The Sweet Science

“There’s a reason why boxing is called ‘the sweet science.’ Critics dismiss the sport as mindlessly barbaric, but where they see violence, those of us who understand and respect it see strategy. In fact, boxing is often compared to chess for the amount of strategic thinking it requires.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Marketing and boxing are similar. They both require long term commitment. And both require knowing your competitor.

“A boxer spends a lot of time analysing his own technique, but spends an equal amount of time analysing his competitor’s technique, too. Even when two fighters meet in the ring for the very first time, months before the match, in addition to their regular pre-dawn training in the gym and practice ring, the competitors spent hundreds of hours studying each other on film.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Long term commitment means trying out new methods and tracking progress through Google Analytics. We have Hootsuite installed on our social media accounts to keep track of how many students like or friend us on social.

The thinking here is to take the next step and start tracking the numbers of our opponents. Something difficult emerges here. Who are our opponents? Who are we challenging?

“Like great boxers, great storytellers are observant and self-aware. A great storyteller is keenly attuned to his audience; he knows when to slow down for maximum suspense and when to speed up for comic effect. He can sense when he’s losing people’s interest and can make adjustments to his tone or even to the story itself to recapture their attention. Online marketing requires the same kind of audience awareness, which we can achieve thanks to the tremendous data mining opportunities at our fingertips.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

The people who stand out as our opponents are those who seek to take away our resources.

I believe that our opponents are all the online clearing houses of unvetted employment opportunities.

Unfortunately the jobs are not vetted before they are posted on these online job boards and the students who seek out these jobs are ultimately disappointed. They only find out what they’ve gotten themselves into after they’ve signed all the paper work and have actually started the job.

Let’s find out more about our competitors to find their weaknesses and exploit them to drive up our numbers, make our customers aware of our competitive advantage, and provide our customers with a heart-warming story of obstacles, hard work, and solid employment.

Author: David Neely

Professional Software Developer. Technology and Web Coordinator at the University of Hawaii's Manoa Career Center.