already, then yes, I am a fan of the greatest football club in the world – Manchester United.
While some will argue about the ‘greatest’ statement, this post is not about glorifying my beloved team, but more about what it takes to be a winning marketer.
But still, there is this little fact about Man United being the most successful English football club. And they didn’t get there just by playing awesome football. There are other elements at play, based on my humble opinion:
Manchester United’s most successful period have been under Sir Alex Ferguson. He is a manager, mentor, tactician, dictator and most of a believer. The person leading any marketing effort must not only be good at what he does, but also believe in the product or service.
The ‘never say die’ attitude that is legendary of Manchester United players have brought them back from many lost causes. When you think your marketing efforts aren’t working, you got to persevere. Employ different tactics, ask the right questions and take some risks.
In this hurry-burry world of instant success and overnight miracles, it seems there is no time for patience. Alex Ferguson was appointed manager in 1986 and will take 4 seasons to win his first trophy, the FA Cup. And another 3 seasons more to end a 26-year league title drought. Don’t expect your marketing efforts to bring you instant results. Time is your ally; monitor, enhance and tweak constantly.
4. Perfection is an Illusion
Man United have played a total of 4,318 leagues games as at 11 March 2012. Of that they have won 2,061, drawn 1034 and lost 1223. That’s not even a 50% winning rate, and yet they have a record 19 league championships. Don’t strive to get everything perfect on your marketing plan, but fine-tune along the way to achieve success.
5. Money Isn’t Everything
In 2006, after losing the league to Chelsea for 2 consecutive years, United only spent 16 million pounds to bring in Michael Carrick. Chelsea by contrast spent over 60 million pounds and will go on to lose the league to Man United for the next 3 seasons. Having a big budget is great, but spending it on nonsense is not.