A marketer’s guide to the England World Cup squad

The FIFA World Cup is finally here. And while we’re excited for the football, we’re looking for the marketing angle in all this. It’s how we’re wired.

We thought we’d struck gold with the word ‘goals’. But, no. Too obvious.

Next it was ‘conversions’. Genius. But it turns out that’s just rugby.

Then we found the link. What if we use traditional marketing channels to introduce the England national football team?

Just go with us on this.

There was an office debate about which players we thought we were. We looked at every tenuous link possible, and more. Here’s what we came up with.

This is Red Hot Penny’s ‘Marketer’s Guide to the England World Cup squad’.

England Football Team Marketing Channels - 4 Eric Dier SEO

Channel: Organic Search

England Star: Eric Dier

Strengths: Eric Dier is as reliable as they come. You’ll find him sitting in front of England’s defence, breaking up play and stopping attackers from getting through on goal. It’s his consistent presence, like SEO activity, that makes him a pain for the opposition. And your presence on SERPs, in local results and rich results makes it hard for your competition to come in and disrupt.

Weaknesses: The key to Organic Search is patience. Like the England midfielder, Organic Search isn’t known for its pace, and it’s not a quick fix. And just like you won’t see Eric Dier flying down the wings, you’re not going to see instant results from Organic Search activity. But SEO activity is key to any strategy – it does the dirty work that lets other players/channels shine.


England Football Team Marketing Channels - 9 Harry Kane Digital PR


Channel: Digital PR

England star: Harry Kane

Strengths: The glamour player. England captain Harry Kane always gets the press coverage for his outstanding performances. He’s the star player of the team. Digital PR will get you that media placement – right in front of an invested audience who want to hear every word you have to say.

Weaknesses: The reality with star players is that they cost. When a player is making headlines for their contribution it doesn’t go unnoticed. If you want the glory players who’ll give you the best results, you have to give something back to those top influencers. And when Harry Kane wins that next golden boot award you can expect that chat about a pay rise.

England Football Team Marketing Channels - 10 Sterling Content

Channel: Content

England star: Raheem Sterling

Strengths: You can’t take your eyes off Raheem Sterling. The tricky forward dances past players and shows lightning speeds that are amazing to watch. He’s the flash player that draws in the crowds. And when you’re after views, awareness, clicks and more, it’s content that gets people’s attention. Once the fan’s through the door, it’s easier to draw them to everything else you have to offer.

Weaknesses: Raheem Sterling isn’t always judged on the things he really offers to a team. Fans who look only at Sterling’s goal count or assists tally, ignore his true value. Brand awareness content at the top of the funnel typically assists conversions, although it might not be the last touchpoint – just as Sterling might dribble past 5 players and make the pass to a player who gets the final assist.

England Football Team Marketing Channels - 2 Kyle Walker PPC

Channel: PPC

England star: Kyle Walker

Strengths: Kyle Walker is making his name as one of the best fullbacks in world football. The defender’s £50 million move to Manchester City – who won the Premier League with him in their side – goes to show that it pays to buy the best talent. And with PPC, it can be rewarding to invest more in the channel. The more you put in to Pay Per Click campaigns can mean the more you get out.

Weaknesses: A player with the speed and attacking mindset of Kyle Walker needs to be managed carefully. Without discipline and knowledge, the fullback could play every game out of position and leave a leak in the defence. PPC campaigns need the right management too. Not just anyone can get the most out of each campaign – you need to know when to adjust bids, just like Walker needs to know when to attack and when to defend.

England Football Team Marketing Channels - 10 Jamie Vardy Paid Social

Channel: Paid social

England star: Jamie Vardy

Strengths: Jamie Vardy’s always making headlines. The striker has broken records in the Premier League, and his house party hosted after Leicester City won the league made him an iconic figure off the field too. Paid social campaigns will create a similar buzz. Targeted ads appear in people’s feeds, and they’re hard to keep your eyes off.

Weaknesses: As with anyone in the spotlight, you’re going to attract some unsavoury comments. People like to focus on Vardy’s off-field lifestyle rather than his achievements on the pitch. And any paid social campaign is open to the same treatment. Online, people see it as fair game to take a swipe at brands – especially on social media.

England Football Team Marketing Channels - Gareth Southgate Insights

Channel: Insights

England star: Gareth Southgate (Manager)

Strengths: England manager Gareth Southgate is the man with the plan – he picks the team, formation, tactics and makes in-game adjustments with substitutions. And insights are the brains of any marketing strategy. They inform everything we do. Insights make sure campaigns are relevant to KPIs, and they measure performance so we’re always using the best performing channels – just as Gareth Southgate needs to pick in-form players.

Weaknesses: Insights, like the manager, are rarely seen as glamorous. It’s the players that grab the glory in the England team, and when it comes to marketing it’s often the vibrant landing pages, promotional videos and ads that get the converting click that take the accolades. But the football purists know there’d be nothing without a manager. And we know there’d be no successful campaigns without insights.

Football teams need to be adaptable to be successful. Sometimes it takes teamwork, and other times it just needs one player to shine – just like marketing channels. KPIs determine which channels you should be looking to use, and it might be a stand-alone service or a bigger integrated campaign. Get in touch to find out which marketing channels can work for you.