5 Plays Marketers Can Learn From March Madness


Marketers can learn a lot from the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament. This historical sporting event is more than something to be admired as it carries valuable marketing insights that can be utilized for just about any marketing campaign.

Here are the top 5 plays marketers can learn from March Madness to guarantee multiple wins:


 1. Be Topical

When building a marketing campaign it can be beneficial to plan it around an event that already has an attentive and loyal fan base. Marketers that tailor their campaigns around popular or upcoming cultural trends, events, or even moments have a better chance of being noticed more organically. Their campaigns blend into the current tone of the digital space and are more readily absorbed by a new as well as the existing consumer base. Advertisers and marketers who participate in March Madness or circle their campaigns around the players, teams, games or fans show their focus on that audience and utilizes this event that already carries an active interest for a large audience.



 2. Trigger the Competitive Streak

As we have seen with the popularity of the bracket challange, by tapping into consumers’ natural desire to win and beat competitors NCAA has found massive success. Brands can find the same success by tapping into that same psychological feature. By asking consumers to participate, engage and potentially challenge themselves as well as play against others you are offering your consumers a chance to have fun, and truly enjoy their experience. I mean everyone loves the sweet taste of a well-deserved victory, right?


3. Prepare for Upsets

This is a big lesson that this sports event can teach modern marketers. Sometimes marketing campaigns fail or simply don’t reach the success we expect them to. This lesson also teaches marketers that the opposite can be true too and that a chance, kind of strange marketing campaign can surpass all expectations. Just like in the tournament either way it just means that the world of marketing gets more exciting with new creative doors to open up and peek into. And just like seeding, marketers can utilize analytics to help them better understand customer sentiment and then build a bigger and better campaign in the next round.


4. Interact and Engage

March Madness, with its influence over the creation of the bracket-making season, teaches marketers to make their content interactive and engaging. With interactive content marketers can better their customer experience by making it more fun and challenge based. So that their marketing experience isn’t one packed with lengthy anecdotes, but instead a clickable game that requires little to no effort. It also works out well for the marketers’ brand; because they get access to focused customer sentiment and can tailor their later campaigns to fit their audience’s needs.


*Extra Credit*: If you really want to do it like NCAA, create a bracket or a series of Match Up’s for your customers to interact with. Have anything you want compete against each other in rounds so you can understand what your customer really enjoys or has an existing interest in, while also increasing their engagement with your site. With a bracket you’ll also guarantee their return to your site to make sure their favorites make it to the top.


5. Be Everywhere

 Even if you were isolated on top of a mountain somewhere in Peru, I bet you would still know when it’s time for March Madness. A blend of a catchy title that brands love to bend and alter for their own use, crazy social media followings, the bracket challenge and more brands that love to fuel this event creates the impossibility for there to exist someone who doesn’t know what March Madness is. This is where the lesson comes in. Marketers need their campaigns to be accessible on any platform at any time. They need these campaigns to not only entice but to engage consumers, new and existing, over and over again. Their campaigns need to be everywhere, all the time, so that before you know it, even that hermit in Peru knows about your brand.




Want to tap into that competitive streak and start building challenge based marketing strategies? Check out our Challenge Marketing page!


Learned what you can from NCAA and ready to start creating? Let’s go! Click below to start creating today!


Posted in Interactive Content, brands, ncaa, March Madness, bracket

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