Ah, Spring. The days are longer, hotter, and the beaches are filled with travelers reveling in the splendor of precious days spent enjoying long-awaited spring break vacations. Whether you’re a flip flop loving Floridian, or you’re still longing for a day at the beach, sporting your winter coat before it’s confined to your closet for months, there’s one thing we, as marketers, can all agree on. The NCAA Men’s Basketball tourney, affectionately known as “March Madness” is upon us, and it’s a game-changing, time zapping phenomenon – with the potential to serve as an advertiser’s annual dream come true.
While in the workplace, CEO’s might tend to focus on the dreaded decrease in productivity – employers stand to lose up to $1.9 billion in 2015 alone – the benefits for brands who take advantage of the exposure associated with those teams selected to make it to “The Big Dance” have the potential to lead to some pretty impressive profit margins. (Surely, that makes up for the hours lost “studying-up” on office bracketology, right?) Well, you don’t have to be a multi-million dollar, nationally recognized company with a significant budget to implement highly effective strategies related to marketing March Madness. It can really be as simple as a bank shot.
So, what are the true playmakers that your brand might consider during this “Super Bowl” of collegiate basketball? At BIGEYE, we’ve put in the practice time off the court to present you with a few pointers (all three’s, of course) to help you master marketing March Madness:
Develop a bracket contest
Every office has one, so why not create a little healthy competition with your followers online? Drive traffic to your website by creating a contest to engage with your fans, with a noteworthy prize for the winner. While you may not be able to present a national championship trophy as your coveted prize, there are some creative, outside of the box opportunities to generate buzz, and further your brand’s advocacy.
Host a game viewing party to showcase your fun side
Host a fun-filled game viewing party, whether attended by your staff, or where you invite clients to join the festivities. Who doesn’t love a good tchotchke? Provide logoed goodies to your partygoers, then move the party highlights – and hijinks – to your Facebook and Instagram pages to boost likes – again, affording you with an opportunity to get in front of new followers.
Consider your target audience and be top-of-mind
According to AdWeek, the average age of the avid college basketball fanatic is men under the age of 50. Make sure your promotional outreach is highly visible where this audience spends most of its time during the tourney. Be it a sports bar, online updating his bracket – or bragging about his selections and prediction prowess – focus your campaign’s strategic efforts and media mix to ensure that effective placement is a top offensive priority. [quote]You’ve got the ball, and the expertise to showcase your brand’s personality and unique selling proposition, so drive down the court and land a slam dunk.[/quote]
Share relevant – and really captivating – content
Be sure that any and all content you share will have perceived value for the seasoned fan. Remember, a number of those that you engage with have been filling out a bracket season-over-season for years, and you’ll want to provide entertaining, informative, and intriguing information that resonates.
No matter your budget, the opportunities to jump on the bandwagon – and capitalize on marketing March Madness – are endless. Win or lose, sports aficionados are in high spirits, and with a little creativity, you might find that advocates for your brand may become as devoted to you as they are to their beloved team. And did I mention that I just might have set-up my own bracket based upon colors and mascots alone? (Who knows, I just might make it to the Final Four, so feel free to be inspired by my technique!)
Looking for more creative strategies to reach your intended audience – and increase your fanatical fanbase? Contact us today to help us develop your game plan!