Over the last two weeks or so there have been several developments that are bringing the business of fantasy sports into question. For those not familiar with fantasy sports, it is a form of gaming in which performance statistics from athletes in professional sporting events are used as the competitve measure.  One example of fantasy sports involves friends and family members create a fantasy league, where they each select athletes from a real professional sports league, such at the National Football League (NFL), to form their own team. Teams then compete in season-long, head-to-head matches and the winner is determined based on  athletes' sports performance statistics in a real professsional event (e.g., NFL game). Many of these leagues are so-called “cash leagues,” where participation requires paying a fee to play and at the end of the season the top winners earn money. While fantasy started as a friends-and-family activity, it has now grown into a big-time business with major brands, such as ESPN and Yahoo, offering products to help fantasy players and to assist with league management.

The ability to fully understand how their customers feel about products and services is the hallmark of successful marketing organizations. To get to this point often means marketers need control over nearly all factors that will eventually impact customers’ satisfaction with their purchase. But “nearly all factors” means there are some the marketer cannot control. For instance, many external factors are outside of marketers’ control.

Certainly marketers do control the products they develop and the promotions they create, but they have less control on other marketing decisions. For instance, most companies selling consumer goods in retail stores cannot control how retailers price the product or where the product is placed in the stores.

Older Folks Taking to Social MediaThe Marketing Blog portion of KnowThis.com has been a key part of our website since 2009. Recently we did a review of the topics we have covered and, to our surprise, one of the most covered topics is social media. In 2015 alone, nearly 20% of our postings have focused on some element of social media, such as its importance for grocery stores and on public relations. Considering the number of times we have addressed social media, we were surprised to discover social media is not one of our blog category tags. Well, today that oversight has been corrected.  Over the next few days we will be going through all of our past posts and add this tag where it is relevant. By doing so, we expect the Social Media blog category tag will, in a very short period, rank as one of our highest numbered tags.