Winning the soccer / marketing game? Manage the team, not the players!

If we have learned one thing from this world cup soccer in South Africa … it’s the best team that wins, not the best selection of individual players. ‘Best’ in this context is than referred to by soccer analysts as well-balanced, working for each other, complementary, etc.

In contrast, psychologists have for long considered low self-esteem as the shortcoming of the individual players themselves. However, curing a player’s low self-esteem can only be done by taking into account the context of the team and the position of the player in that team. He will only feel better if the context in which he plays is better suited to expose his qualities.

Likewise, marketers have been trying to manage consumers as individual players, not teams. By pushing the message to a mass of individuals, they did improve their sales. However, if you pull the right strings of each of the diverse players of the team, the same goal will be reached far more efficiently. The SAM (social adoption mechanism) helps us to understand how such a team of players/consumers collaborates, following the rules of the game.

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