So I’ve got March Madness on the mind this month, even if my favorite team, the Fighting Illini, are no longer in the NCAA Men’s College Basketball tourney, and my brackets aren’t faring so well.
What does March Madness have to do with marketing, you ask? Actually, marketing is everywhere this time of year. Here are a couple of examples of how companies have tied their marketing messages to March Madness.
Some Good March Madness Campaign Examples:
- State Farm Insurance has been running television spots where their competitors are lined up against them in bracket format and eventually all of their competitors are crossed off/eliminated, leaving State Farm as the champion.
- Papa John’s sent out email campaigns with special March Madness pizza offers. I also received an oversized postcard in the mail in early March with a magnet on the back so I could put it on my fridge. It consisted of an empty bracket that I could fill out and also included four pizza coupons. What a great way to incorporate the March Madness theme into a promotional campaign!
How can you utilize a popular time of year like March Madness in your marketing?
- Incorporate ‘Madness’ Words and Themes into all of your Advertising & Communications: Even if you don’t offer a sports-related product or service, people will instantly recognize your special offers or coupons when you use the word ‘madness’ or create basketball themes in your marketing campaigns (whether it is an ad headline, article name or email subject line).
- Offer a Madness-Related Giveaway: You don’t have to be a national sponsor of the NCAA basketball tournaments to take advantage of basketball mania. Invite your customers to visit your business to enter to win a basketball-related product, or tickets to an upcoming sporting event.
- Offer a Solution or Product Related to March Madness: Do you supply or sell a product that basketball fans might find interesting? Do you offer a solution to the decreased work productivity that typically occurs in the office environment this time of year, such as software that blocks certain websites or encourages worker productivity? If you can tie your PR into this theme, the News media will be more inclined to hear your story. Tip: Be sure to pitch your story idea well in advance, keeping in mind the reporter’s lead time (as deadlines are often weeks or months prior to publication date).
- Market Entertainment Options for Basketball and Non-Basketball Fans: If you are a movie theater or other entertainment venue, there are plenty of non-basketball aficionados who are longing for something else to do besides sit in front of a television. Now is your chance to reach them. Restaurants can offer a dine-in or take-out special in honor of March Madness.
So whether it’s a holiday like Saint Patrick’s Day, an event such as the Indy 500, or a popular trend such as Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, make your marketing message stand out from the crowd by relating it to what’s current. Do this and I promise you’ll have an instant edge on your competition.