March Madness Provides a Unique Marketing Opportunity

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

I don’t know about you but in my house March is all about “March Madness.” My husband is a college basketball fanatic and this is most definitely one of his favorite times of the year. As the years have gone by, I’ve noticed “March Madness” becoming more and more of a phenomenon even outside of my home – basketball goodies, basketball parties, brackets, “water cooler” conversation and lots of attention in the papers! It’s only natural that I started thinking about how this event can be used in small business marketing. Take a look. There might be an idea or two here that you’d like to implement this month.

Incorporate a March Madness Theme in Your Communications
I talk about it all the time.  Small businesses are often looking for a holiday or theme to tie into for the month – New Year’s in January, Valentine’s Day in February and most frequently St. Patrick’s Day and the “luck of the Irish” in March. Dare to be different.  Change it up a bit and focus on March Madness in your email subject lines, advertising headlines, or articles titles. Throw in a fact or two about what’s going on in the games; that will surely draw attention!  Get started with a click email announcing your special offers and reminding everyone that the selection process is this Sunday evening.
Promote a March Madness Special Offer
72Promote or give-away anything you’d like; it does NOT have to be basketball or sports related.  One company we worked with turned it into “March Marketing Madness” and gave-away marketing tips while another ran a contest and offered a gift certificate to a local sporting goods store.  You can also have people submit their brackets with a chance to win a prize. We favor this idea as it’s also a great list-builder – be sure to ask for names/emails/addresses with their brackets!  Check out your local advertisements – you’ll start seeing “March Madness” promotions everywhere.
Social Media
Do you have a company Facebook? Twitter?  Lots of businesses and savvy marketers will be turning the college basketballs championship into something of a feeding frenzy with updates, tweets, games and contests.  Give it a shot!  You’ve got nothing to lose.
Embrace March Madness in the Office 
According to Gray & Christmas Inc., a consulting firm specializing in workplace issues, about $1.2 billion is lost in productivity during March Madness.  What’s a company to do? First, don’t panic. While this college basketball frenzy is all employees might be talking about, it’s taking the place of talk about the Superbowl, weekend plans, television shows and other current events.  And, on a positive note, it’s building camaraderie among your employees.  People who rarely speak with one another might begin communicating and getting to know one another.  This might help on the next assignment or the next time a team is needed to pitch in on a project. Think about how you can turn this into a win-win for both you and your employees – let them have some fun talking about it, consider setting up a workplace bracket and trust them enough to know they will get their job done.

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