We’re a basketball family and the mindset my sons need to be successful on the court are no different than mine to enjoy a good day in the office. In this post below Amory Kelie, Basketballer and Global Director Organic Search at Adidas, describes three ways that his basketball influences his data driven approach to his digital career.
Basketball is all about staying one step ahead.
In a sport where agility is everything, it’s not enough to just be physical. You’ve got to think quicker and react smarter than your opponent. The right decision, made at the right time, can make all the difference.
When working in digital, the same principles hold true. I apply the skills that I developed on court to almost every aspect of my strategic thinking. To me, everyday is game day. And when the buzzer goes, this is what we set out to do;
Anticipate the play
One of the best ways to break down a defence is to create a successful diversion. But to do this, you need to understand how people react. This is the essence of my role at adidas.
My team has to attract as much organic traffic as possible from search engines to the website and app. By putting ourselves in the mind of the customer, we are better placed to understand the challenges they face across all stages of the consumer journey. This enables us to predict any problems they might encounter and apply solutions to ensure their needs are met.
Back at my desk I slip into the shoes of the consumer and take their journey to understand how to make it better.
Trust the game plan
Sometimes defence is so good that you just can’t find a way through, so what do you do? Give up? Or get creative?
When I started out in digital marketing, everything was completely new, so there were no real rules as to how things should be done. This forced me and my team to think outside the box in the way we approached challenges, which is how we’ve kept things ever since.
You see, it’s one thing to have data at your disposal. It’s another thing to make sense of it. We try to tell stories through the information we gather. Sometimes, these aren’t obvious at first. So we have to use our imagination to come up with the answer. Obviously we’ll make mistakes along the way. But by staying positive and trusting each other to learn and develop, we get there in the end.
Create on the fly
Of course, it’s not always an easy thing to determine. So we set prospective employees broad tasks to see how they react. It’s the equivalent of just giving someone the ball and seeing what they’ve got.
If they’ve got that ability to adapt, be flexible and spot the opportunity in every challenge, I know they’ll have what it takes to succeed.