I’ve been “playing” fantasy football for over twenty years. As anyone who has ever participated in one of these leagues knows, the most fun part of the season is draft day. Not just because it’s the day you gather with friends to catch up, drink beer, and eat food you normally don’t touch anymore, but also to exhibit your knowledge of the players you are drafting to win your league.

If you don’t know anything about fantasy sports, what happens is a group of people take turns drafting players based on how they project they will score under that particular league’s point system. Each league can assess different values to a quarterback’s passing yardage, a running back’s touchdowns, or the difficulty of a made kick. Because I participate in two different leagues, the trick is to know how the scoring in that league is set up so I can draft the players who will record the most points every week.

At High10, our team has been working on a couple of digital marketing plans lately for clients in different industries. The recommendations we are making to each client based on their unique industries, objectives, and budgets reminds me of the different strategies I am employing for each of my two leagues influenced by their individual scoring systems.

Many of our first conversations with our clients involve their desire to show up higher on search engines ahead of their competition. Typically, this leads to questions about their overall business goals, internal strategies for achieving these objectives, and products or services they need to sell in order to be successful.

Whether it’s fantasy football or unique clients, we have to strategize differently according to each league (industry) if we want to win (or achieve 3-4x ROI). Always, the strategies are different, and not necessarily what was anticipated,  but with the expectation the payoffs are worth the investment.

In fantasy football or the real world, it’s also important to know how your competition thinks in order to win. Effective digital marketing strategies call for focused strategies that are aimed at converting prospects into clients – not just showing up in the same places as the competition and waiting for your share of impressions and clicks.

Don’t set your digital marketing strategy to “auto draft” the tactics you will employ. Before you invest money in digital marketing, or fantasy football, you should have reasonable goals in mind, an understanding as to the implications of your actions, and a working knowledge of your industry and competition to improve your odds for the desired payout.