What Jose Mourinho Taught Me About Market Research

Jose Mourinho is the most successful football coach in the world today. No one else has won more league titles and silverware than the Portuguese manager.

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What fascinates me about Mourinho is the incredible attention is the staggering amount of research he does before meeting the opposition team. Unlike most sports managers, Mourinho will spend late nights crunching numbers and seeing what system best suits his team – based on the data his research team has gathered.

Do you think Jose Mourinho knows much about market research, brand segmentation, and customer profiling?

Think again…

  1. Spreadsheets, surveys and focus groups may not be his specialty but he does know his market (the opposition) and does endless research. Ask anyone who’s worked with him at Chelsea, Barcelona or Real Madrid.
  2. Mourinho is notorious for gathering information about the opposition team, analyzing the data, and briefing his players. The results are impressive.
  3. When interviewed for the Chelsea vacancy, he prepared PowerPoint presentations showing where and how he would develop the team.
  4. Board members were blown away. Mourinho looked at the league table that way a General would a battle field.
  5. He assessed his troops (team), reviewed the enemy (Man United perhaps), and drew up plans to undermine the opposition. And it worked.

And the same can work for you.

Market Research Planning is simple but…

People make it complicated. Some make it complicated to make themselves look clever. It’s not.

The key to effective market research is to follow stick to the basics and define your goals.

What do I want to get out of this piece of work?

Write it down. It should be one sentence. No more.

I want to know…

To get to that point develop a Market Research Plan, which is a framework for getting to that answer.

Turning Market Research Upside Down

Indeed, most of us don’t associated sports with market research.

Usually we see market research in terms of selling products or for opinion polls. But it’s more than that.

It’s about targeting an area – product, service, customer, competitor – and then gathering as much quality data as possible.

The challenge for Mourinho is to align the data with his players’ abilities.

So, let’s leave sales and marketing aside for a minute.

Where else do you see ‘Market Research’ as a way to gain an edge on the competition? Or am I looking at it from the wrong angle?

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