‘Batter Up!’ Lessons From Baseball: Advertising & Goal Setting


Tommy Lasorda, baseball Hall of Famer and former Dodgers manager, once said, “There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”

As a longtime baseball fan, I’ve noticed the game has many parallels to life — but what can it teach us about setting advertising goals?

Each time baseball players step onto the field for a game, they know their goal is to win. You can bet they also remember their ultimate goal: to make it to the World Series. They know it won’t be easy. Nevertheless, great players — the ones who “make it happen” — know each successful pitch, run and catch will bring them one step closer to victory. Without this direction, an outfielder might start daydreaming instead of watching the game. Then he’ll miss the next ball that comes his way. Likewise, without goals in advertising, you’ll waste your time on tasks that distract you from your purpose. You will become the outfielder who wonders, “What happened?”

I believe most great things in life come as a result of one’s own doings. However, saying it and doing it are two different things. In baseball, your teammates don’t want to hear you say that you can hit a home run. They want to see you do it. If you can’t follow through, then you’re all talk and no game. It’s the same way in life. While it’s important to set goals, you must follow through with hard work, patience and persistence. Proverbs 14:13 sums it up perfectly: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

So, what is the main goal of advertising? To convince your audience that they want — no, they need what you have to offer. In order to achieve this, you’ll have to keep your eye on the ball.

Here are some “S.M.A.R.T.” tips on setting goals to help you and your team get off the bench and be competitive in the game of advertising.

Goals should be:

  • Specific. Don’t make a vague goal such as, “I want my clients to be successful.” What does that mean? Increased customers? More ROI?  Greater website traffic? This is like hoping for a walk to first base. While setting ambiguous goals might work, you’ll never hit a grand slam with this strategy.
  • Measureable. Use numbers whenever possible. “I want X amount of new visitors to company Y’s blog.” This will make it much easier to evaluate your results. Think of this step as calculating your batting average.
  • Attainable. Plan your steps wisely before you step up to the plate. Being confident and having a good attitude will help you attain the goal you set.
  • Realistic. Be realistic and know your limits. Don’t expect to bat 1.000, but instead set reasonable goals for yourself.
  • Time-bound. Set a date by which you want to meet your goal. Make sure to set both short-term and long-term goals. They will help you visualize the big picture, so when you get to the 9th inning you’ll be prepared.

If you follow these five guidelines while setting your advertising goals, you’ll have a much better chance of making it to the playoffs.

Remember, baseball, like life, is a long and arduous game.  Players must watch out for pop flies, switch-hitters and steals. The great part about baseball is that players aren’t alone; they have teammates to support them. In life, we are also not alone. We have family, friends and co-workers to encourage and help us as we reach for our goals.  

With this in mind, go on and set some amazing advertising goals and know that you’re one step closer to your World Series.

Until next time,





Jim Emmerling
Owner/President/Media Specialist, Em-Media Inc.

Phone: (740) 264-2186

Email: james@em-media.com

About Jim Emmerling: Helping businesses succeed through creative meaningful campaigns was and continues to be the driving goal of Em-Media, which was founded on April 1, 1996 by Jim Emmerling. Since the inception of Em-Media, Jim has guided his team of media specialists into one of the region’s premier full-service advertising agencies. Jim’s advertising career spans 30+ years. Prior to starting his own advertising and marketing agency, Emmerling worked at The Gannett Newspaper Corp. in Tarentum, Pa., and held management positions at The Daily Collegian in State College, Pa., as well as at WTOV9 in Steubenville. A native of New Kensington, Pa., Emmerling graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications. Jim and his wife, Lee Ann, have raised four wonderful children: Michael, Jacob, Jonathan and Isabella. Jim is very active civically, serves on several boards of directors seats, and was past president of The Steubenville Rotary Club.

About Em-Media: Since 1996, Em-Media has given clients the best value in today’s markets. No matter where your business is located, Em-Media can create a cost-effective, memorable marketing message. Em-Media knows the importance of communicating clients’ messages in an ever-changing digital world combined with traditional media. Our team is up-to-date on new digital media trends to adapt to our clients’ ever-changing needs. From start to finish, our staff is ready to design your website, manage your social media platforms, and increase your presence on the online spotlight.

Our primary function is consulting with our clients on marketing goals and creating advertising campaigns utilizing television, radio, digital platforms, billboards and print media to accomplish these goals. We have confidence in the experience of our team to assist in the development of your market area.

The agency’s expertise encompasses but is not limited to:

Media Buying & Placement | Brand Strategy | Graphic Design | Website Development | Commercial Production | Social Media Management | Inbound Marketing | Public Relations | TV & Radio Show Production

Leave a comment


Pittsburgh Media Center
706 James Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Steubenville Media Center
2728 Sunset Boulevard
Steubenville, OH 43952

Wheeling Office
98 East Cove Avenue
Wheeling, WV 26003