Lou’s Way & How It Applies To Marketing
Date: February 16, 2016
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Lou Lamoriello is widely regarded as one of the best general managers to ever work in the National Hockey League. He took the New Jersey Devils from a being a “Mickey Mouse” organization (as Wayne Getzky once put it), to being a Stanley Cup championship team in less than 10 years. He did so on the basis of this theory explained to a young Ken Daneyko..

“Let me tell you something. I like my team being like an orchestra. In order to make beautiful music, you need violinists, pianists, and you need drummers as well.” Then he paused. “What category do you think you fall in there?” … And I [Ken Daneyko] growled, “Drummer.” “Exactly,” he said. “If you wanna be a violinist, I will find another team that needs a violinist. … But for us to make good music, I need you to be a drummer and play your role here.”
[Lou’s Method – The Player’s Tribune]

If you’re wondering what the hell Lou’s speech to Kenny has to do with the marketing, I’ll tell you. Your campaigns need to play like an orchestra, each piece playing it’s part, or they won’t work. Lou was smart enough to know that one person wasn’t enough to win a championship. Likewise, one piece of content, one email or one landing page isn’t enough to get the job done. All of the pieces in your campaign have to work together in order for it to be successful.

I’ve noticed that people tend to break down campaigns and look at them as separate pieces. There are emails, there are landing pages and there are banner ads. How often do you remember to put all the pieces side-by-side and make sure they work together before you launch?

In order to make beautiful music, you have to consider the pieces of the campaign a team, not just separate items. Sure, you want each piece to be great on it’s own but that means nothing if it does not work well within the group.


Just as a hockey game begins at the face-off, most digital marketing campaigns begin at the inbox. Even here there are multiple things at play. The subject line should lead into the email, which hopefully leads to a click-through action.

Subject lines are tough and are often written without much strategy. In reality though, they’re one of the most important pieces. There’s nothing worse than a subject line that no longer makes sense when you open the email.


(Having trouble getting buy-in on shorter subject lines? Sell the preheader which is often overlooked.)

If the subject line does it’s job, the user will move into the email. It should be a teaser of sorts, after all, it’s not the final goal (no pun intended).

You want the user to click on the CTA and be taken to the next step in the campaign. For the CTA to work you need it to be descriptive. Don’t make people think. Buttons that read ‘click here’ may seem pretty obvious, but they are actually extremely vague. Click here for what? Try something like ’See More Outfits!’.


Ok, so your email passed the first test in the neutral zone and you’ve moved on to the offensive zone, one step closer to scoring. Your subject line, email and CTA worked together and now the user is at the landing page.

The job of the landing page is to inform the user and get them to take an action; perhaps fill out a form or register for an event. The copy here should build on what was in the email. It should also make sense on it’s own. Consider what information a user coming from a banner ad might need.

Additionally, the design elements should reflect that of the email. While the landing page is somewhat different by nature, the elements should still agree.

Use the hierarchy of your landing page to carry users to the form. The page headline should lead into the copy, which leads to the form. In the interest of being obvious, try directional arrows to provide a helpful hint to the user! See how everything’s flowing together?



In hockey, the players you put out on a power play or a penalty kill are considered your special teams. In digital marketing, those are your banner ads. You’re not going to get all your clicks from them, but if you’re lucky you’ll get enough.

These have to work with your campaign too, especially with today’s retargeting capabilities. Chances are if you get emails from a company and/or have been to their website, you’re going to get their ads too.

Banner ads are usually small so keep it simple. Social banners shouldn’t repeat the text in your posts. If you use text at all, let the two compliment one another.



When all is said and done, gather all the pieces of your campaign. Read through the campaign; from the subject line to the email, from the CTA on a banner to the landing page and through to the form. Does it work together well?

Like Lou mentioned, it should be like orchestra and if the campaign pieces don’t work well together, it’s likely they won’t work at all.




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