In light of the new Michael Jordan documentary that came out this year, “The Last Dance,” a quote a quote stuck out for me from the greatest basketball player of all time, “I never lost a game. I just ran out of time.” 

As marketing people, when we’re constructing our messaging, funnels and ads, we always ask “Will this convert? Will everything we create help us achieve what we want our audience to do?” Whether the conversion is a purchase, receiving a lead, driving traffic, building engagement, that’s really our end goal. Will it work? 

The biggest game changer about digital marketing is the ability for advertisers to measure performance. 

With traditional print marketing, it’s hard to tell what’s working and what’s not working. What is a waste of marketing dollars and what’s helping us. Did the mailer we just send communicate what we needed to communicate or is it in the bin? You’ll never know. 

With digital, we can measure every aspect of our audiences interactions with the ad creative, copy and site. Now instead of just creating pretty pictures or clever copy, we can actually play the game of adjustments. The best advertisers know that the first launch of a campaign is just version 1.0, after a few days of running campaigns, we know exactly where users drop off with our brand, whether that’s in the initial introductory ad level, or on the site. We know which type of creative they like and which copy drives action. We can make adjustments as we need to reach the healthiest conversion funnel path. 

And so did Jordan. MJ made adjustments to his style of play as the game progressed. If the best player on the other team was in foul trouble, he would drive right into that player knowing he’s playing cautiously to not get another foul. If the player defending him was shorter than him, he would call for the ball and shoot right over him. He was reading the game, making adjustments and executing. Successful digital advertisers can read the metrics, make adjustments, execute, and with experience, know when to do this at the right time. 

Understand the digital marketing game is a game of adjustments! Take in the data, make adjustments and repeat.