What Ted Lasso Can Teach Us About Marketing

By | August 21, 2023

Have you finished watching this season of Ted Lasso? For a country that is just starting to get on board with Soccer (or Football, if you will), it captured the enthusiasm of many people here in the States. If I had to put my finger on the IT Factor, I would wager it’s the optimism and positivity that so often can feel cheesy but, in Ted’s case, is entirely authentic and endearing.

In this latest season, Ted adopts a style of play called Total Football, defined as “an attacking style of play in which every outfield player can play in any position as required during the course of a game.” In other words, the player’s roles are fluid, allowing for versatility and unpredictability. If you’d like to learn more, FIFA has a complete history.

Somewhat predictably, this turns the season around for Ted’s team. Based on three principles, with a bonus fourth added by Ted, it struck me that the philosophy translates perfectly to our marketing efforts.

Principle #1: Conditioning

For an athlete, this is training your body to prepare for a high level of play. When it comes to marketing, conditioning is the work you put in before launching a campaign, and like an athlete, your goals determine how you prepare.

If you aim to get faster, you don’t necessarily start bulking up and doing serious weightlifting. Likewise, if your marketing goal is to raise your profile in your town, you don’t buy an ad in a trade journal!

So, here are a few questions to consider as you start your marketing conditioning:

  • What are your overall goals? (uncovering new prospects, growing your social media reach, becoming a subject matter expert, increasing revenue…)
  • Where do the people you are attempting to reach get their information? (social media platforms, the internet, newspapers, radio, tv…)
  • What is important to the audience you are attempting to reach?
  • What is your budget?
  • How will you track ROI?

Principle #2 Versatility

Versatility is at the heart of Total Football and is defined as the ability for players to step out of assigned roles to meet challenges and step up to meet the goal (pun totally intended!).

When it comes to marketing campaigns, versatility is also necessary. If we are placing campaigns on multiple channels, such as print magazines, LinkedIn ads, and Google ads, each requires different design and messaging. For example, a magazine ad offers the opportunity for more storytelling, Google ads present an excellent opportunity for video, and LinkedIn ads should be brief and to the point. However, all of these mediums should look cohesive and support your overall branding. If someone sees your ad in a magazine, is served an ad on LinkedIn, and finally goes to your website, all of these pieces should relate to one another and support your overall goal and messaging.

Now is also a smart time to think about what your marketing materials look like. If it includes a stock photo of two people meeting, shaking hands, or looking at a computer together, it looks like a lot of other advertising in the financial services realm. This is an opportunity to set yourself apart. Can you be humorous, use a more vibrant color palette, more playful fonts, or imagery? Think about what can distinguish your ad from the myriad of other ads selling the same services that you are. Maybe consider engaging a marketing professional and particularly one who hasn’t done work in your field. That will provide the opportunity for fresh eyes and perspective.

Principle #3 Awareness

On the pitch (the field for football novices), awareness is being connected to everything going on, both with your teammates and the opposing team.

In marketing, awareness comes in several forms.

  1. Be aware of the competition. What are your competitors doing for their marketing? How are they engaging prospects and current clients? What is their messaging, and where is it placed?
  2. Keep tabs on how your marketing is doing. Use the analytic tools that social media platforms and Google provide. Link tracking is a great option to monitor how different types of online engagements perform – Bitly has an article explaining more about the process.

A big piece of awareness connects back to versatility. Don’t be afraid to tweak your messaging and approach, particularly if you aren’t seeing the results you want after 2-3 months of being in market with your campaign. However, a word of warning, marketing efforts can take some time to produce results, so patience is necessary.

Principle #4 Believe

Believe is Ted’s added principle that guides him and his team throughout the series, and it absolutely connects with marketing.

If you do the work on the front end, research, invest the proper resources, and, make tweaks when necessary, you have no reason not to believe in your marketing campaign.

Ted Lasso quote about riding a horse



About the Author/Host

Leigh Frank

Leigh Frank - Director of Marketing

Leigh is the director of marketing for the PT Services Group. In this role, she creates engaging thought leader content, manages PT’s advertising and marketing initiatives, and works to ensure The PT Services Group is the premier Trust-Based Appointment Setting company for the financial services, insurance, and MSP industries.

Join Our Conversation