Let the Madness Begin: Have You Put Together Your Marketing Bracket?

shutterstock_178064603With a regular season record of 27-4—not to mention an undefeated streak of 25-0, despite a number of near upsets during that reign—there was no disputing what my husband and I (Syracuse alumni) would be doing at 6 pm this past Sunday night. Tuning into CBS to assess see how the Cuse’s recent spate of losses (don’t get me started on Friday night’s North Carolina State game) would affect Selection Sunday.

Sadly, our pitiful performance these past few games undoubtedly cost us a No. 1 seed. But since we will never stop bleeding Orange, bring it on Broncos.

As Americans gear up to pick their brackets, wager their bets—have you heard of Warren Buffett’s $1 billion prize?!—and find any spare moment in the day to live stream the first round of games, marketers across the globe can learn a thing or two about March Madness, specifically about constructing their own marketing brackets.

The concept of the NCAA bracket, or any bracket for that matter, is quite simple. It outlines the match-up of college teams all across the country and predicts a winner for each until you are left with one final game at the end between those schools that outlasted and outperformed the others. It’s a series of rounds that results in one chief winner—or supposed winner—at the end. Your question as you construct your marketing bracket is: What part of my marketing strategy do I want to “win” at the end of the day?

There are so many shades of a marketing strategy, and particularly of a content marketing strategy, that can fill your marketing bracket. For example you can consider the lineups between:

  • Quality content vs. quantity of content
  • Social  media metrics vs. substance of social media posts
  • White papers vs. cases studies
  • Email marketing vs. handwritten letters
  • Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing

… the list goes on.

Simply put, your marketing bracket should pit a series of tactics and concepts against one another so that you can clearly identify the winner in each match-up. For instance, are you going to value quality over quantity? Your blogging platform over your print advertisements? Your social media campaign over your billboard spotlight? In some ways, bracketing out your marketing initiatives—and giving serious thought as to what concept should win each battle—will give you a clear indication as to where your marketing strategy should head.

So in the spirit of all things NCAA-related: here’s to the fabulous “Big Dance,” to extra money in our pockets, to a remarkable comeback from my alma matter and to that marketing inspiration that gives your strategy the power to alley-oop right before the buzzer.