Using major events and holidays for brand promotions is a concept straight from the Marketing 101 Playbook. No surprise then, this time of year companies across the country are looking for creative ways to generate awareness and engage their target audiences amid the March Madness. Winning programs from past years, such as Capital One’s comprehensive #RoadToOne social media campaign, give inspiration for other brands looking to stick out in their brackets.

To achieve objectives with these types of campaigns, it’s important for marketing managers to work with their PR teams to develop an integrated game plan. By looking at things strategically, putting the right pieces in the right place, companies can ensure they’re in the best position to execute once the ball is in the air. In the spirit of this year’s “Big Dance,” here are a few tips for having a March Madness mentality when it comes time to plan your next marketing campaign:

  • Be Willing to Adjust.

    Your team spends time talking through the X’s and O’s of a campaign – identifying your target audience, and how and where you’ll reach them. But what happens when things don’t go according to plan? Just like in basketball, sometimes the competition throws a surprise your way or your shot attempts simply don’t convert. To give your team the best chance to succeed, you’ll need to be willing to adjust. If you’re pitching a story to certain media and it’s not gaining traction, maybe it’s time to change up the play – re-evaluating your targets or the story angle.


  • Don’t Look Too Far Ahead.

    Have a big idea for your campaign that’s sure to have an impact? That’s great, but don’t lose sight of other programming elements that will be needed to deliver on larger objectives. You might have a buzzworthy story or campaign theme with potential for national media coverage, but that’s no reason to neglect smaller media targets that can also help build brand exposure. Putting all your attention on the more challenging tasks and not focusing enough on other priorities in the lead-up execution can result in you packing your bags before the dance even begins.


  • Act Like You Belong.

    A 16 seed can knock off a one seed. UMBC proved that last year by stepping onto the court with the preparation and confidence necessary to crush the number one overall seed Virginia Cavaliers. By the same token, even smaller brands can make a big splash when the timing is right, and their number is called. The perfect example might just be from UMBC’s own Twitter account, which took the spotlight during the 2018 tournament with a series of hilarious Tweets that resulted in a 2,573 percent increase in social media engagement. If you’ve earned the right to be there, play like it.


The best game plans can fall apart if you don’t execute. This March and beyond, make sure your entire team knows their role so they can take on your next marketing campaign with the confidence and focus necessary to cut down the nets when it’s all said and done. If you’re looking for a proven teammate that can help plan and execute at a high level when the pressure is on, give us a shout.

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Posted By Greyson Feurer

Those who know Greyson well can tell you that his favorite movie is “The Shawshank Redemption,” he prefers dogs to cats and he has an unhealthy addiction to Zaxby’s. However, his two greatest passions are unquestionably sports and music. In his free time, you will most likely find Greyson on a nearby soccer field, cheering on NC State or learning a new song on guitar.