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Running to Set Up the Pass

November 16, 2010. Posted by johnf

Frizzera Ink is football crazy.

We’re located in Baltimore,  home of the Ravens and football is a subject that is near and dear to us. Get two Baltimoreans in a room and say the word “football” and you’ll be inunadated with plenty of advice, insights and a great deal of animosity for teams that wear black and gold.

Football talk is full of excellent idioms, metaphors and cliches. One of our favorites is “Running to set up the pass.” Running to set up the pass means establishing a ground game to wear opponents down, and then passing later after you’ve scored some points and established a rhythmn. It’s an excellent strategy and has gotten more than one team to the Super Bowl.

But this isn’t a football blog – but we ask this question of our clients to help them approach marketing from a different angle: “Is your marketing plan running to set up the pass?

Okay, we’ll explain. Your marketing plan is like a coach’s game plan – it shows everyone how the game is going to be played, where people are playing, and who is supposed to do what. The marketing parallel is the core of your plan – the message and how it’s going to be displayed, where, when and by whom. Consistency is the name of this game – the run game.

Running repeatedly is seen as predictable, but results-oriented. Fans want to see high, arcing passes whistling down field to wide receivers with afterburners for legs and the speed of a thousand leopards. Passing is sexy, and it provides quick, exciting results – but it can also result in game breaking interceptions.

Once your running game is established, and the message, branding, collateral, website, and all the rest are in place – then you can go to the air in the form of a splashy ad, cool giveaway, sponsorship of a major event – whatever has the “oooooh” factor.

A balance of running and passing makes for interesting football, and usually results in more wins than losses. Applying this kind of game plan to your marketing efforts should yield the same kind of results.

(Oh yeah, GO RAVENS!)

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