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Marketing and Management Tips from March Madness

UConn-celebrate-2014-National-title TAKEAWAY THURSDAY Take it away! This is the eleventh in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” —Michael Jordan Jordan’s perspective on what it takes to win championships seems a propos as March Madness came to a close Monday with the championship game between the Connecticut Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats. What separated these two teams from the 68 others that qualified for the tournament? According to CNN.com reporters Ralph Ellis and Matt Smith, “Neither team was expected to make it this far. Kentucky was a No. 8 seed in its region, while Connecticut was No. 7.” One could argue that they just got lucky, but I tend to agree with Jonathan Moran’s observation that “the teams that go deep in the tournament year after year play as a cohesive unit.” Moran, senior product marketing manager for SAS Customer Intelligence Platform Solutions, recently broke down Jordan’s three components for success— talent, teamwork and intelligence—from  a marketer’s perspective, but I think they apply to almost every area of your association. Here’s a brief summary. Talent: What happens to star players who aren’t surrounded by a capable squad? They become demoralized; they can't win by themselves and they can't get the support they need. Star marketers without the right team or tools get just as frustrated. Starved for resources, their marketing projects and programs fall short—or fail to get off the ground.
Teamwork: To win ballgames, you have to work together. Lots of talent doesn’t guarantee you'll win the highly contested games. The teams that win can sustain a high level of performance for 40 or more minutes 3-4 days in a row—without faltering. But working hard doesn't always mean working smart. Does your marketing team get trapped by disjointed efforts or wild shots? How do you improve on how you are working as a team today? It's a combination of managing time, resources, and technology efficiently. Intelligence: Where does intelligence show up in collegiate athletics this time of year? You'll see the top teams using all the information around them to make smart decisions. [The best teams] combine talent with exceptional coaching and diligent study of the tapes to win championships and perform at a high level year after year. …Teamwork and intelligence lift everyone up a level; that's how you build a national contender in college hoops and a global contender in business. If you take just a moment to consider these three elements, you’ll likely see some clear analogies within your association’s culture. It’s not a bad time of year to think about how well your team plays together and whether they are headed for a championship.
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